Belfast Telegraph

Editor's Viewpoint: Grief-stricken Kerrs have all our support

The harrowing interviews with members of the family of murdered policeman Ronan Kerr demonstrate their continuing grief a year after the murder on April 2 last. Constable Kerr, a newly qualified member of the PSNI and also a Roman Catholic recruit, died when a booby trap bomb exploded under his car in Omagh.

The responsibility for his death was claimed by a ruthless dissident republican splinter group.

The PSNI investigation team believe that this group was responsible for several other crimes, but no-one has been charged with the murder of Ronan Kerr. It is most disappointing for the general public to be told that the police seem no further along the road to charging Ronan's killers, almost a year after the event.

His murder was of great symbolic significance because it was an attack not only on an individual but also on a member of the Catholic community who felt that his duty was to join the police force.

Following his death, there was a commendable show of solidarity, with members of the police and the GAA attending the funeral, as well as the First Minister Peter Robinson and senior politicians.

Given the importance of bringing the killers to justice, it is disappointing for everyone to realise that so little progress seems to have been made. The police are continuing their investigations, and it is to be hoped that these will soon bear fruit.

Meanwhile, Mrs Nuala Kerr has spoken movingly about her family's tremendous suffering at the loss of such a fine young man. His brother Cathair said he had lost his best friend and underlined the need for the killers to be brought to justice.

Mrs Kerr made a strong plea for those responsible to unburden their consciences and to hand themselves in. She also stated firmly that the perpetrators had achieved nothing, and pleaded that no-one should be dissuaded from joining the PSNI.

Her remarkable composure and courage are exemplary, and she and her family continue to have all our support during their ongoing ordeal.

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