Sickening glorification of the murder of Constable Ronan Kerr has appeared on social networking sites.
In stark contrast to the sense of disgust and public condemnation from politicians, church leaders, sporting figures and the wider community, some individuals have been using internet websites such as Facebook and Twitter to laud the dissident republican terrorists who planted the car bomb.
One man from Cookstown posted a link to an article from the UTV website on his Facebook wall with the words “Great news. Yeah Haaaaaa.”
Meanwhile, graffiti daubed on walls in Londonderry’s Bogside area, read: “East Tyrone IRA 1, RUC Scum 0. Ha Ha.”
Another read: “Ronan Kerr. The price to pay.”
Last night a spokesman for Sinn Fein said party activists in the Bogside who are horrified by the murder had painted out the offensive graffiti.
“The mentality of the people who painted this graffiti really must be questioned,” a spokesman for Sinn Fein said.
“The republican community have made our voices heard loud and clear, the murder of Ronan Kerr was wrong and those people who carried it out are running contrary to the wishes of the people and contrary to the very fundamental ethos of republicanism.”
Ulster Unionist Party leader Tom Elliott, who visited the Kerr family yesterday, said: “It’s really dreadful that there is such a mindset out there for people to think that way.
“It’s disgraceful. I have visited the young officer’s family home and they are lovely people and spoke about how much he loved the job and was looking forward to having a career.”
Tweeters who have been outraged by the online abuse, have set up a group called #notinmyname to voice their revulsion at the violence.
One woman wrote: “Thoughts go out to your family and brave colleagues putting your lives on the line every single day.”
While another worried internet user said: “The Troubles, again?”