Belfast Telegraph

Ronan Kerr remembered seven years after murder

By Rebecca Black

A senior PSNI officer has led tributes to a young constable who was murdered by dissidents on the seventh anniversary of his death yesterday.

Ronan Kerr (25) died on April 2, 2011 after a booby-trap bomb exploded under his car outside his home near Omagh, Co Tyrone.

He had joined the PSNI just a year before his death.

Assistant Chief Constable Stephen Martin posted on social media that the young constable was in his thoughts.

"Remembering PSNI Constable Ronan Kerr murdered seven years ago today," he wrote.

"Thinking of his mum Nuala, entire family circle, colleagues and friends."

Mr Kerr's brother Cathair paid a simple, poignant tribute to him on his Facebook page.

"Seven years ago our lives changed forever," he said.

"Miss you every day Ronan."

Victims' group the South East Fermanagh Foundation (SEFF) also expressed its sadness.

"SEFF's thoughts and prayers are with the family of Ronan Kerr on this the seventh anniversary since his murder," it said.

"Ronan was a serving police officer within the PSNI, he was murdered by republican terrorists via a booby-trap car bomb which was planted outside his home.

"Ronan had a great interest in football, he was a member of Beragh Red Knights and followed Tyrone at county level.

"He also loved cars, he sold his beloved silver Nissan 320z when he joined the police, but he had a model in his room.

"Ronan is remembered on SEFF's Memorial Quilt 'Your Legacy Lives On' and his interests in Gaelic football, cars and his membership of the PSNI is reflected."

SEFF also paid tribute to Mr Kerr's family and called for justice for his murder.

"The dignity of the family has been a constant and shining light in a time of deep darkness," it said.

"Justice, truth and accountability must yet prevail."

No one has been convicted of Mr Kerr's murder, although one person was jailed for offences connected to the investigation.

At the time there was a mass outpouring of disgust with 'Not In My Name' rallies taking place in Omagh, Belfast, Enniskillen and London in the wake of the murder.

The PSNI yesterday confirmed that the murder investigation was still open.

In January this year detectives made a renewed appeal for information.

Speaking then, Detective Chief Inspector John Caldwell said they believed there remained potential witnesses who may be able to assist them.

"Detectives have made a significant amount of progress in the investigation into the murder of Ronan.

"However, we are particularly interested in the origin of some of the component parts of the bomb, and how they were sourced.

"We have already made good progress in tracking how the terrorists came into possession of these parts, as well as establishing their relationship with a local crime gang in the Omagh area.

"However, I believe that there are still potential witnesses who may be able to assist police in this line of inquiry.

"The key to putting people before a court charged with Ronan's murder lies with local communities in Omagh and east Tyrone."

Mr Kerr was the second PSNI officer to be killed by terrorists since its formation in 2001, following the shooting dead of Stephen Carroll in Craigavon in 2009.

Another PSNI officer, Peadar Heffron, was left with life-changing injuries after a bomb planted under his car exploded as he drove to work near Randalstown in Co Antrim in January 2010.

Belfast Telegraph

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