Belfast Telegraph

Tragedy of Catholic police recruit

The young policeman killed in a booby trap car bomb in Northern Ireland had only been serving in the area for weeks, shocked colleagues said.

Ronan Kerr, 25, had graduated from training college last December and was living in Omagh, Co Tyrone.

It is understood the victim, a former pupil of the Christian Brothers Grammar School in Omagh, was targeted outside his home as he left to start a shift at Enniskillen police station, Co Fermanagh.

Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) temporary Superintendent Pauline Shields said: "He has literally been with us for weeks.

"In those few weeks that he has served this community he has made an indelible mark on those colleagues and those members of the public with whom he has come into contact."

Pc Kerr had joined the police service in May last year and underwent extensive training.

He was one of a crop of young Catholics attracted by the 50/50 recruitment policy designed to rebalance the mainly Protestant force. That policy only ended recently.

Chief constable Matt Baggott paid tribute to his aspiring colleague.

"We have lost one of our brave and courageous police recruits, some one who joined this fine service simply to do good, joined to serve the community impartially and to be someone I describe as a modern day hero," he said.

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