Bomb Pc police make arms seizure
Police investigating the murder of Pc Ronan Kerr have arrested a man in Scotland and made one of the most significant arms discoveries for years in Northern Ireland.
Kalashnikov rifles, rocket launcher components and possibly Semtex explosive were discovered on Tuesday night in east Tyrone, police said.
The arrest of a 26-year-old man in Scotland on Wednesday came as the funeral of the Catholic officer heard a plea for an end to violence from Ireland's most senior Catholic churchman Cardinal Sean Brady and as huge crowds rallied in Belfast demanding peace.
Pc Kerr, 25, died when an under-car booby trap bomb exploded in Omagh, Co Tyrone, on Saturday. The murder has been blamed on dissident republicans opposed to the peace process and is believed to be aimed at deterring Catholics from joining the police.
Cardinal Brady said: "The people have said no, never again, to the evil and futility of violence."
Police Service of Northern Ireland Assistant Chief Constable Drew Harris said: "Detectives from Serious Crime Branch who are investigating Ronan's murder have made a significant discovery of arms and munitions - one of the most significant in recent years."
The man arrested in Renton, Dunbartonshire, in connection with the find of weapons "is being brought back to Northern Ireland for questioning", he said. The seizure was made in a garage on the Mountjoy Road, Coalisland.
The haul found in stolen vehicles included four rifles, ammunition, timer power units, detonators, incendiary bombs, components for rocket launchers and other explosive devices, and a quantity of explosives, possibly Semtex.
PSNI officers and senior Gaelic Athletic Association members stood side by side and helped carry the coffin into the Church of the Immaculate Conception in Beragh, Co Tyrone, in an unprecedented sign of unity.
The funeral procession was accompanied by unifying images that would have been unimaginable during the Troubles. First Minister Peter Robinson was the first Democratic Unionist Party leader to attend a Catholic Mass, while the presence of Sinn Fein Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness at the funeral of a police officer also represented a striking break with the past.