Belfast Telegraph

We owe it to Ronan Kerr to protect our protectors

By Lindy McDowell

What courage it must have taken for poor, heartbroken Nuala Kerr to walk out and deliver that television plea for those who know anything about her son Ronan's murder to come forward.

She was so proud of her boy, she said. And he would surely have been so proud of her too. Proud of all of them.

Ronan's father died only a couple of years ago; a young uncle since then. There is enough grief there for any lifetime. But Nuala Kerr and her sons and teenage daughter steeled themselves in their pain and went out to make that appeal because, like the lad they lost, they wanted to do the right thing.

They are, as we all know, not the first police family here to have suffered such terrible tragedy. More than 300 families have been similarly bereaved.

Every single one of those lives lost was equally precious. Every single one of those deaths equally unjustifiable. Many of those killed were, like Ronan, murdered not just because they were police officers. But because they were Catholic police officers.

Those who run this place owe it to police families once again living in dread to ensure everything that can be done, will be done to protect them. Even the simplest things may need looking at again.

Is it true that those under threat of a car bomb are still issued with the standard wee mirror on a stick to check for suspicious devices? Surely in this day and age there must be some more sophisticated system.

The stark fact is that we know the terrorists will try to kill again.

Are the resources there to provide the very best protection for those brave men and women now on the front line?

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