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Orangemen shouldn't be punished for mourning

I am saddened and in fact quite devastated that an Orange Lodge has asked for Tom Elliott and Danny Kennedy to be disciplined for paying their respects at the funeral of murdered police constable Ronan Kerr.

It matters nothing that the Orange Order's rules prohibit members taking part in Catholic services. Gentlemen like Ronan Kerr 'broke the unwritten rules' by joining the PSNI as Catholics.

As you know, this was not historically something that happened, but the future of the relative calm in our part of this world has depended on people like him going beyond traditions and being contributors to a collective future. He died serving the community in building that future, and he is a hero for that.

Imagine the pain his mother and siblings will feel knowing that his death has been disrespected by two of the mourners being disciplined because they were there.

I have copied this to the Ulster Unionist Party as I feel so upset and would like to express my sincere thanks to Tom Elliott and Danny Kennedy for being noble and respectful and gentlemanly in helping all our community mourn a good policeman.

Catherine Harper

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