Monday 5 December 2016

Mother of slain policeman says attack was 'personal'

Amanda Poole

Published 25/05/2011 | 05:00

Nuala Kerr with daughter Dairine and sons Cathair and Aaron after the killing of her son Ronan in a car bomb
Nuala Kerr with daughter Dairine and sons Cathair and Aaron after the killing of her son Ronan in a car bomb

THE grieving mother of slain PSNI constable Ronan Kerr has said that his murder last month by dissident republicans was "a very personal attack".

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In her first interview since the 25-year-old officer died on April 2, Nuala Kerr said the car bomb that ended his life was "specific for Ronan".

"They obviously knew where he lived, they knew his car and they had identified that he was a police officer," Mrs Kerr said.

"Somebody obviously had led them in that direction.

"That is very hurtful. It wasn't a random attack, it was specific for Ronan."

Constable Kerr was killed after a bomb exploded under his car as he left his Omagh home for work.

An "independent" republican group claimed responsibility for the brutal attack.

Peaceful

It is understood the dissident group is made up of former Provisional IRA members deeply opposed to Sinn Fein's peaceful and democratic strategy in the North.

Mrs Kerr told BBC Northern Ireland's 'Spotlight' programme that Catholics should continue to join the PSNI.

She said "people can't sit on the fence anymore" when it came to policing in Northern Ireland.

"You know they have to be more decisive and they have to be more clear that they are not prepared to accept this kind of behaviour in our society," Mrs Kerr said.

She added that she would like to have seen the PSNI's 50/50 recruitment policy continue. When the policy was introduced in 2001, Catholics made up around 8pc of the police service. But by 2010 the level had risen to just over 27pc.

At the end of March Northern Ireland Secretary of State Owen Paterson said the time was right to end the policy as almost 30pc of officers were now from a Catholic background.

Irish Independent

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