Saturday 16 December 2017

House raided in Co Monaghan in hunt for PC Kerr bombers

Michael McHugh

Gardai have raided a house in Co Monaghan as part of the investigation into the killing of PSNI constable Ronan Kerr.

Items were seized for forensic examination following last night's searches close to the border in Scottstown, Co Monaghan.

Constable Kerr died when a bomb exploded under his car in Omagh, Co Tyrone, on April 2.

Two men were freed yesterday by detectives in the North investigating the death. A 33-year-old man remains in custody.

A PSNI spokesman said: "As part of the ongoing PSNI investigation into the murder of constable Ronan Kerr and a subsequent arms find in Coalisland, a house was searched in Co Monaghan.

"The search was conducted by members of An Garda Siochana, who continue to liaise with detectives investigating both constable Kerr's murder and the Coalisland arms find."

Weapons and explosives were discovered by police in Coalisland. None were seized in Monaghan.

During the house search in Scottstown last night, a number of items were seized and have been removed for forensic examination. There were no arrests and the investigation continues, officials said.

Constable Kerr, 25, was the victim of dissident republicans opposed to the peace process, though none of the extremist groups has yet claimed responsibility for his killing.

It is believed he was targeted because he was a Catholic, with dissidents keen to undermine the cross-community support for the new-look police service that replaced the Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC).

Following the murder, which sparked widespread condemnation, police uncovered the cache of weapons and explosives near Coalisland, Co Tyrone.

Police have warned that the dissidents remain determined to continue their campaign of violence, despite the growing calls for it to be brought to an end.

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