News24

N Ireland condemns murder of rookie

2011-04-03 22:35

Omagh - Northern Ireland politicians expressed outrage on Sunday over the murder of a policeman in the British-ruled province, insisting the killing would not derail the peace process.

Catholic officer Ronan Kerr, 25, was killed on Saturday by a bomb placed under his car outside his home in the town of Omagh, the scene of Northern Ireland's worst terror atrocity.

He had completed his training only three weeks ago.

Responsibility for the attack has not yet been claimed.

However, senior politicians pointed towards dissident Catholic republicans who oppose the 1998 peace accords with Protestants.

"These people have not advanced by one millimetre their cause," Northern Ireland First Minister Peter Robinson told BBC television.

"All they have done is united a community against them and left a mother and family stricken with all of the anguish that comes with the loss of a young son.

The policeman is only the second member of the Police Service of Northern Ireland to be killed since it succeeded the Royal Ulster Constabulary in 2001 as part of the peace process. The other murder was in 2009.

Chief Constable Matt Baggott appealed for information on the attack.

"We need these people to be given up. We need these people to be taken out of communities and given up so that justice can be done," he said.

Saturday's attack came after the Northern Ireland Assembly dissolved last week ahead of local elections to be held on May 5.

It was the first time that the devolved, power-sharing administration - a keystone in the peace process - had completed a full four-year term.

Sinn Fein president Gerry Adams said he was "calling on those who carried out this action to stop. There is no sense to it. There is no point to it and they should stop and stop now."