News24

Policeman's Ulster funeral unites leaders

2011-04-06 16:45

Beragh - Government and church leaders from across Ireland joined thousands on Wednesday at the funeral of a Catholic policeman slain by IRA dissidents - a rare killing that has highlighted the dramatic social changes of Northern Ireland's peace process.

Constable Ronan Kerr, 25, was killed by a booby-trap bomb hidden under his car outside his home in the town of Omagh on Saturday.

A new recruit barely weeks into the job, Kerr was the first member of Northern Ireland's security forces to be slain since March 2009, when IRA dissidents shot to death a policeman and two off-duty British soldiers.

Kerr came from nearby Beragh, a predominantly Catholic village nestled in rolling County Tyrone hills, where, until recent years, the Irish Republican Army enjoyed strong support and police were viewed with hostility as a Protestant occupation force.

But on Wednesday, a sea of ashen-faced humanity, Protestant and Catholic alike, packed the sidewalks to honour Kerr as a peacemaker.

Police, family and friends took turns carrying his casket - topped with his officer's cap and leather gloves - down the main street as the village church bell tolled slowly.


Comments
  • Irelander - 2011-04-06 17:40

    Hmmmm...well theres another story of division and hatred that involves whites v whites. Its all down to politics and greed that brain wash people to think they are superior than their neighbours. Seriously though whats the freaking point all are blood runs red god knows theres been enough conclusive tests this event being another.

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