Omagh bombing condemned across Northern Ireland

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Northern Ireland politicians and representatives have condemned those responsible for Saturday's bomb attack in Omagh.

Police officer Constable Ronan Kerr, 25, was killed after a booby-trap device exploded under his car.

Constable Kerr had joined the police in May 2010 and had been working in the community since December.

Matt Baggott, Chief Constable of the Police Service of Northern Ireland

The Chief Constable Matt Baggott paid tribute to Constable Ronan Kerr.

"Ronan was relatively new to the PSNI, but had proven himself a good and dedicated officer in the short time he was with us," he said.

Chief Constable of the PSNI, Matt Baggott, said Constable Kerr was a "modern-day hero"

"He had joined the police because he was willing to stand up and serve his community.

"No words could adequately describe the shock and sense of loss being felt by his colleagues and the residents of Omagh today.

"I know that my abhorrence and anger at such a waste of a good life is shared by people not only across this town and the rest of Northern Ireland but also across the world.

All of our thoughts and prayers tonight are with the Kerr family and all who knew Ronan. He was, in my eyes, a modern day hero."

Police Federation for Northern Ireland

Police Federation Chairman, Terry Spence, condemned the murder of the constable as cowardly and counterproductive.

"We will never be deterred by terrorism from doing our duty and serving the whole community," he said.

"On behalf of my members I call upon the community to help us bring these murderers to justice.

"Wherever officers serve they must be extremely vigilant about their personal security both on and off-duty."

UK Prime Minister David Cameron

"I utterly condemn the murder of a young police officer today in Omagh, who had dedicated himself to serving the entire community of Northern Ireland.

Our thoughts and prayers go out to his family and his friends. This is a terrible tragedy for all who knew him and served with him, and for a town that had already suffered so much.

"Those who carried out this wicked and cowardly crime will never succeed in dragging Northern Ireland back to a dark and bloody past.

"Their actions are rejected by the overwhelming majority of people from all parts of the community.

"I know that the chief constable of the Police Service of Northern Ireland will not rest until the perpetrators have been brought to justice."

Northern Ireland Secretary Owen Paterson

The Secretary of State described the killing as a cruel and evil act.

"The people in all parts of Ireland and beyond want peace and those who carried out this atrocity are in the grip of an obscene delusion if they think that by murder they can defy their will.

"They must know that they can never succeed in defeating the democratic will of the people."

Shadow Northern Ireland Secretary Shaun Woodward

"This evil and cowardly attack will sicken everyone across Northern Ireland. These crimes are targeted on those who protect the community.

"We all deeply mourn the brave young man whose life was taken by this savage crime.

"We all have a duty to stop those behind it from succeeding."

Methodist Church in Ireland

The Rev. Paul Kingston, President of the Methodist Church in Ireland, expressed his sadness at Constable Kerr's murder and called for vigilance on the part of the community.

"This young man who had recently begun his career as a member of PSNI had committing himself to the protection of life and the enforcement of law and order had more to offer the community than those who have so callously taken his life," he said.

Archbishop of Armagh and Primate of All Ireland

Cardinal Sean Brady said the deliberate taking of innocent human life was always wrong.

"I pray for the deceased, his family and his loved ones.

"I implore the perpetrators of this shameful killing to realise the futility of their actions, and to call off this senseless campaign."

Church of Ireland

Statement by The Most Revd Alan Harper, Archbishop of Armagh, and the Rt Revd Ken Good, Bishop of Derry and Raphoe.

"There are no words to adequately describe the inhumanity of the murder of a young PSNI officer in Omagh today.

"The cruelty and shame of those who committed this act, either in planting the device or in supplying of information, is displayed to all of the world.

"It has brought needless devastation to the family of this young officer. It is also an act for which those responsible will indeed answer not only to their conscience but to their maker.

"The Church of Ireland community is both proud and indebted to the service of this brave young officer.

"We stand united with his family and hope that our heartfelt prayers and sympathy will bring some comfort in their great loss.

"We offer our deep sympathy and support to the family and to his colleagues and friends and we call on all people of faith to hold them in their prayers; and we ask everyone to support the PSNI in every way possible as they seek to protect the public and bring to justice the perpetrators of today's heinous crime."

Presbyterian Moderator

Presbyterian Moderator, Dr Norman Hamilton, said: "Today's murder of a PSNI officer is an evil and despicable act by people whose only contribution to society is to bring death and destruction.

"On behalf of the whole Presbyterian community I would offer our condolences to the family, friends and colleagues of the officer and, in assuring them of our prayers, would ask for appropriate prayers to be offered at public worship tomorrow, Sunday.

"The courage and commitment of the PSNI officer who has given his life are the qualities we all must show as we continue to build our shared future together and banish hatred and killing to the past."

Irish President Mary McAleese

"I am deeply shocked and saddened by the callous murder of a young PSNI constable in Omagh this afternoon. My thoughts and prayers are with his family, friends and colleagues at this time.

"This heinous crime will not succeed in its evil intent of destroying the peaceful and democratic future to which the people of Northern Ireland are so clearly committed."

Irish Prime Minister Enda Kenny

The Taoiseach, Enda Kenny, said it was a "heinous and pointless act of terror".

"Those who carried it out want to drag us back to the misery and pain of the past. They are acting in defiance of the Irish people," he said.

They must know that they can never succeed in defeating the democratic will of the people."

Irish Police

The Garda Commissioner, Martin Callinan, has extended his sympathies to the Chief Constable of the PSNI, Matt Baggott.

"Our thoughts are with the family, friends and colleagues of the young police officer whose life was taken so brutally and callously in Omagh this afternoon. Their loss is shared by the entire police family," he said.

"Tonight we in An Garda Siochana stand together with our colleagues in the Police Service of Northern Ireland.

"Our uniforms may be woven from different cloth, but the police on this island are bound together by a shared resolve and determination to bring those responsible for this senseless crime to justice."

Gaelic Athletic Association (GAA)

The GAA said in a statement that the organisation was "deeply saddened" to learn of the attack on Constable Kerr.

"The officer is a member of the GAA and the association extends our deepest sympathy to Ronan's family, friends and colleagues," the statement said.

"It is difficult to comprehend how a young man with the best interests of our community at heart and who contributed so positively to our community could be attacked in this way.

"His death demeans humanity and is detrimental to the development of a shared future based on mutual respect. In a rights-conscious society there is no greater right than the right to life and the need to protect it."

US Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton

US Secretary of State Hilary Clinton said the US government "strongly condemns the appalling murder of the police officer in Omagh, Northern Ireland today".

"The perpetrators of this cowardly act represent the failures of the past, and their actions run counter to the achievements, aspirations, and collective will of the people of Northern Ireland," she said.

"Our thoughts are with the family and loved ones of this young man who lost his life because of his decision to serve the entire community.

"We echo the unequivocal condemnations by Northern Ireland's politicians and call on anyone with information to cooperate fully and expediently with the Police Service of Northern Ireland."

Sinn Fein

Sinn Fein President, Gerry Adams, sent his condolences to the family of the police officer.

"Sinn Fein is determined that those responsible will not set back the progress of the peace and political process," he said.

Martin McGuinness: "The people who carried out this terrible act have nothing to offer our community"

Deputy First Minister, Martin McGuinness, said his thoughts and prayers were foremost with the family, friends and colleagues of this young police officer.

"In joining the PSNI this young man sought to protect and serve the community; to be part of defining a better future for us all," he said.

"Whoever carried out this act offer nothing to the community and have no role to play in our future.

"They have betrayed the community and set themselves against the will of the people of Ireland. No cause is served by this act and let no excuse be acknowledged."

"While those behind this act seek to promote division and conflict let us state clearly, they will fail. The process of peace building will continue and the community is united in rejection of them."

Democratic Unionist Party

Northern Ireland First Minister Peter Robinson said the attack was "an evil act from a very small section of the community".

"They want to do as much as they can to disrupt our democratic process with elections underway and I believe the whole community will stand up and stand against them," he said.

"I think it is fairly clear that we are talking about a very miniscule group. Of course a very small group of people can cause a lot of chaos.

"But people can't carry out this sort of activity without somebody noticing what was going on. I do urge the community to give us the information so police can apprehend them."

Lord Bannside said: "The brutal killing of a young police officer in Omagh this afternoon strikes pain and sorrow in the hearts of all right-thinking people.

"Those who planned and perpetrated this act of murder must be hounded down and dealt with by the full rigours of the law."

DUP Policing Board member, Jonathan Bell, said he was "devastated" at news of the police officer's death.

"Tears stream down my face as I look upon a young hero murdered serving this entire community," he said.

"This officer showed us all what the bible refers to as the greater love hath no one than this than a man will lay down his life for his friends."

Omagh DUP Councillor, Errol Thompson, said he believed dissident republicans were responsible for the attack.

"I think these people are trying to knock the peace process back, especially in terms of the forthcoming elections," he said.

"It doesn't take a lot of support for them to carry out these kinds of attacks, but they will not pull this country back, we are moving forward."

Social Democratic and Labour Party

SDLP Chairman, Joe Byrne, who was at the scene in Omagh, said it was a brutal attack.

"Those responsible have no support in the town of Omagh. Nobody wants them," he said.

"Omagh is a mixed town and we're proud of our Catholic police officers. The amount of anger and stunned sadness from across every section of the community shows that."

"It has made the community of Omagh more committed to peace. My sincerest sympathies go to the young police officer's family."

SDLP leader Margaret Ritchie has also condemned the attack.

Traditional Unionist Voice

In a joint statement, TUV Leader Jim Allister and security spokesman Alex Elliott, said the attack "underscored the depth of the continuing threat from republican terrorists".

"Sadly, we fear the province is ill-prepared for an upsurge in such terror because of the rundown in security implemented at Sinn Fein's behest and facilitated by those ever ready to meet their every demand."

Ulster Unionist Party

UUP leader, Tom Elliott, called the attack "evil and cowardly".

"The people responsible for the attack have one aim and one aim alone - to take Northern Ireland back to the dark days of the past. All of us have a duty to ensure they do not succeed," he said.

"The deliberate targeting of a new recruit to the police by these criminals is utterly reprehensible and I would call on anyone with any information regarding the attack to come forward to the police immediately."

Alliance Party

Alliance party leader and Minister of Justice David Ford said that people across Ireland would be sickened by the killing of the officer.

"Those responsible for the murder have nothing to offer the people of Northern Ireland but heartache and suffering," he said.

"I know the disgust and hurt many will feel at this act and would ask anyone with information which could bring those responsible to justice to tell the PSNI immediately."

Alliance party justice spokesperson Stephen Farry said the "thoughts and prayers of people" across Northern Ireland would be with the officer's family.

"This was a most despicable and cowardly attack. It is more than just an attack on an individual police officer but an attack on the entire community," he said.

Northern Ireland Liberal Democrats

NI Liberal Democrats Chairman, Michael Carchrie Campbell, described the perpetrators as terrorists.

"They must be aware that the vast majority of people in Northern Ireland do not want us to go back to the days before the peace agreement. We must stand firm against this latest act of terrorism.

"As Northern Ireland prepares to go to the polls to elect new councillors, new MLAs and to vote in the Referendum on the voting system for Parliament on May 5th, we are looking forward to a freer, fairer, and more open society, not one of fear and worry.

"My thoughts and prayers are with the family, friends, and colleagues at this time and in the days to come."

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