Northern Ireland

Ronan Kerr funeral: newspaper editorial reaction

Editorials in Thursday's newspapers reflect on the funeral of PSNI Constable Ronan Kerr, 25, who was killed when a booby-trap bomb exploded under his car in Omagh.

Irish Independent

It was the first time Northern Ireland's First Minister Peter Robinson had attended a Catholic Mass.

The first time any Taoiseach (Irish prime minister) had attended the funeral of a PSNI officer.

The first time a bearer party composed of the upper echelons of the GAA had shared its melancholy task with a PSNI bearer party.

If the terrorists who so callously murdered the Catholic PSNI Constable Ronan Kerr on Saturday thought that they were somehow advancing their cause, then yesterday's funeral should give them cause to think again.

Instead of driving a wedge between nationalists and unionists and between North and South, the aftermath of last weekend's murder has actually brought them closer together.

Belfast Telegraph

The images of young men from the Gaelic Athletic Association and the Police Service of Northern Ireland standing side-by-side in salute to Ronan Kerr's short life should be imprinted on the minds of every person who votes in the forthcoming elections on May 5.

The people voted overwhelmingly in their tears and with their feet yesterday behind his coffin to reject terrorism and support peaceful partnership.

The Irish News

The funeral of Constable Ronan Kerr was chiefly a family occasion but it also conveyed, in the most powerful way, that while a tiny minority wants to go back to conflict, the rest of us are moving forward, building the future, respecting different traditions and upholding a hard won peace.

The sight of senior members of Tyrone GAA carrying the coffin of a police officer murdered by republicans, was just one of the many powerful images on a day full of sadness and grief, but also a day which placed on full display the solidarity, resolve and determination which has marked the response to this dreadful crime.

Belfast News Letter

We came face to face with the past and the present in Northern Ireland yesterday. Constable Ronan Kerr was buried in his home village of Beragh, surrounded by his grieving family and friends, his police colleagues and by unionists and nationalists alike.

It was a dignified, solemn and painfully sad day when the community came together to pay their respects to a brave young man who wanted a better future for the community he served.

Daily Mirror

What more powerful an image do the killers of Ronan Kerr need to see than the men and women of the PSNI and GAA side by side in grief?

What more do they need to witness to realise the futility of their murderous campaign, to realise no one wants it?

The man they killed saw no problem in being a part of both worlds - the police and the Gaelic culture.

The man they killed was the face of the future, the face of the Northern Ireland most of us want to live in.

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