Northern Ireland

Ronan Kerr murder: Killers 'enemies of peace'

The murderers of PSNI officer Ronan Kerr are waging "a useless war against peace", the NI Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness has said.

He was speaking after meeting PSNI chief Matt Baggott with First Minister Peter Robinson and Justice Minister David Ford on Monday.

Constable Kerr, 25, was killed by a bomb which exploded under his car outside his Omagh home on Saturday.

Police believe dissident republicans were responsible for the attack.

No arrests have been made.

Mr Robinson told the press conference that the County Tyrone attack had "strengthened institutions, united our community and brought politicians closer together".

Chief Constable Baggott said he would not provide details of the police investigation but that the senior investigating officer may speak later on Monday.

Dissident republicans oppose the police service and have targeted officers in both gun and bomb attacks.

Mr Kerr is the second police officer to have been murdered since the Royal Ulster Constabulary became the PSNI in 2001.

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

He played Gaelic football for his local club and his murder has been condemned by the Gaelic Athletic Association.

Image caption Constable Ronan Kerr was killed when a booby-trap car bomb exploded

Tyrone Gaelic footballers held a minute's silence before a match against Kildare at the weekend.

His mother, Nuala, has since urged Catholics not to be deterred from joining the PSNI.

Mr Robinson added: "When you see, not just the statement from the GAA, the minute's silence at their game, but also the respect in which that minute's silence was held, it indicates we have support right across the community."

Mr McGuinness said dissident republicans engaged in violence were "enemies of the peace, enemies of the people of Ireland".

He added that many young nationalists and republicans had joined the police and said he was "as proud of them as Nuala Kerr was of Ronan".

He said he was completely united with Mr Robinson in his support for the police.

"We are not going away. We represent the people. I represent the people of County Tyrone. I represent the people of Ireland," Mr McGuinness said.

"We are the people who will prevail."

Chief Constable Baggott said that he would not be deflected from "doing the things that matter".

"Our commitment remains solid," he added.

Mr Ford said politicians should "follow through on the lead given so strongly by Ronan Kerr's mother".

He added: "We have to stand united and overcome division".

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