PSNI chief to meet NI leaders over officer's death

The Chief Constable of the Police Service of Northern Ireland Matt Baggott will meet with political leaders at Stormont today to condemn the attack which killed an officer on Saturday.

The Chief Constable of the Police Service of Northern Ireland Matt Baggott will meet with political leaders at Stormont today to condemn the attack which killed an officer on Saturday.

Twenty-five-year-old Ronan Kerr was killed in Omagh when a bomb detonated under his car .

Dissident republicans are believed to be responsible.

The Government has set aside time in the Dáil tomorrow for statements on the attack.

The young Catholic policeman killed in the booby trap car bomb stood for an end to fear and terror, his mother said.

Ronan Kerr, 25, was a talented GAA footballer in the village of Beragh, deep in the Co Tyrone countryside of rolling fields and country lanes.

From a nationalist community of traditionally hostile views to the security forces, the victim was a new breed, a Catholic recruit and part of the new influx of officers designed to overhaul the image of the police service and reduce the predominance of Protestant members.

He only left training college last December and was living in Omagh, Co Tyrone. He was on his way to his first posting, in Enniskillen, when he was killed.

A great communicator, he talked enthusiastically about his new career, which he had sacrificed his university studies in surveying for. It was to cost him his life.

His mother Nuala said: “We don’t want to go back into the dark days again of fear and terror. We were so proud of Ronan and all that he stood for. Don’t let his death be in vain.”

She said he was a wonderful son and brother, always had a smile and a helping hand for everyone.

“He had all the attributes of a great police officer – fair, empathetic, intelligent, humorous, a great communicator and loyal to all who knew him. And he just loved his work,” she added.

First Minister Peter Robinson said there was an empty feeling to the mourning house.

“He was the kind of communicator that came into the room and threw his arms around whoever was there, he came back and talked to anyone, the very kind of person that the PSNI needs, someone that can communicate on the ground,” he said.

Ronan’s father Brian died some years ago. He leaves two brothers Cathair and Aaron and loving sister Dairine.

He was an outstanding pupil at Christian Brothers school in Omagh, run by the Catholic religious orders.

A young person of immense prospects – those ended in a residential street in Omagh.

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