£50K To Catch Killers Of Ronan Kerr

The national crime-fighting charity Crimestoppers is offering a cash incentive of up to £50,000 for information that leads to the arrest and conviction of those responsible for the death of PSNI officer, Ronan Kerr.

Labelling the under-car bomb blast a "despicable crime", Deputy Chief Executive Dave Cording said: "Crimestoppers takes all murders and manslaughters extremely seriously.

"In this incident a police officer who was willing to stand up and serve his community has had his life tragically cut short.

"This is a despicable crime, and for that reason a reward of up to £50,000 is being offered to anyone who can supply us with information leading to the arrest and conviction of the person or persons responsible for this crime."

The news came as the PSNI was conducting a detailed forensic investigation of the murder scene and came just hours after the victim's body was returned to his grieving mother's house.

The PSNI's Detective Supt Murray has called for the residents of Highfield Close where the bomb attack took place on Saturday to come forward with information.

"We are working to create a minute-by-minute picture," Mr Murray said. "Somewhere in that picture is the bomber. We need the community's help to identify the killer and their accomplices.

"Amongst ordinary people, living ordinary lives, there was a terrorist who came into that area, invaded those people's peace and planted a bomb that murdered a 25-year-old man.

"We need to establish everything that happened in the Highfield development since teatime on Thursday ... to chart all movements in and out of the development and identify those who made them. That includes residents going in and out, on foot, on a bike, in a car, van or lorry. It also includes delivery drivers, workmen, postmen and staff from utilities companies," he said.

The Requiem Mass will take place tomorrow in the Co Tyrone village of Beragh.

It will provide a symbolic demonstration of cross-community unity in opposition to the violent extremists as the Irish Premier Enda Kenny is expected to attend the service with the outgoing Stormont First Minister, DUP Leader, Peter Robinson and the Sinn Fein Deputy First Minister, Martin McGuinness also in attendance.

Speaking today, Mr Robinson told a meeting of business leaders in Belfast that the murder served only to strengthen the resolution of politicians to make peace work.

"This was an utterly futile act designed to divide and destroy," he said.

"The killers have succeeded in taking the life of a brave police officer but in doing so they have strengthened the resolve of the rest of our society in our commitment never to go back to the division and conflict of the last generation," he said.

Peace Protest

As the funeral takes place, thousands are expected to gather in Belfast city centre at a trade union-organised peace rally to protest against the killing.

Meanwhile, BBC NI has been echoing the disgust felt by the vast majority of people at this second murder of a PSNI officer.

Thousands of listeners tuned in as an emotionally charged interview on the BBC's Five Live show on Sunday was repeated on Stephen Nolan's Radio Ulster programme yesterday morning.

This was a prolonged exchange between an increasingly angry and emotional caller, Adam McCalden and a self-confessed former IRA man 'Edward' who blamed the British presence in Ireland for the bombing even though it killed a GAA playing, Catholic Irishman.

Speaking later, the Glengormley man told the Belfast Telegraph: "It really got to me and has devastated so many people. It's such a big step backwards.

"Ronan is the same age as me as well. My sympathies go out to his family.

"I was just driving along and I heard them talking about this so I decided to ring.

"Before I knew it I was straight through and live on air and I just became emotional," Mr McCalden said, noting that he remains fearful for the future.


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