Community unites to say goodbye to murdered Catholic policeman
Crowds gather for funeral of Ronan Kerr
His coffin was carried first by members of his local GAA club then by a top level GAA congregation including President Christy Cooney and Tyrone manager Mickey Harte before it was finally transferred to his police colleagues in a unique show of solidarity.
Kerr was mourned by his mother Nuala, his sister Dairine and brothers Cathair and Aaron.
Family and friends were joined for the service by the four main church leaders and by MPs, TDs and Assembly members from the main parties, representatives of the Irish and British governments, senior sports figures and the heads of the PSNI and the Republic’s police force.
President Mary McAleese was represented by her aide-de-camp Michael McMahon. Britain’s Queen Elizabeth was also represented.
Local priest Fr Skinnader, in his homily, said: “Ronan left a legacy of love. He had a sharp sense of wit. He loved his Gaelic football. He loved his new career.
“Seeing him sitting behind the wheel of his police car I said to myself, ‘There is the new face of Northern Ireland’. He wanted to be of service to others and working for the good of the entire community.
“He and his generation are proud of their culture, tradition and faith – without walls or barriers. It is inclusive, not exclusive. It unites rather than divides.”
Irish Prime Minister Enda Kenny told The Irish Times: “Ireland has united in its opposition to the dissidents responsible for this death.
“I have been at many funerals over the years but this one, symbolically, was as powerful as you could get. Every strata of Irish society across this island was represented here.”
Irish Minister for Justice Alan Shatter said: “Our Government will stop at nothing, within the rule of law, to defeat these groups.”
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