Ronan Kerr was murdered by a Real IRA gang as he made his way to work in County Tyrone last yearGoogle Images

The family of a policeman killed by dissident Republicans in Northern Ireland have appealed for more Catholics to join the force.

Ronan Kerr was murdered by a Real IRA gang as he made his way to work in County Tyrone last year.

The Catholic officer died when a bomb placed under his car exploded outside his family home.

As the first anniversary of his death approaches, his mother Nuala and brother Cathair have appealed for his killers to be caught and for more Catholics to join the Police Service of Northern Ireland.

“My son’s killers need to be caught, there are people in the community who can help my family get justice,” said Nuala Kerr, a year after her 25-year-old son lost his life.

Constable Kerr’s mother also appealed to Catholics to follow her son’s lead and join the Northern Ireland police force.

She added: “Catholics should continue to join the police, it is the only way forward.

“If they do join up then the dissident republicans who killed my son will have failed in their objective, achieved absolutely nothing and should stop what they’re doing.”

Ronan Kerr’s brother Cathair also appealed for help in capturing his killers.

“It could save another life,” he told the Irish Independent. “If they can take Ronan’s life, they can take someone else’s. That’s the main thing. It’s not going to bring Ronan back but it could save someone else.”

Kerr’s brother also said the thousands of messages of support were, and remain, a great source of comfort to the family.

He said: “We got cards from everywhere - France, Australia, America, even famous people like Liam Neeson took time out of their busy lives to write letters.

“It was good to know everyone was on your side.”
Like his mother, Cathair Kerr has appealed to Catholics to join the PSNI.

“Lots of people said to me it’s made them more determined to join the police,” he revealed to the paper. “It just shows killing people is not going to make any difference.

“It’s okay to have different political views but murder is always wrong, it’s never right.”