Ronan Kerr a ‘beacon of hope’

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Police constable Ronan Kerr was a “beacon of hope” who was murdered by those who “have nothing to offer”, Sheena Jackson writes.

Speaking at St. Mary’s, Limavady on Friday to pupils from schools in the Roe Valley Learning Community, deputy Chief Constable Judith Gillespie said in her short time in the PSNI, PC Ronan Kerr “touched so many lives”. She said those who “plotted’ to plant the bomb under the 25-year-old’s car and “sneak away” had nothing to offer.

“Ronan was a shining example and had a vision for the future and he made a choice which ultimately cost him his life,” she said.

The scenes of members of the GAA standing shoulder to shoulder to members of the PSNI, churches and politicians, gave a message that the “killing was not in their name”, she said. Stressing to pupils the importance of their choices, she said: “You only have one life. Make it count. Ronan Kerr only had one life and he certainly made it count”.

Speaking exclusively to the “Journal”, she said: “I would repeat the words of Cardinal Brady – stop and stop now. You have nothing to offer whatsoever, but misery and destruction so, please, stop. And to those close to those who did this, please use whatever influence you have to tell them to stop.”

She added: “I think everyone wants a police service where they can see their face and their community represented so, regardless of what background you come from, whether it’s Protestant, Catholic or a minority ethnic group you are welcome in the PSNI if you want to make your community a better place and that remains the case. I would encourage anyone who wants to come forward to apply and join the police to give it serious consideration as a career that has real value.”