March 28 2012

Identifying who rented a garage where a weapons dump was found days after Ronan Kerr’s murder could hold the key to catching his killers, a senior detective has said.

Detective Superintendent Raymond Murray, who is leading the investigation, has issued a specific plea for information about who used the lock-up property in Coalisland, Co Tyrone, ahead of the first anniversary of the dissident republican attack.

Constable Ronan Kerr was killed by a car bomb in Omagh on April 2, 2011

A £50,000 reward remains on offer from the independent charity Crimestoppers for information leading to the arrest and conviction of those responsible for the officer’s murder.

A splinter group claiming it was made up of former members of the Provisional IRA said it killed the newly qualified 25-year-old Catholic officer in Omagh on April 2, 2011.

The Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) believe the murder gang was also responsible for at least nine other dissident republican crimes, including a failed bid to kill another officer in a car bomb attack.

While one man has been charged in relation to the arms, ammunition, explosives and stolen vehicles found at the garage on Coalisland’s Mountjoy Road, no-one has been charged with Constable Kerr’s murder.

Mr Murray said detectives had identified some people who used the garage, but he said they are still looking for others – including those who rented it.

“This is a long-term investigation with Ronan’s murder at its core but incorporating several linked incidents,” he said.

“It is an extremely large investigation which, as we said at the outset, will rely on detail to succeed.

“We believe we have identified some key individuals connected to the discovery at the garage at 187A Mountjoy Road. But we also believe there are other people, both men and women, who remain to be identified. This is an integral part of our investigation. We need to know who was renting these premises and who frequented them.”