March 28 2012

The mother of a murdered policeman has insisted his dissident republican killers achieved absolutely nothing.

Preparing to mark the first anniversary of her son Ronan’s death, Nuala Kerr said she felt sorry for those responsible as they would always have to live with the guilt of taking a life.

With no-one yet charged over the attack, she urged the perpetrators to unburden their conscience and hand themselves in.

Constable Kerr, 25, from Beragh, Co Tyrone, died when a booby trap bomb exploded under his car in nearby Omagh on April 2 last year.

Only months into the job, the Catholic gaelic footballer was apparently targeted in a bid to scare other young nationalists from joining Northern Ireland’s new-look police service.

In the wake of the murder, Mrs Kerr made an emotional plea for Catholic trainee recruits and police officers to defy the killers and continue to serve.

Almost 12 months on, the officer’s mother said the killers had failed in their objective and achieved “absolutely nothing”.

“Numerous people have said to me since: ‘my son, my daughter, as soon as recruitment is open again, they are hell bent on joining’,” she said.

“I am delighted for Ronan that at least that is something positive that has come out of this, but unfortunately saddened that Ronan wasn’t there to be one of their mentors to help them along.”

Mrs Kerr, a nurse, said she pities the killers. “I actually feel sorry for people like that being brought up and indoctrinated into the belief that killing somebody is actually going to achieve something,” she said.