2 April 2012

**Video onsite

Hundreds of people have taken part in the Omagh half marathon in memory of murdered Catholic policeman Ronan Kerr.

They ran the same route which last year passed by the device, shortly before it detonated and killed the 25-year-old PSNI officer as he sat in his car on 2 April.

His mother Nuala walked with friends and relatives along the 5km route through town centre, while his brother Cathair ran the half marathon.

Memories of Ronan were fresh in their minds.

“You know it happened on marathon day last year that Ronan was killed,” Nuala Kerr told UTV as she was waiting at the starting line on Saturday.

“It’s a fun day out and you have got to make the most of your life and we’re here to run, walk and support Ronan and what he stood for.”

Cathair Kerr said: “My brother Erin wanted to do a half marathon so I said why don’t we do the one on Ronan’s anniversary and I said why don’t we do it for him, in memory of him?

“I’ll be calling to him to help me once I get half way; I’m sure I’ll need it.”

The Kerr family were joined and supported by people wearing tee-shirts which read ‘running for Roney’. The money raised went to a cancer charity.

Of the 2,000 participants nearly 400 people ran in memory of Ronan Kerr.

His mother said: “It’s absolutely brilliant and we’re very thankful and we’re really grateful to everybody who took time out of their lives to come and support us.”

The half-marathon passed the spot in Heighfield Heights were Ronan was killed outside his home by a booby trap bomb planted by dissidents.

Shortly before it exploded, runners and spectators at the 2011 event had been just yards from the deadly device.

“It’s brought back so many memories from last year and things could have been so much different, should have been so much different,” Nuala continued.

“Ronan should be here, he loved running and he could have easily have done the half marathon and it’s just sad that he’s not here amongst us.”

So far no-one has been charged in connection with Ronan Kerr’s murder – but by taking part in the fun run the local community were able to celebrate his life.