A SENIOR PSNI officer says people who lived in the same community as a murdered police officer are the “key” to catching his killers.
DCI Una Jennings said on the fourth anniversary of Ronan Kerr’s murder in Omagh, Co Tyrone that although it is a “lengthy and complicated investigation” it still has the “potential” to see people before the courts.
No-one has been charged and convicted with his murder as yet
But Detective Chief Inspector Una Jennings, from the Serious Crime Branch, said: “Although a significant amount of progress has been made, the key to putting people before a court charged with Ronan’s murder lies with local communities in Omagh and east Tyrone.”
She added that the 25-year-old’s family are still devastated by the death and that she is determined to catch his killers.
Constable Kerr, a Catholic and GAA enthusiast was killed as he left his apartment at Highfield Close in Omagh at about 3.45 pm on Saturday April 2 2011.
The newly qualified officer had been on his way to work in Enniskillen, Co Fermanagh.
DCI Jennings says the young officer’s family are still struggling to come to terms with their loss.
“Ronan’s murder is as devastating for his family today as it was four years ago.
“Their pain remains so devastating that they feel unable to talk publicly about their plight on the fourth anniversary.”
As part of the large-scale and complex investigation mounted in the wake of the murder, 8,203 items have been seized; 15,539 individuals have been spoken to; 12,754 investigative actions have been generated and 122 house, vehicle and land searches have been carried out.
Eighteen people have also been arrested and one person has been jailed for weapons offences linked to the wider probe, police have revealed.
The bomb attack has been linked to a number of other incidents including the attempted murders of two PSNI constables in Castlederg, Co Tyrone, in 2008 and Randalstown in 2010.
In both cases the policemen suffered serious injuries.
And, the same dissident republican gang is believed to have planted a bomb at the headquarters of the Northern Ireland Policing Board which scrutinises the work of the PSNI in 2009.
Ms Jennings said: “From the early days of the investigation, we said this was going to be a long-term inquiry with Ronan’s murder at its core but incorporating several linked incidents including attempts to murder other police officers, a bomb attack, arms finds and armed robberies.
“It has proved to be an extremely large investigation but one which still has the potential to be concluded by charging suspects.
“We have made progress and we believe there is potential to bring other individuals before the courts.
“But we are realistic and we recognise the considerable challenges remaining in this lengthy and complicated investigation.”