Murder of Ronan Kerr

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Murder of Ronan Kerr
Part of Dissident Irish Republican campaign
LocationOmagh, County Tyrone, Northern Ireland
Date2 April 2011
1600 BST
TargetRonan Kerr
Attack type

Ronan Kerr was a Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) officer killed by a booby-trap car bomb planted outside his home on 2 April 2011 at Highfield Close, just off the Gortin Road (the B48), near Killyclogher on the northern outskirts of Omagh in County Tyrone.[1] Responsibility for the attack was later claimed by a dissident republican group claiming to be made of former members of the Provisional IRA.[2][3][4]

Constable Kerr was Roman Catholic, a group which at the time constituted approximately 30% of PSNI officers (a proportion recruitment policies were trying to increase),[5] and was 25 at the time of his death. He was a member of a Gaelic Athletic Association club, the Beragh Red Knights. The guard of honour at Kerr's funeral was formed of club members and PSNI officers, a funeral also attended by the leaders of Ireland's four main churches.[6]


His murder was condemned by almost all sections of Northern Irish politics and society as well as bringing international condemnation.[7][8] On 6 April a peace rally was organised in Belfast by the Irish Congress of Trade Unions, which was reported to have been attended by up to 7000 persons.[9] Similar events were held in Omagh, Enniskillen, and London.[10]

BBC Ireland correspondent Mark Simpson commented, in relation to the unified response of the community, "A murder designed to divide people has actually brought them closer together."[6]

Graffiti praising the murder was daubed on walls in predominantly republican areas of Derry.[11]


On 26 July 2011 five men were arrested in connection with the investigation. They were later released.[12]

On 26 November 2012, investigating detectives announced the arrest of a 22-year-old man in Milton Keynes.[13] On 27 November a 39-year-old man in County Tyrone was arrested and questioned.[4]

On 16 May 2017 officers from the PSNI's Serious Crime Branch arrested two men under the Terrorism Act in connection with the murder. A 27-year-old man was arrested in Omagh, and a 40-year-old man was produced into police custody from prison.[14]

In June 2018, a man from Coalisland, County Tyrone, was charged with three terrorism-related charges. These charges were connected to searches in Coalisland in the course of the murder investigation.[15] The charges were dropped in June 2019.[16]


  1. ^ Roberts, Genevieve (3 April 2011). "Booby trap bomb kills policeman in Northern Ireland". The Independent. Retrieved 6 September 2020. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  2. ^ Peter Robinson condemns Ronan Kerr murder claim – 22 April 2011 – BBC News
  3. ^ Former Provos claim Kerr murder and vow more attacks – 22 April 2011 – Belfast Telegraph
  4. ^ a b "Ronan Kerr investigation: Second arrest in latest searches". BBC. 27 November 2012. Retrieved 2 December 2012. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  5. ^ Northern Ireland’s McGuinness Says Dissidents are `Enemies' – 4 April 2011 – Bloomberg
  6. ^ a b Ronan Kerr's killers told: 'In God's name stop' – 6 April 2011 – BBC news
  7. ^ Ronan Kerr murder: Omagh rally a 'message for peace' – BBC News, 10 April 2011
  8. ^ Omagh bombing condemned across Northern Ireland – BBC News, 3 April 2011
  9. ^ Peace rally held after Pc murder – 6 April 2011 – Belfast Telegraph
  10. ^ Thousands Back 'Not In My Name' Rally – 11 April 2011 –
  11. ^ "Ronan Kerr murder: Graffiti lauding bomb 'disgusting'". BBC. 5 April 2012. Retrieved 2 December 2012. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  12. ^ "Timeline of dissident republican activity". BBC News. 26 February 2013. Retrieved 18 October 2013. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  13. ^ "Ronan Kerr murder: Arrest of man in Milton Keynes". BBC. 26 November 2012. Retrieved 26 November 2012. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  14. ^ "PSNI on Twitter". Twitter. Retrieved 16 May 2017.
  15. ^ "Man charged with terrorism offences". BBC News. 20 June 2018. Retrieved 20 August 2018. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  16. ^ "Dissident accused Brian John Carron has case withdrawn". Irish News. 6 June 2019. Retrieved 27 December 2020. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)