Kerr funeral: A day of contrasts

I caught the last five minutes of Cardinal Brady’s address at Constable Ronan Kerr’s funeral mass on BBC Radio Ulster, you can hear the full address here. I have taken three excerpts and transcribed them,

“There have been many defining moments in the ongoing journey towards reconciliation and peace but today as we honour the courage of this valiant young man may we should all resolve to make this a defining moment in our own lives…let us resolve to do everything in our power to bring about the bright future the young people of this land deserve.

There is now a whole generation of young people who have no memory of the Troubles and the suffering of the past and we should resist the temptation to glamourise the dreadful pain and sorrow of that past. Parents and grand parents I beg you, plead with your children and grand children not to get involved with violence, never let them be deceived by those that say that Ireland will be united or the Union made more secure by war – they are wrong it’s an illusion – violence has nothing, absolutely nothing to offer but misery and destruction choose life I say, choose goodness and peace. …

The presence of so many politicians here today is very much appreciated. Your united and decisive response to Ronan’s death has given us all great inspiration and I hope and believe that Ronan would have been very proud to see political leaders united with such determination to hold onto the peace he gave his life to preserve”

Cardinal Brady was joined by the representatives of the three main Protestant faiths.

This is a day of contrast – here we have a moving and unifying speech given by a senior member of the Roman Catholic faith at a Funeral Mass in front of the majority of Northern Irelands political leaders whilst in the Bogside overnight dissident republican sympathisers were at their work again scrawling

“GAA Cops Look What Use Got, HaHa Ronan”

“Ronan Kerr Who Cares? Noboady Ha Ha”

“2 Down More To Come If You Join The RUC. Use Will Get The Same”.

Community activists and young people from the Bogside removed the graffiti this morning. Earlier the Nolan show had someone phoning in claiming to be an ‘ex republican prisoner’ and calling for republicans to ‘inform’ on the dissidents. I suppose he could have been anyone but he raised an interesting point nonetheless.

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  • JAH

    Whisper it quietly but the North is slowly becoming a Society and one that includes its different dimensions.

  • Jack2

    At least we now know what it takes to persuade a DUP leader to go a Catholic Mass.

    First Ministers salary.
    Defeat in election.
    Questions over financial dealings.
    Holiday home in Florida bleeding money.
    Possibly staring at a further defeat; a softening of stance may encourage more “moderate” voters.
    A young Catholic man blown to bits.
    Huge outpouring of anger worldwide.

    Nice to know if these conditions are fulfilled then and only then will a DUP leader raise his head over the parapet and take a chance in joining with Catholics in Mass.

  • Skinner

    Jack2 – Shouldn’t it be up to him to observe whatever doctrine he sees fit? Why should people be forced to attend religious ceremonies if they consider it to be inconsistent with their beliefs. I’m no fan of PR but it seems people will use any occasion, even when he acts magnimously, to have a go at him. When cynics are wrong they are wrong in the cruelest fashion. Time to grow up.

  • Drumlins Rock

    It was good to see so many come together for the funeral, and hope it can be built on, was wondering were any other senior DUP representative there, local MLA’s & Councillors? Peter made a wise choice, although I can’t see how he could have refused, but there seems to be a resurgence of the Free P wing of the Dupes this election, having had friends kicked out of the Free P church for attending a catholic church I guess many others in his party might not have had that freedom.

  • vanhelsing


    Interesting first post on Slugger – seems a little ironic that you have missed the message of the reconciliation from the post and instead went with the cynical one. I have enough of cynics in NI – prefer people who are looking to the future and who are focused on building a shared society.