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PSNI close to Ronan Kerr charges as man sentenced over guns and explosive find

PSNI constable Kerr was killed by a booby-trap bomb in his car in Omagh on Saturday, 2 April 2011.

POLICE INVESTIGATING THE murder of PSNI constable Ronan Kerr have said that they believe they are close to making further charges.

The update was delivered on the day a 36-year-old was sentenced for a weapons find made three days after the murder.

Officers say that the investigation into the murder is the largest ever undertaken by the force and that they have identified the group they believe carried out the car bomb that killed Kerr in April 2011. They also believe they can link this group to other incidents.

imageGavin Coyle, who was today sentenced to 10 years, leaving Dungannon Magistrates Court in 2011. (Pic: Niall Carson/PA Wire)

The PSNI’s assistant chief constable for crime operations Drew Harris described the investigation into the murder as “lengthy and complicated”:

Although we have yet to bring charges for Ronan’s murder, this investigation, which is the largest in the PSNI’s history, is far from over. Detectives in serious crime branch have linked a total of 17 incidents to the same network of individuals and terrorist groupings. These include attempts to murder other police officers, a bomb attack, arms finds and armed robberies.

“We have made progress and we believe there is potential to bring other individuals before the courts. But we are not complacent,” added Harris.

PSNI constable Kerr was killed when booby-trap bomb went off after he got into his car at Highfield Close in Omagh on Saturday, 2 April 2011.

The PSNI say that the resultant investigation has led to 14 arrests, 123 house searches and the seizure of 7,947 items.

Coalisland guns and explosive seizure

The update on the investigation was provided by the PSNI as 36-year-old Gavin Coyle, of Culmore Road, Omagh, was sentenced to a total of 10 years after admitting having guns and explosives with intent to endanger life and being a member of the IRA. Five years will be in custody with five on licence.

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The arms and explosives, which included assault rifles and Semtex, were uncovered by detectives in premises at Mountjoy Road, Coalisland, Co Tyrone three days after the murder of  Kerr in April 2011.

Following Coyle’s sentencing, PSNI officers have released a number of photos of the items seized that led to his conviction.

PSNI close to Ronan Kerr charges as man sentenced over guns and explosive find
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  • Ronan Kerr investigation

    Assault rifle from Mountjoy Road seizure
  • Ronan Kerr investigation

    A bomb timer power unit also found.
  • Ronan Kerr investigation

    An incendiary device.
  • Ronan Kerr investigation

    Exterior of premises at Mountjoy Road, Coalisland in April 2011
  • Ronan Kerr investigation

    Interior of premises and what police found there
  • Ronan Kerr investigation

    Source: Niall Carson / PA Wire

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Rónán Duffy

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