This afternoon I attended a vigil at City Hall for murdered policeman Ronan Kerr. News of his death has received enormous media coverage around the world due to the fact that Ronan was targeted by a car-bomb attack.Ronan's funeral took place today in his home-town of Omagh, but the memorial was important for those living in Northern Ireland's capital, a place where so many officers lost their lives during the Troubles. This city has made great strides in recent years, with yours truly touting pride at the cultural boost it is currently experiencing due to the Belfast Film Festival. As tragic as it is to see Ronan's life cut short in such a callous, cowardly way, I was moved to see such a large crowd gather today in support of this young man and in support of Belfast's continued efforts to move forward.
Themes of progress were rife, with the opening speaker declaring, "We are also here to reiterate our message that the Trade Union Movement unreservedly condemn violence, whatever the source, and reassert our right, the right of every worker to go to and from their place of work without fear or violence - and without fear of the threat of violence".Finally, Pamela Dooley, the Vice Chair of the Northern Ireland Committee of the Irish Congress Trade Union, insisted that "We will not permit the clock to be turned back... [by] the enemies of peace" before the vigil was brought to a close with a one minute silence.