"This afternoon in Omagh saw the disgraceful killing of a young PSNI officer who had recently dedicated his life to protecting the people of Northern Ireland.


I have since spoken to Northern Ireland Justice Minister David Ford. I have expressed heartfelt condolences on my own behalf, that of the Government and the Irish people. When we both met recently with the Garda Commissioner and the Chief Constable of the PSNI we recognised the unprecedented level of cooperation that exists between the two Forces. We are determined that this will continue and be enhanced where possible. In particular we know that no effort will be spared in bringing the perpetrators of this dreadful crime to justice.


The Garda Commissioner has briefed me fully on the incident and told me that the revulsion which members of An Garda Siochana feel at the tragic loss of a colleague in the PSNI will reinforce their determination to do everything possible to counteract the threats posed by these groups and do everything they can to help in tracking down these killers.


The people of Omagh have already suffered hugely at the hands of cold-blooded killers. Today's tragic death is a reminder that there remain criminals in our midst who have no aim but to destroy the lives of those around them. However evil their motivation or brutal their tactics they will not succeed in defeating the will of the Irish people. For my part, I pledge again,in honour of the memory of the latest young victim, that nothing will remain undone in the fight against this evil.