Ray of hope amidst the despair

On the day of Ronan Kerr's funeral, there was a glimmer of hope for the future, with new research showing the wider community in Northern Ireland is seeking greater integration between communities.

Northern Ireland displayed a united front at the funeral of Policeman Ronan Kerr today, the whole country united in mourning, with first minister Peter Robinson, deputy first minister Martin McGuinness and Gerry Adams shoulder-to-shoulder at the funeral.


This afternoon, police investigating Ronan’s murder arrested a 26-year-old man in Scotland, and uncovered a significant arms cache in Coalisland, County Tyrone.

There was a glimmer of hope for the future, however, with new research suggesting that the wider community in Northern Ireland is seeking greater integration between communities. The research (pdf), carried out by IPSOS MORI for the Integrated Education Fund, found that 88% of respondents in Northern Ireland said they supported integrated education, bringing children across the communities together.

Reacting to the findings, Integrated Education Fund chief executive Tina Merron said:

“The new Executive can get to work on education, confident in the awareness that the appetite for shared and integrated education is growing, and that parents support schools which accommodate and value all cultures and backgrounds.

“There is a clear message that, if the new Executive yet again fails to achieve what it was elected to achieve, an independent commission should be instigated and set to work examining and re-designing our education system.”

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