Northern Ireland knew sectarian discrimination long after both the Britain and Ireland woke up to the bitterness of taste discrimination; even when it was unlawful to refuse to employ persons on the grounds of race in Britain, it was still 'necessary' to allow Harland & Wolff to refuse to employ a single Catholic at their shipyards. And sectarian policing in the province was not just a matter of discrimination intended to keep the Catholics in poverty - it was a matter of life and death. Extra-judicial murder by the old RUC, and in particular by the 'B' Specials, is ingrained in Catholic folklore, whilst the murder of RUC constables is equally ingrained in Protestant myth.
The formation of the PSNI was a brave and necessary step, and that 30% of the force are now Catholic is testament to a growing 'ownership' of the force on both sides of the sectarian divide. With greater penetration into the Catholic community comes enhanced intelligence about the crime and racketeering gangs that disguise their evil under the badge of republicanism. They are not terrorists, they are scum, no different to the mafia. The murder of Constable Ronan Kerr is no different to the murder of Giovanni Falcone. No Catholic in the province should feel any sectarian loyalty that would hinder them from helping to bring these killers to justice.