logoNorman (Mooch) Kerr


Many thanks to the Irish & Local Studies Library, Armagh for forwarding copy of Times article.
LINK: Tel: 028 37527851


The family of Portadown disco manager, Mr. Norman Kerr, who was gunned to death early on Friday morning in Armagh, spoke yesterday of the tit-for-tat murder madness in Ulster. Shattered by their tragic loss, the Kerrs said that they believed that Norman was murdered as a reprisal for the recent killing of three members of the Miami show band in Banbridge.

"Simply because Norman happened to be a Protestant connected with show business, some madman took it into his head to shoot him" said his father, Mr. Alex Kerr. "It's this tit-for-tat madness that has Ulster in the situation it's in today." And his mother added, "I was proud of Norman. He loved the work he was doing among young people. He mixed with all sections of the community. I just cannot understand why anyone would want to shoot him. And I can't help but wonder what the mother of the gunman feels today."

Norman helped his sister, Mrs. Violet Calvin, run the family business at Church Street and she said "This tit-for-tat business was completely foreign to Norman. He always saw the best in people. If he had survived the bullet, he would probably have told the gunman that everything was OK, and not to worry about it. He was that kind of person, he didn't know the meaning of the word malice."

And his brother Fred, who emigrated to Canada several years ago, said that he found the situation in Ulster utterly tragic. "There seems to be a complete breakdown of law and order here," he said. "People seem to be getting away with lawlessness. Really, I believe that if this breakdown occurred in any society, the same situation would arise."

Throughout the hour-long talk with a 'Times' reporter, the Kerrs never once hinted at any sort of malice towards the murder of their son, rather, the time was filled with fond memories of their own son, who was one of the best-known personalities in the Portadown area. They recalled that he had set up his first disco about eight years ago, a hobby which in later years has become a six night a week profession".

"He took his road show 'One Step Beyond', as he called it to all sorts of functions," said Mr. Kerr, "Sometimes it was a Catholic function, sometimes a Protestant, but usually it was a mixed gathering. He even did a highly successful series for the Army in Armagh and Portadown recently. We often worried about him, but he was a real optimist and always pushed our protests aside. He was a real showbiz man, and believed that the show must go on."

It was the same "show-must-go-on" philosophy that almost certainly cost 29 year old Norman his life. For several weeks before he was killed by a single gunshot in Armagh on Friday morning, his best friends had been trying, in vain, to persuade him to quit his Thursday night date at the Carrick Bar where he died. In recent weeks Norman had been running the 'Carrick' disco date single handed. Up until then three or four friends had helped out with it, but they became uneasy and left it to Mr. Kerr who was known as "DJ Mooch' in the disco world.