The British Prime Minister, Tony Blair, has accused the killers of the Lurgan solicitor, Rosemary Nelson, of trying to wreck the hopes of peace for the vast majority of people in Northern Ireland. Rosemary Nelson was murdered in a car bomb attack on Monday. The attack was claimed by the loyalist paramilitary group, the Red Hand Defenders. At Question Time in the House of Commons this afternoon Mr Blair pledged that everything would be done to bring her killers to justice. He said the killers were loyal to nothing other than their own bigotry and prejudice.

The Catholic Primate, Archbishop Sean Brady, has described the murde as a blow at the heart of the legal and justice system in the North. Speaking at a mass in Armagh, the Archbishop paid tribute to Mrs Nelson for professionally representing people from both traditions. He said until the Good Friday Agreement had been fully implemented it would remain at risk from intransigents on both sides.

The Church of Ireland Primate, Dr Robin Eames, has also condemned Mrs Nelson's killing. Archbishop Eames said he welcomed the appointment of an outside police officer to head the investigation into the killing of the human rights lawyer. Speaking on RTE Radio, Dr Eames described Mrs Nelson's killing as a "dastardly event". He said he believes the killing has dealt the cause of unionism a severe blow.

The Chief Constable of Kent, David Phillips is expected to arrive in the North today to begin his inquiry into the attack. Officials from the Federal Bureau of Investigation have also been called in to try to track down the killers.

The funeral of Mrs Nelson will take place tomorrow. The government will be represented by the Minister for Foreign Affairs, David Andrews. Vigils and demonstrations in protest at her killing were held last night in Lurgan, Derry and Armagh.