Kate wants Carroll killer prison visit

Published Thursday, 31 May 2012
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The widow of police officer Constable Stephen Carroll has told UTV she wants to visit one of his killers in prison, to find out what drove him to be involved in the dissident republican murder of her husband.

Kate wants Carroll killer prison visit
Kate Carroll holds a treasured picture of her murdered husband Stephen. (© Pacemaker)

Kate Carroll has also agreed to talk with Brendan McConville's parents, less than two weeks after their son was jailed for 25 years over the fatal gun attack on police answering a 999-call in Craigavon in March 2009.

"I know that Mrs McConville has sort of naive optimism about her son, as any mother would have - I would want to believe that my son was innocent - but all the evidence is pointing that he's guilty," Kate said on Thursday.

"The evidence has been scrutinised by one of the top judges in Northern Ireland and I can't see how, bless her, she thinks he's not guilty."

I would want to find out what makes good people turn bad.

Kate Carroll

Brendan McConville's mother and father asked if they could meet Constable Carroll's widow and told UTV they had wanted to speak to her throughout the murder trial, but had accepted that it wouldn't have been appropriate.

"I'd just like to sympathise with her about her husband and I'd like to let her know that my son is innocent - that he didn't do it. I'm sure she'd rather get to see the person who did do it convicted," Eileen McConville said.

"We did sympathise with her. And even Brendan had said to me many a time that he felt really sorry for her and for her husband.

"He said: 'I'm sitting here and nobody cares about me, but I do feel sorry for her.'"

Her 41-year-old son, a former Sinn Féin councillor, spent nearly three years on remand before being convicted of carrying out the fatal gun attack alongside his 21-year-old accomplice John Paul Wootton - whose subsequent 14-year minimum jail term sparked outrage and could yet be appealed.

Constable Carroll died after being shot in the head by an AK-47 assault rifle, when he and his colleagues were lured to the Lismore Manor area on the night of the attack.

We feel that no one has the right to take a life.

William McConville

"We know what's she's going through - my brother was shot dead by loyalists in his own house because of his job. I know what his wife went through ... My mum, she never got over it," Eileen McConville added.

Brendan McConville's father William said he thought it might help both his family and Kate Carroll if they were to meet and talk - he also thought it would be a good idea for Kate to visit his son in prison.

"I think Brendan would talk to her and would be very happy to talk to her - I could see no problem with that," he said.

Kate also said she thought it would be the best way forward and a chance to get the answers she needs.

"I think this could be a symbol of what's to come in the future, if people could just sit down and talk to each other," she said. "I want to go there and ask him why he killed my husband, why he was involved.

"What drives somebody to kill another person?"

© UTV News
Comments Comments
14 Comments
maggie in north of ireland wrote (909 days ago):
Big Jim.Kate possibly has to be seen taking a stand against the terrorists. Evil provails when good men do nothing. Many RUC widows would have felt like doing something like this to prevent acts of murder. When a police officer has made sacrifice than it would be the hope of the family that no other families would have to deal with this.Speaking to the would be murderer and explaining why her husband felt it was his duty to join the RUC first then the PSNI and protect and why he should not have been murdered because of politics is the only way she can help. Standing back she is powerless to do anything but I believe she is "casting pearls before swine" meaning these people do not understand the concept of good
Paul in Derry wrote (909 days ago):
@Moon Probably because the RUC didn't murder her husband, dissident criminals did. @ the people calling her an attention seeker Trying to get some closure for her husbands pointless and hate-driven murder is something she’s entitled to. Pity you’re so hate-driven or just too unfeeling to realise that. Far from seeking attention, she is working in the background to try and make sure the same thing doesn't happen to other police officers. Far from taking the easy option and doing nothing like most people would, this is Kate's way of trying to bring about peace and reconciliation. Shame on anyone who accuses this woman of using her husband’s death as some sort of promotional stunt for self gratification. If one of your loved ones had been murdered by thugs still roaming the country with guns, wouldn’t you want to do something about it. I wonder how many of the people calling her an attention seeker are just actually uncomfortable with seeing their dissident mates painted in a poor light and forced to face the outrage of the decent people of this country. Kate remains an inconvenient truth for you and constantly reminds you you are nothing more than criminals that nobody wants any more. You just wish she would go away so you could go back to your wee fantasy land where you think of yourselves as heros and freedom fighters. Well you’re not, your criminals and scum and thank god for people like Kate who show you up for being just that!
Concerned Parent Lurgan in Lurgan wrote (909 days ago):
Kate Carroll is making a atand here for peace. She made a promise soon after Steve was murdered that she would go anywhere and talk to anyone. So she is damned if she does and damned if she doesn't! She is a mother and was an ordinary local housewife and I have no doubt she would prefer on this bank holiday weekend to be preparing for a some time away with the man she loves. Whether these visits make a difference to the people concerned is not as important as the message she is trying to convey which is stand up for peace and support your local police by reporting criminal activity. I admire her courage and have no doubt that the media circus she has been thrown into is not one that she enjoys. My distaste is directed at Steve killers and personally I would not have the courage to do what she is about to do but I support her fully in this and the invaluable work she is doing with young people here.
Big Jim in Fermanagh wrote (909 days ago):
Many people have tried to persuade terrorists and klllers away from their evil pathes and most have failed. Whilst I would like to think that Kate will have more luck in this task than all those that have tried in the past, I feel it is unlikely. I still maintain that Mrs carroll has kept herself in the limelight over over two years since her husbands sad death and I ant really see why. And this deries of wanting to meet the terrorists parents; wanting to meet the terrorist himself in jail- these episodes are only the latest `stunts` to keep her there. No matter how it is dressed up, I dont think it is a normal way to behave for a grieving widow.
J R in B/bridge wrote (910 days ago):
I knew Stevie very well,and it came to me a massive blow when I heard that he lost his life,this bringing the total to six of my friends being killed within the police force.I wish Kate will reconsider her point of veiw on this,I do not blame the parents of this evil man convicted of murder,however the mother just has not released yet her son is a convicted murderer of Stevie.Kate does not have to put herself in front of these people to hear this,she has come through alot and will do for the rest of her life,and as for meeting this for want of a better word scumbag in prison NO,he went out to kill a police officer/officers that night he knew what he was doing right down to planning how to get the police to drive in to the area.Kate should think about this more and ask herself what would Stevie do,I know what he would have done-leave it as it is.Stevie was a very easy going kind gentleman and fair to all he met when dealing with the public.Kate please dont put yourself through these planned meetings,there is no point in meeting and asking this scumbag any questions let him stay in his prison cell,he is not now the big man he was when he pulled a triger of a gun to kill Stevie,hes in a cell for 25 years(he should of got more) and if Kate meets him I feel it may put her over the edge.There are alot of RUC widows and familys out there as well and they just let justice take its course and please Kate leave it a it is.
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