Published Thursday, 31 May 2012
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.
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.
"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