Kate will not be silenced by dissident merger

Kate Carroll
Kate Carroll

POLICE widow Kate Carroll said the merger of three dissident republican groups and their renewed threat of violence will not frighten her off from speaking out against their actions.

The Banbridge woman said her husband’s murder in March 2009, followed by Ronan Kerr’s death the following year have “achieved nothing except inflicting the ultimate hurt on their families”.

Last week the Real IRA, Republican Action Against Drugs (RAAD) and another faction without a name announced they would operate as one.

The group, which said it believed there is a “necessity for armed stuggle”, repeated a threat against security forces.

Constable Stephen Carroll was shot in the head as he sat in a police car in Craigavon during an emergency call-out.

During his trial it was said the killers - believed to have been part of the Continuity IRA - had lured him into a trap in a bid to kill any police officer they could.

Mrs Carroll, who has previously indicated she would meet with dissidents, said that while the move was disturbing it was not a shock.

“I would say I am unshockable,” she told the Leader. “Nothing can ever shock me as much as the day in March three years ago I was told my husband had been killed.

“I find this new announcement infuriating and frustrating though. These people are claiming to represent the people in whatever their aim is.

“That is not true. I believe the majority of people do not want this.”

The local woman, who saw two of her husband’s killers convicted earlier this year, said she will not be silenced.

“Those people do not speak for me,” she said, “I have a voice and I will continue to speak out. They speak anonymously, they are not brave enough to reveal who they are.

“But I will speak out as long as I think there is any chance of changing someone’s mind. Violence is never acceptable, in any circumstance.”

Jeffrey Donaldson MP said the merger is nothing more than an attempt to make headlines.

“This statement is an attempt to get publicity,” he said. “Regardless of the brand of republicanism their terror is wrong and will not win.”