ULSTER Unionist MLA Jo-Anne Dobson has poured praise on all those involved in last week’s Stormont launch of the Steve Carroll Foundation, describing the initiative as “inspirational”.
Jo-Anne, who hosted the event in Parliament Buildings, said it was “an honour and a privilege” to be part of the launch for the foundation set up by Mr Carroll’s widow, Kate.
Mrs Carroll said she wanted to devise a meaningful way of keeping her murdered PSNI husband’s memory alive and at the same time reach out to young people to help them forge a better, peaceful future in Northern Ireland.
Constable Carroll from Banbridge was shot dead by the Continutiy IRA in Craigavon while responding to a 999 call in 2009. He was the first PSNI officer to be killed since the newly-named force was established.
“It was both an honour and a privilege for me to host the launch of this Foundation,” said Jo-Anne. “It has been born out of tragedy, but through its ‘Beacon of Hope’ awards, it promises to shine brightly in the search for peace and social justice for Northern Ireland.”
The MLA said she applauded Kate and all those involved in organising the event which saw people travel from across the world to Northern Ireland.
“It was truly inspirational to listen to the young people, including Gemma McCurdy, Lauren Sloan and Enya Doyle, who spoke so well about their hopes for peace,” she added.
“The choice of music, which was so ably played by Diane Robinson from Banbridge Academy and her pupils, was extremely appropriate to the Foundation launch and to hear young piper, Rebecca Armstrong, play ‘Highland Cathedral’ as she walked through the Long Gallery was truly moving.”
The evening concluded with ‘Hallelujah’ which was sung by Paula Jordan and Lynn Laverty.
The Foundation aims to promote young people who are helping to bring a lasting peace to Northern Ireland and details are available on both Facebook and Twitter.