KATE Carroll has taken the foundation set up in memory of her late husband UK-wide following a launch at Durham University.
Along with former Banbridge Academy students, Enya Doyle, aged 18, who is studying BA Music and Lauren Sloan, aged 19 and who is studing law, they are helping to establish a programme of peace lectures at UK universities, and to set up peace societies in schools across Northern Ireland and parts of the Republic of Ireland. Both students are studying at Durham.
Four years ago, the students set up a music and campaign group in response to the murder in 2009 of Constable Steve Carroll, the first police officer to be murdered in Northern Ireland since the Good Friday Agreement.
Their cross-community Celtic music group, called ‘Not in My Name’, inspired a mass protest movement following the murder of Constable Ronan Kerr, in 2011, when tens of thousands of people attended a rally for peace and held up placards saying ‘Not in my Name’, calling for an end to violence.
The new peace network’s launch event in England is part of the Josephine Butler College 2013 Seminar Series at Durham University.
Enya and Lauren, the first two youth ambassadors for the Steve Carroll Foundation, spoke about their ‘Not in My Name’ campaign experiences and their work with the Steve Carroll Foundation.
Kate also attended the Durham launch event to highlight the work she has begun in setting up the foundation.
Lauren said: “The event offered an insight into one of the most prominent conflict situations of recent decades. Kate told her own story and her first-hand experience of tragedy, and the trial and conviction of her husband’s murderers.
“This is a new opportunity to discuss on-going issues and solutions, especially in the wake of the recent flag protests in Belfast.”
Music student, Enya Doyle, is a recipient of the Vice-Chancellor’s Scholarship for Music at Durham University. She said: “‘Not in my Name’ developed a particular repertoire of music, including tunes and songs from all communities (including Celtic, Ulster Scots and Irish traditional music), to send out a message of hope andto promote peace and justice across Northern Ireland through concerts.”
Kate added, “It was a real privilege for me to be invited to Durham University to speak about the Steve Carroll Foundation and our hopes for peace in Northern Ireland. At the launch of the foundation last month, I promised to take a message of hope across schools and universities.
“It is totally appropriate that my first visit was to Durham, where two of the foundation’s dedicated Youth Ambassadors are current students. It is also fitting that this is the University that gave Northern Ireland Mo Mowlam – a former student at Trevelyan College who courageously brokered the Good Friday Agreement.
“The North East is a region that has also been directly impacted upon by our turbulent troubles and I have shared the pain felt by the family of the first soldier killed in Northern Ireland, in 1971, Gunner Robert Curtis from Gateshead.”
The students, working with the Steve Carroll Foundation, now aim to establish Beacon of Hope Peace Societies in schools and universities to encourage young people to promote peaceful solutions to conflicts.