Kate Carroll to meet McConville's parents

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KATE Carroll is to meet the parents of one of her husband's killers after they heard of her sympathy for them following the murder conviction earlier this year.

The parents of 41-year-old Brendan McConville have expressed their wish to meet the widow of Banbridge policeman Stephen Carroll after hearing her selfless words of sympathy following the two-month trial.

Speaking exclusively to the Leader at the end of March Kate said she felt sorry for McConville's parents, who acknowledged her on a few occasions in the public gallery during the trial.

She said: "They seemed like decent people to me. They acknowledged me twice with a nod and a slight smile and I did the same back. I feel sorry for them that, through no fault of their own, they have now lost a son."

Now Kate has expressed her joy at what she feels "could be the start of the healing process in this country".

She told the Leader: "This is what I have wanted - I need to know from them why good people go wrong.

"I am so pleased that I may be able to make something positive out of this all."

McConville was sentenced to a minimum of 25 years in prison, while co-defendant John Paul Wootton was given a 14-year term which has since been referred to the Court of Appeal for review after being criticised for being "too lenient".

Constable Stephen Carroll was shot dead while sitting in a police car during an emergency call-out to a housing estate in Craigavon in March 2009.

For more on this story see Tuesday's Banbridge Leader.