Kate plans a quiet day of reflection for anniversary
THE heartbroken widow of murdered Banbridge police constable, Stephen Carroll, has planned a quiet, reflective day today (Tuesday), laying wreaths on her husband's grave to mark the first anniversary of his death.
Constable Carroll was shot dead by the Continuity IRA on March 9 last year after he answered a distress call in Craigavon. He was the first policeman to be killed in a terror attack in Northern Ireland in 12 years.
Kate Carroll said she intended to mark the date quietly and privately with close family members, reminiscing and reminding herself of all the happy times she shared with the man she calls her “soulmate” and whose memory she has tirelessly sought to keep alive throughout 2009.
And she also revealed that, one year on, she has forgiven his killers in order that she could “move on” without any bitterness in her heart.
The past year has been one of ceremonies, awards and trips made in Stephen’s honour as Kate exposed herself to the glare of the world’s media in her bid to keep Stephen’s memory alive, while promoting a message of peace and reconciliation to terrorists from whatever quarter.
She will be flying out to New York in a few weeks for St Patrick’s Day as a guest of the New York Police Department, but after this trip for the city’s famous St Patrick’s Day parade, she hopes to take a step back and make 2010 less hectic than the previous year.
“The past year has taken its toll, but while time has flown, it has also stood still,” she told the Leader.
“But no matter how I felt inside, it was a privilege to be able to speak up for Steve in public and let everyone else know what a good man he was.
“I have received messages of support and sympathy from kind-hearted people from around the world and that has been very comforting.”
But while the first anniversary of her beloved husband’s death is undoubtedly a poignant date in the calendar, she said the day, paradoxically feels just like any other, as the pain is always the same .