Northern Ireland

PSNI widow offers to enter talks with dissidents

Kate Carroll
Kate Carroll's husband Stephen was shot dead in 2009

The widow of murdered PSNI officer Stephen Carroll has said she is willing to meet with dissident republicans.

Kate Carroll said she would enter talks with members of terrorist groups to find out "what they are trying to achieve".

"I have no objections to speak to anyone if it is going to bring peace about," she said.

The Continuity IRA claimed responsibility for shooting dead Constable Carroll in 2009.

Mrs Carroll said she does not want her husband's death "to be in vain".

She made the comments after Londonderry priest, Fr Michael Canny, said he was prepared to meet with the Real IRA.

The dissident group held a rally in the city on Monday at which it threatened to kill more police officers and opposed the Queen's visit to the Irish Republic next month.

"If Fr Canny wanted me to go with him I would," said Mrs Carroll.

"I would ask them what they have achieved, or what they are trying to achieve.

"Bombing and shooting got us nowhere. Would they not be better to go down the road of talks and lay out their cards on the table and let us live in peace.

"I'm not taking any practical steps at the moment but if someone wants to come and talk to me that's fine.

"I have no objections to speak to anyone. If it's going to bring peace about."

Mrs Carroll said she does not believe dissidents will discuss their issues with the security forces.

"They (dissidents) hate the security forces. There is no way they would engage in talks with them.

"It would have to be neutral people and I call myself neutral because I don't have hate in my heart for anyone."