‘Craigavon two’ posters cause ‘distress and anxiety’ to family of murdered PSNI officer Stephen Carroll

Posters branding the convicted murderers Brendan McConville and John Paul Wootton ‘innocent’ are causing “anxiety and distress” to the family of slain PSNI constable Stephen Carroll.

Friday, 9th April 2021, 5:57 pm
Updated Friday, 9th April 2021, 5:57 pm
Poster erected in Pomeroy, Co Tyrone

That is according to the victims’ organisation Innocent Victims United spokesperson Kenny Donaldson, who urged those responsible for the posters to “desist”.

Stephen Carroll became the first serving police officer to be killed since the Belfast Agreement when he was shot dead in March 2009.

He was responding to a 999 call in Craigavon when the ambush gun attack took place.

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There was an outpouring of grief and anger following the murder, which came just two days after two off-duty soldiers were shot dead outside Massereene Barracks in Co Antrim.

In 2012, Brendan McConville and John Paul Wootton were convicted of the murder and jailed for life.

A legal bid against the convictions failed in 2014.

Meanwhile, supporters have campaigned to have the pair freed.

Kenny Donaldson pointed to a poster erected in Pomeroy in Co Tyrone as something that “will cause anxiety and distress once more to the family of Constable Stephen Carroll and many other innocent victims/survivors of terrorism.

“Let’s be clear of the truth of these issues; Brendan McConville and John Paul Wootton were convicted of the brutal murder of Constable Stephen Carroll on the 9th of March, 2009.

“What I would hear Kate [Stephen Carroll’s widow] saying quite regularly is that these two were convicted in a court of law, so why is this continuing to be played out in this manner?

“Every time she sees something it is a constant reminder. There’s never any settling of it for her. That’s being denied to her.”

Mr Donaldson added: “We call on those responsible for erecting these posters to desist.

“Your actions are having the impact of causing additional stress and harm to those who have already suffered damage at the hands of those convicted within a legitimate court of law where due process was followed.

“This poster and any others erected should be removed without further delay.

“End the psychological torture of innocent victims and survivors of terrorism who, surely, have suffered enough”.