Widow of RUC man Douglas Carrothers: I’ll never forget having to tell the children their father was dead

The 30th anniversary of an RUC man’s murder in Fermanagh is being marked today.

Monday, 17th May 2021, 12:01 am
Phyllis Carrothers holds a photograph of her late husband Dougie

Reserve Constable Douglas Carrothers, known as Dougie, was killed on May 17 1991, outside his home in Lisbellaw, where he had recently moved with his wife Phyllis and three children.

Kenny Donaldson of the victims’ group South East Fermanagh Foundation (SEFF) said: “Dougie Carrothers was aged just 41 years when the Provisional IRA took the decision to extinguish his life. Dougie was murdered in an under-car bomb attack.

“The Carrothers family had been advised by the authorities to move from their previous home in Brookeborough after retired RUC Reservist Cullen Stevenson (a close family friend) was murdered in the area just a few months previously.”

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Mr Donaldson, who is SEFF’s director of services, said: “The Carrothers family have been members of our organisation since it was first formed back in the late 1990s, they epitomise the very best of Ulster folk; hard workers, God-fearing people with a strong commitment to serving others.”

Speaking within SEFF’s ‘I’ll Never Forget’ publication, Dougie’s widow Phyllis recalled: “That is a day I will never forget – the day my husband was so brutally taken from me, and I was catapulted into the role of provider and head of our family. I had to fulfil those roles for our three children who were deprived of a father.

“I will never forget the afternoon that I had to break the news to my children that their father was dead ... It hurts me deeply every time the word ‘atrocity’ is attributed to the loss of multiple lives in a single incident and very seldom to single murders.”

Mr Donaldson appealed for information to help find the killers of “a good man [who] was taken away by cowards motivated by sectarian and ethnic hatred”.

From 11am today SEFF’s Facebook page will have a tribute film to Mr Carrothers.