The widow of the first police officer to be murdered since the formation of the PSNI has called on politicians to stop “bickering” and “lead us wisely”.
Kate Carroll’s husband, Stephen, was shot dead as he responded to a 999 call in Craigavon on March 9, 2009.
Speaking on the eighth anniversary of his death, on Thursday, the Banbridge woman said she “can’t help fearing for the youth of today and the impact the actions of our politicians recently will have on them”.
“I urge you to take heed, politicians,” she wrote in the Belfast Telegraph. “Life is too short for bickering over who does what, where and when. Believe me, I know that. Today I will be eight years without my wonderful husband.
“He loved life but others took that pleasure from him, so live and let live, learn to compromise and at least coexist.”
Recent attacks on PSNI officers were cowardly, she said.
“They are not just uniforms but men out doing a day’s work.” The attacks show that eight years after her husband’s murder we “are no further on”.
“Wise up people on the Hill and allow us the respect and life we deserve. Lead by example, not tribalism. Stop showering us with your stubborn behaviour.
“Everyone is fed up with it. Try to be impartial and leave the divisions where they belong, in the past.
“I’m so fed up with today’s politics. I can only liken it to listening and watching a show of unruly, spoilt children in a playground. But the fact is that it is our lives and those of our children that you are messing with. For goodness sake put bitterness and bigotry out of politics, leave it where it belongs ... in the past!
“Take this second chance by the scruff of the neck and lead us wisely.”