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Police widow Kate Carroll in tears after GAA symbol row hits fundraiser

Kate Carroll with a picture of her late husband Stephen
Kate Carroll with a picture of her late husband Stephen
Murdered PSNI officer Stephen Carroll
A Police Service of Northern Ireland officer salutes the coffin of Stephen Paul Carroll as his remains arrive back at his home in Banbridge, Northern Ireland, Wednesday, March, 11, 2009. The PSNI officer was gunned down late Monday by Irish Republican terrorists. Several thousand Catholics and Protestants united in a silent protest Wednesday against the Irish Republican Army dissidents who have put Northern Ireland on edge _ and its peace in doubt _ with deadly attacks that have left three dead since the weekend. (AP Photo/Peter Morrison)
Kate Carroll, the widow of Constable Stephen Paul Carroll, reacts as his coffin arrives at their home Banbridge, Northern Ireland, Wednesday, March, 11, 2009. The Police Service of Northern Ireland officer was gunned down late Monday by Irish Republican terrorists.(AP Photo/Peter Morrison)
A Police Service of Northern Ireland officer salutes the coffin of Constable Stephen Paul Carroll, as it arrives at his home in Banbridge, Northern Ireland, Wednesday, March, 11, 2009. Carroll was gunned down late Monday by Irish Republican terrorists.(AP Photo/Peter Morrison)
Kate Carroll The widow of Stephen Paul Carroll reacts as the remains of Stephen arrive back to his home in Banbridge, Northern Ireland, Wednesday, March, 11, 2009. The Police Service Northern Ireland (PSNI) officer was gunned down late Monday by the Continuity IRA as he sat in a patrol car. (AP Photo/Peter Morrison)
Kate Carroll, the widow of Constable Stephen Paul Carroll, reacts as his coffin arrives at their home Banbridge, Northern Ireland, Wednesday, March, 11, 2009. The PSNI officer was gunned down late Monday by Irish Republican terrorists. (AP Photo/Peter Morrison)
Loyalist Frankie Gallagher at rally in Belfast
Sinn Fein's Paul Maskey at Belfast rally
16-week-old Finn Johnston outside Belfast's City Hall
Thousands attend peace rally at Belfast City Hall
Thousands gather at Belfast City Hall
The scene at Derry's Guildhall Square during the vigil for peace
Guildhall Square during the vigil for peace
Mayor of Derry is the first to sign the Peace Book in the city's Guildhall, followed by longtime civil rights campaigner Ivan Cooper. The book was opened to the public following the vigil that was held in Guildhall Square
Police Service of Northern Ireland officers take up position near Lismore Manor, Craigavon, Northern Ireland, Tuesday, March 10, 2009. A large security presence has begun after a Police Service of Northern Ireland officer was shot dead by suspected Irish Republican terrorists. (AP Photo/Peter Morrison)
Police Service of Northern Ireland officers take up position near Lismore Manor, Craigavon, Northern Ireland, Tuesday, March 10, 2009. A large security presence has begun after a Police Service of Northern Ireland officer was shot dead by suspected Irish Republican terrorists. (AP Photo/Peter Morrison)
Police Service of Northern Ireland officers take up position near Lismore Manor, Craigavon, Northern Ireland, Tuesday, March 10, 2009. A large security presence has begun after a Police Service of Northern Ireland officer was shot dead by suspected Irish Republican terrorists. (AP Photo/Peter Morrison)
Police forensic officers examine the spot were gunmen fired from, with marked bullet casings on the ground, near Lismore Manor, Craigavon, Northern Ireland, Tuesday, March 10, 2009. Irish Republican Army dissidents fatally shot a policeman in the head as he responded to an emergency call, just 48 hours after the killing of two soldiers, Northern Ireland's police commander said Tuesday. (AP Photo / Peter Morrison)
Police forensic officers arrive at the scene of a shooting near Lismore Manor, Craigavon, Northern Ireland, Tuesday, March 10, 2009. Irish Republican Army dissidents fatally shot a policeman in the head as he responded to an emergency call, just 48 hours after the killing of two soldiers, Northern Ireland's police commander said Tuesday. (AP Photo / Peter Morrison)
Police forensic officers attend the shooting scene near Lismore Manor, Craigavon, Northern Ireland, Tuesday, March 10, 2009. Irish Republican Army dissidents fatally shot a policeman in the head as he responded to an emergency call, just 48 hours after the killing of two soldiers, Northern Ireland's police commander said Tuesday. (AP Photo / Peter Morrison)
Police forensic officers examine the Police Service of Northern Ireland car at the scene of the shooting at Lismore Manor, Craigavon, Northern Ireland, Tuesday, March, 10, 2009. Irish Republican Army dissidents fatally shot a policeman in the head as he responded to an emergency call, just 48 hours after the killing of two soldiers, Northern Ireland's police commander said Tuesday. (AP Photo / Peter Morrison)
Police Service of Northern Ireland officers take up position near Lismore Manor, Craigavon, Northern Ireland, Tuesday, March, 10, 2009. A large security presence has begun after a Police Service of Northern Ireland officer was shot dead by suspected Irish Republican terrorists. (AP Photo/Peter Morrison)
A police Service of Northern Ireland officer at Lismore Manor, Craigavon, Northern Ireland, Tuesday, March, 10, 2009. Irish Republican Army dissidents fatally shot a policeman in the head as he responded to an emergency call, just 48 hours after the killing of two soldiers, Northern Ireland's police commander said Tuesday. (AP Photo / Peter Morrison)
Chief Constable Sir Hugh Orde shows his emotions at a press conference after the murder of Stephen Carroll
The shooting is understood to have happened near Lismore High School in Craigavon
Police officers cordon off the area near Lismore Manor, Craigavon, Northern Ireland, Tuesday, March 10, 2009. A large security presence has begun after a Police Service of Northern Ireland officer was shot dead by suspected Irish Republican terrorists. (AP Photo/Peter Morrison)
A police Service of Northern Ireland officer aims his rifle as he takes up position near Lismore Manor, Craigavon, Northern Ireland, Tuesday, March, 10,2009. A large security presence has begun after a Police Service of Northern Ireland officer was shot dead by suspected Irish Republican terrorists. (AP Photo/Peter Morrison)
The scene where a PSNI officer has died following a shooting incident in Craigavon, County Armagh
A Police Service of Northern Ireland officer aims his rifle as he takes up position near Lismore Manor, Craigavon, Northern Ireland, Tuesday, March 10, 2009. A large security presence has begun after a Police Service of Northern Ireland officer was shot dead by suspected Irish Republican terrorists. (AP Photo/Peter Morrison)
A Police Service of Northern Ireland officer aims his rifle as he takes up position near Lismore Manor, Craigavon, Northern Ireland, Tuesday, March 10, 2009. A large security presence has begun after a Police Service of Northern Ireland officer was shot dead by suspected Irish Republican terrorists. (AP Photo/Peter Morrison)
A Police Service of Northern Ireland officer aims his rifle as he takes up position near Lismore Manor, Craigavon, Northern Ireland, Tuesday,March, 10, 2009. A large security presence has begun after a Police Service of Northern Ireland officer was shot dead by suspected Irish Republican terrorists. (AP Photo/Peter Morrison)
A Police Service of Northern Ireland officer takes up position near Lismore Manor, Craigavon, Northern Ireland, Tuesday, March 10, 2009. A large security presence has begun after a Police Service of Northern Ireland officer was shot dead by suspected Irish Republican terrorists. (AP Photo/Peter Morrison)
A Police Service of Northern Ireland officer aims his rifle as he takes up position near Lismore Manor, Craigavon, Northern Ireland, Tuesday, March 10, 2009. A large security presence has begun after a Police Service of Northern Ireland officer was shot dead by suspected Irish Republican terrorists. (AP Photo/Peter Morrison)
Flowers at the scene of the fatal shootings outside Massereene army base
Flowers left at the entrance to Massereene Army Base
Flowers are left at the entrance to Massereene Army Base
A field dresing lies in the bloodsoaked road at the entrance to Massereene Army Base
Graffiti daubed on walls in West Belfast by CIRA supporters showed that all is not well in the republican camp and that dissident republicans are not supportive of latest Sinn Fein and IRA moves. This message on the Falls Road in West Belfast was painted over shortly after the picture was taken...
A woman holds back tears during a prayer service for the soldiers killed at Massereene British Army Barracks in Antrim, Northern Ireland, Sunday, March 8, 2009. Two British soldiers were shot dead late Saturday and four injured by dissident Irish Republican terrorists, the first killing of British troops in Northern Ireland since 1997. Its callousness, in targeting soldiers and civilians alike, appeared calculated to inflame community tensions and undermine Northern Ireland's Catholic-Protestant administration. (AP Photo/Peter Morrison)
The front entrance to the Massereene army barracks in Antrim, west of Belfast, Northern Ireland, is seen Sunday, March, 8, 2009 after two British soldiers were shot to death and four other people wounded in a drive-by ambush that politicians blamed on IRA dissidents. Suspected IRA dissidents who opened fire on British soldiers and pizza delivery men outside an army base shot their victims again as they lay wounded on the ground, police said Sunday. Two soldiers died and four other people, including two men delivering pizzas, remained hospitalized with serious wounds following Saturday night's attack at the entrance to Massereene army barracks in Antrim, west of Belfast. (AP Photo/Peter Morrison)
File pictures of republican dissident group, the Real IRA at a 'training camp' in the border counties of Northern Ireland taken in January 2008
A police officer patrols outside the Massereene army barracks in Antrim, west of Belfast, Northern Ireland, Sunday, March, 8, 2009 after two British soldiers were shot to death and four other people wounded in a drive-by ambush Saturday that politicians blamed on IRA dissidents. Suspected IRA dissidents who opened fire on British soldiers and pizza delivery men outside an army base shot their victims again as they lay wounded on the ground, police said Sunday. Two soldiers died and four other people, including two men delivering pizzas, remained hospitalized with serious wounds following Saturday night's attack at the entrance to Massereene army barracks in Antrim, west of Belfast. (AP Photo/Peter Morrison)
Police forensic officers examine the scene at the Massereene army barracks in Antrim, west of Belfast, Northern Ireland, Sunday, March, 8, 2009 after two British soldiers were shot to death and four other people wounded in a drive-by ambush that politicians blamed on IRA dissidents. Suspected IRA dissidents who opened fire on British soldiers and pizza delivery men outside an army base shot their victims again as they lay wounded on the ground, police said Sunday. Two soldiers died and four other people, including two men delivering pizzas, remained hospitalized with serious wounds following Saturday night's attack at the entrance to Massereene army barracks in Antrim, west of Belfast. (AP Photo/Peter Morrison)
Aerial showing Masserene army base and it's front entrance
File pictures of republican dissident group, the Real IRA at a 'training camp' in the border counties of Northern Ireland taken in January 2008
Police forensic officers examine the scene at the Massereene army barracks in Antrim, west of Belfast, Northern Ireland, Sunday, March, 8, 2009 after two British soldiers were shot to death and four other people wounded in a drive-by ambush that politicians blamed on IRA dissidents. Suspected IRA dissidents who opened fire on British soldiers and pizza delivery men outside an army base shot their victims again as they lay wounded on the ground, police said Sunday. Two soldiers died and four other people, including two men delivering pizzas, remained hospitalized with serious wounds following Saturday night's attack at the entrance to Massereene army barracks in Antrim, west of Belfast. (AP Photo/Peter Morrison)
Police forensic officers examine the scene at the Massereene army barracks in Antrim, west of Belfast, Northern Ireland, Sunday, March, 8, 2009 after two British soldiers were shot to death and four other people wounded in a drive-by ambush that politicians blamed on IRA dissidents. Suspected IRA dissidents who opened fire on British soldiers and pizza delivery men outside an army base shot their victims again as they lay wounded on the ground, police said Sunday. Two soldiers died and four other people, including two men delivering pizzas, remained hospitalized with serious wounds following Saturday night's attack at the entrance to Massereene army barracks in Antrim, west of Belfast. (AP Photo/Peter Morrison)
File pictures of republican dissident group, the Real IRA at a 'training camp' in the border counties of Northern Ireland taken in January 2008
A police officer talks on his phone at the Massereene army barracks in Antrim, west of Belfast, Northern Ireland, Sunday, March, 8, 2009 after two British soldiers were shot to death and four other people wounded in a drive-by ambush Saturday that politicians blamed on IRA dissidents. Suspected IRA dissidents who opened fire on British soldiers and pizza delivery men outside an army base shot their victims again as they lay wounded on the ground, police said Sunday. Two soldiers died and four other people, including two men delivering pizzas, remained hospitalized with serious wounds following Saturday night's attack at the entrance to Massereene army barracks in Antrim, west of Belfast. (AP Photo/Peter Morrison)
Security at the entrance to the Massereene army barracks in Antrim
Police Forensic officers examine the scene at the Massereene army barracks in Antrim, west of Belfast, Northern Ireland Sunday, March, 8, 2009 after two British soldiers were shot to death and four other people wounded in a drive-by ambush that politicians blamed on IRA dissidents. Suspected IRA dissidents who opened fire on British soldiers and pizza delivery men outside an army base shot their victims again as they lay wounded on the ground, police said Sunday. Two soldiers died and four other people, including two men delivering pizzas, remained hospitalized with serious wounds following Saturday night's attack at the entrance to Massereene army barracks in Antrim, west of Belfast. (AP Photo/Peter Morrison)
Police Forensic officers examine the scene at the Massereene army barracks in Antrim, west of Belfast, Northern Ireland Sunday, March, 8, 2009 after two British soldiers were shot to death and four other people wounded in a drive-by ambush that politicians blamed on IRA dissidents. Suspected IRA dissidents who opened fire on British soldiers and pizza delivery men outside an army base shot their victims again as they lay wounded on the ground, police said Sunday. Two soldiers died and four other people, including two men delivering pizzas, remained hospitalized with serious wounds following Saturday night's attack at the entrance to Massereene army barracks in Antrim, west of Belfast. (AP Photo/Peter Morrison)
A security officer patrols the entrance to the Massereene army barracks in Antrim, west of Belfast, Northern Ireland Sunday, March, 8, 2009 after two British soldiers were shot to death and four other people wounded in a drive-by ambush that politicians blamed on IRA dissidents. Suspected IRA dissidents who opened fire on British soldiers and pizza delivery men outside an army base shot their victims again as they lay wounded on the ground, police said Sunday. Two soldiers died and four other people, including two men delivering pizzas, remained hospitalized with serious wounds following Saturday night's attack at the entrance to Massereene army barracks in Antrim, west of Belfast. (AP Photo/Peter Morrison)
A police officers patrols at the Massereene army barracks in Antrim, west of Belfast, Northern Ireland Sunday, March, 8, 2009 after two British soldiers were shot to death and four other people wounded in a drive-by ambush that politicians blamed on IRA dissidents. Suspected IRA dissidents who opened fire on British soldiers and pizza delivery men outside an army base shot their victims again as they lay wounded on the ground, police said Sunday. Two soldiers died and four other people, including two men delivering pizzas, remained hospitalized with serious wounds following Saturday night's attack at the entrance to Massereene army barracks in Antrim, west of Belfast. (AP Photo/Peter Morrison) (AP Photo/Peter Morrison)
Local parish members hold a prayer service at Massereene army barracks in Antrim, west of Belfast, Northern Ireland Sunday, March, 8, 2009 after two British soldiers were shot to death and four other people wounded in a drive-by ambush that politicians blamed on IRA dissidents. Suspected IRA dissidents who opened fire on British soldiers and pizza delivery men outside an army base shot their victims again as they lay wounded on the ground, police said Sunday. Two soldiers died and four other people, including two men delivering pizzas, remained hospitalized with serious wounds following Saturday night's attack at the entrance to Massereene army barracks in Antrim, west of Belfast. (AP Photo/Peter Morrison) (AP Photo/Peter Morrison)
Northern Ireland First Minister Peter Robinson speaks to the media in Antrim, Northern Ireland, Sunday, March, 8, 2009. The First Minister was giving his views on the deaths of two British soldiers shot late Saturday along with four injured, by dissident Irish Republican terrorists, in the first killing of British troops in Northern Ireland since 1997. Its callousness, in targeting soldiers and civilians alike, appeared calculated to inflame community tensions and undermine Northern Ireland's Catholic-Protestant administration. (AP Photo/Peter Morrison)
Britain's secretary of state for Northern Ireland, Shaun Woodward speaks to the media at the Massereene army barracks in Antrim, west of Belfast, Northern Ireland, Sunday, March, 8, 2009 after two British soldiers were shot to death and four other people wounded in a drive-by ambush Saturday that politicians blamed on IRA dissidents. Suspected IRA dissidents who opened fire on British soldiers and pizza delivery men outside an army base shot their victims again as they lay wounded on the ground, police said Sunday. Two soldiers died and four other people, including two men delivering pizzas, remained hospitalized with serious wounds following Saturday night's attack at the entrance to Massereene army barracks in Antrim, west of Belfast. (AP Photo/Peter Morrison)
A man leaves flowers near Massereene army barracks, in Antrim, west of Belfast, Northern Ireland, Sunday, March, 8, 2009. Suspected IRA dissidents opened fire on British troops and pizza delivery men outside a Northern Ireland army base, killing two soldiers and wounding four other people. Police said Sunday the attackers fired on their victims again as they lay wounded on the ground. (AP Photo/Peter Morrison)
A man leaves flowers near Massereene army barracks, in Antrim, west of Belfast, Northern Ireland, Sunday, March, 8, 2009. Suspected IRA dissidents opened fire on British troops and pizza delivery men outside a Northern Ireland army base, killing two soldiers and wounding four other people. Police said Sunday the attackers fired on their victims again as they lay wounded on the ground. (AP Photo/Peter Morrison)
Secretary of State Shaun Woodward leaves the Massareen Army Base in Antrim today after meeting colleagues of the murdered soldiers.
First Minister Peter Robinson and Willie McRea at the scene of the attack
First Minister Peter Robinson at the scene of the attack
Representatives from the main churches who arrived at scene to pay respect
Representatives from the main churches who arrived at scene to pay respect
A masked Real IRA , (RIRA), colour party stand over the coffin of murdered dissident republican on 18/10/00
Parishioners pay respect to the families and loved ones of those affected.
Parishioners from the main churches arrived at scene to pay respect to the families and loved ones of those affected.
An abandoned car (believed to be a getaway car) on the Ranaghan Road a few miles from Massereene army base after last night's fatal shootings.
Two cars in a sealed off area outside the entrance to Massereene army base after the fatal shootings.
Forensics team searches the area
.An impromptu multi-denominational prayer services was held this afternoon at the cordon around Massareen Army Base in Antrim in memory of the murdered soldiers and the injured.
.An impromptu multi-denominational prayer services was held this afternoon at the cordon around Massareen Army Base in Antrim in memory of the murdered soldiers and the injured.
Kate Carroll with NYPD officers in New York for St Patrick's Day
Claire McNeilly

By Claire McNeilly

PSNI widow Kate Carroll has been caught up in a sectarian storm while fundraising for a forthcoming trip to America.

Mrs Carroll, wife of the first PSNI officer to be murdered by paramilitaries, had been organising a visit to New York, hopefully along with car bomb victim Constable Peadar Heffron and his wife Fiona.

The party have been invited to attend a bi-annual GAA tournament hosted by the New York Police Department (NYPD) in October of next year.

But the fundraising effort has been hampered by people refusing to sign the sponsor form — because it carries both the PSNI and GAA logos.

“It's ridiculous. This has left me in tears,” said Kate, whose husband Stephen was shot by the Continuity IRA in Craigavon last March.

“People from one side of the community won't touch it because it mentions the PSNI and some on the other side refuse to get involved because of the GAA logo.

“Others have given quite willingly — and they know who they are. But I’ve felt totally disillusioned by those who don’t want to know and it has upset me a lot.

“Most local people have been so helpful and supportive since Steve's death and it's a pity a sectarian element has crept into this.”

She added: “It wasn’t even the disrespect towards Steve that bothered me the most. The two emblems there together on the same piece of paper would have meant history being made.”

Mrs Carroll also revealed that former US President Bill Clinton wrote her a letter praising her efforts to promote peace within the community.


The sponsorship form with PSNI and GAA logos on it

It read: “As you know, I was honoured to help advance peace negotiations during my Presidency, and I'm glad to see that citizens are speaking out against terrorism and violence. Your contributions are a remarkable tribute to the memory of your husband, and I hope you'll continue this important work.”

Meanwhile, Constable Heffron (34) is continuing his recovery after losing a leg after a bomb exploded under his car five months ago, on January 8.

The former captain of the PSNI's GAA team, and a fluent Irish speaker, was targeted by Oglaigh na hEireann assassins, but miraculously survived.

After spending many weeks in intensive care, he is continuing to recuperate in hospital. The brave policeman and his wife have said health concerns will determine whether he can make the journey.

Mrs Carroll — who hopes to raise £10,000 for the US trip — will present the Stephen Carroll Memorial Trophy to the man of the match following the GAA tournament.

She is now heavily involved in cross-community group Parents And Kids Together (PAKT), which established ‘Not in My Name’ after her husband’s murder and aims to promote wide-spread inter-religious co-operation.

Cheque donations for the USA trip next year can be sent c/o Belfast Telegraph to be forwarded.

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