Sunday 17 December 2017

Pictured: Smiling cop-killer marries bride behind bars

Siobhan McConville celebrated her marriage on Facebook.
Siobhan McConville celebrated her marriage on Facebook.

Patricia Devlin and Jonny Bell

The killer of PSNI Constable Stephen Carroll has wed his English fiancee in a behind-bars ceremony today.

Dissident republican Brendan McConville (45) married English fiancee Siobhan Monaghan in a small ceremony inside Maghaberry prison .

Around 10 guests - including McConville's CIRA accomplice John Paul Wootton - were expected to attend the jail nuptials, which sources said was to include a "high level of security".

Sources also said guests were on a strict time limit and the couple would have two hours maximum together after the quick ceremony.

Siobhan changed her surname on Facebook after the ceremony announcing the marriage alongside a picture of the newly-married couple.

Scores offered their congratulations - first among them was Brian Shivers.

Stephen Carroll with his wife Kate
Stephen Carroll with his wife Kate

He was acquitted after retrial three years ago of the murder of two soldiers and six attempted murders at Massereene barracks in 2009.

Commenting on the picture of McConville and his bride, he said: "A very happy man all the very best Brian."

The pair struck up a romance after Siobhan (49), began writing letters to the Continuity IRA killer from her home in Oxford, England.

She has made regular trips to Northern Ireland to visit McConville, who is locked up in the high security prison's Roe 4 dissident wing, and posted images of the pair taken in the visiting area of the Lisburn prison to social media.

On Sunday, the single mum, who regularly speaks at rallies calling for her fiance's release, was inundated with well-wishes after posting her pre-wedding excitement to Twitter.

She wrote: "I'm getting married in the morning. Ding dong the bells are going to chime".

However, a prison source said there would be no bells and the ceremony would be quick.

Siobhan is well known in republican circles.

"As well as having family in Ireland she has been providing support to a number of prisoners on both sides of the border over the years via letters.

"They'll keep in touch through phone calls and letters, just like they always have."

Former Sinn Fein councillor McConville from Craigavon and 25-year-old JP Wootton from Lurgan, Co Armagh were convicted for their part in the murder of Constable Carroll in 2012.

Both were ordered to serve a minimum of 25 and 14 years in jail.

The 48-year-old from Banbridge, Co Down, was the first police officer to be killed in Northern Ireland since the formation of the PSNI. He was shot dead after terrorists lured police to a call-out in Lismore Manor in Craigavon on March 9, 2009.

He was responding to a complaint that a brick had been thrown through the window of a house in the private development.

As the brave constable and his colleagues arrived, McConville was already lying in wait.

Armed with an AK-47 assault rifle, he shot the policeman in the head when he came into range after parking his car.

The Continuity IRA later claimed responsibility for the shooting.

Constable Carroll had served in the police force for more than 24 years at the time of his murder.

Just last week, his heartbroken widow had spoken about her joy at finding love again, seven years on from her devastating loss. Kate Carroll spoke publicly for the first time about her new found friendship with Derek Egerton, who offered support to her in the years after her husband's death.

She said she had not been looking for a partner, and although she is happy now, she emphasised "Steve will always live on in my heart".

Belfast Telegraph

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