Murdered Northern Ireland peace officer Stephen CarrollPA
A former Sinn Fein councilor has been charged with the murder of a Northern Ireland police officer.
Brendan McConville, 37, appeared in court in Lisburn today, charged with murdering police officer Stephen Carroll.
McConville is the second person to be charged with the murder. He was also charged with possession of an assault rifle and 26 rounds of ammunition.
McConville, who is unemployed, denied the charges.
Stephen Carroll, 48, was shot in the back of the head when he answered a call for help in Craigavon, County Armagh, on 9 March.
He was the first member of the Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) officer, the name of the police service that replaced the old Royal Ulster Constabulary in 2001, to be killed by paramilitaries.
A dissident Republican group called the Continuity IRA claimed responsibility for the murder of Carroll, who was himself a Catholic.
On Tuesday, a 17 year-old appeared in court charged with Carroll’s murder. The youth, who denied the charges, cannot be named because of his age. On Monday, two other men, who were arrested last week in relation to the murder, were released without charge.
Carroll’s death came two days after the murders of two soldiers, Mark Quinsey, 23, and Patrick Azimkar, 21, who were killed while picking up a pizza delivery at Massereene Barracks in County Antrim.
They were the first British security forces members to be murdered in Northern Ireland in over a decade. Another dissident Republican group, called the Real IRA, claimed responsibility. Four people are still being held in relation to the soldiers’ murders.