TWO North-East students who inspired a mass peace campaign in Northern Ireland have become the first recipients of a new prize set up in memory of a murdered police officer.

Durham University students Enya Doyle and Lauren Sloan have been given the first National Peace Awards – created in honour of Constable Steve Carroll, who was shot dead by the Continuity IRA while on duty in County Armagh in March 2009.

The Steve Carroll Foundation was launched and its first peace prizes presented at Stormont, the Northern Irish Parliament, today (Monday, January 14).

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Shocked by the killing of Constable Carroll, the first Police Service of Northern Ireland officer to be murdered by republican dissidents, Miss Doyle and Miss Sloan, then aged just 15 and 16 respectively, founded the ‘Not In My Name’ cross-community peace movement – using music to promote peace and justice.

The youngsters also inspired a mass protest which saw tens of thousands of people march for peace.

Finally, the two have campaigned for equality of sentencing in murder cases.

Miss Doyle, 18, a music student originally from Lurgan, received the Beacon of Hope Scholarship, while Miss Sloan, 19, a law student from Banbridge, received the Northern Ireland Youth for Justice Campaigner Prize.

Miss Doyle said: “This (Steve Carroll) Foundation offers us all an alternative Northern Ireland. Violence is never justified and we will not stall in our fervour for a safer, shared future.”

Miss Sloan added: “The images of Northern Ireland that I have seen broadcast recently whilst studying have both shocked and disheartened me.

“The launch of the Foundation fills me with hope, as it provides a platform for discussion, peaceful resolution and, most importantly, recognition for young people who don’t want to resort to the ways of the past.”