Clacton & North East Essex Arts & Literary Society
October 24th JILL MORRELL, the girl John McCarthy was going to marry, tells the other side of the story. For Jill, the five years of John McCarthy’s captivity were a different kind of hell: the initial shock and disbelief; the gradual acceptance that John had been taken and that her life was changed irrevocably, and all their plans had been shattered. Sponsored by FREDA LEECH, MERYL and PETER BROWN.
Jill Morrell (born 1957) was the girlfriend of John McCarthy, and was a tireless and effective campaigner for his release from kidnappers who held him in Lebanon for more than 5 years. Raised in Yorkshire, she is a graduate of Hull University. Morrell kept McCarthy’s name in the public domain with a campaign to free him, called “Friends of John McCarthy” (FOJM). After McCarthy’s release on 8 August 1991, the public hoped for a fairytale ending for their relationship. They did stay together until 1994, but they then parted amicably and McCarthy met BBC photographer, Anna Ottewill, and eventually married her in April 1999. Morrell has worked for charity Cancerbackup, now Macmillan Cancer Support as their Policy and Public Affairs Manager, putting into practice the skills she acquired during the FOJM campaign. Latterly she has held the role of Head of Public Affairs with the British Lung Foundation.