Tag Archives: GAA

Willie Frazer: Cancer and death threats

Victims and those seeking justice, truth and equality with in our community will contest the next elections in areas across Ulster. The gross betrayal, continued lies and deceit have left us with no other option. The time of rewarding a few IRA murderers for not killing people is over, the time for rewarding all Northern Irelands decent citizens is beginning.

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Here you go, not hearsay or rumors, honest answers to questions. There”s still plenty who will call me a lonely but we all know by now that”s the only defence they have against me. Mockery and insults, the sure signs of a failed and weak argument.
Belfast Telegraph article  BY ADRIAN RUTHERFORD

After a week that saw the issue of victims of the Troubles pushed to the fore, Adrian Rutherford speaks to controversial campaigner Willie Frazer about death threats, IRA violence, on-the-runs, and his battle with cancer.

Willie Frazer: Cancer and, death threats

Willie Frazer: Cancer and, death threats

Q Your family suffered more than most during the Troubles – tell me about your experiences growing up in south Armagh?

A I had five members of my family murdered – my father, two uncles and two cousins. Ive also had six of my friends killed. I actually count it as seven because another who was shot ended up killing himself a couple of years ago. Ive had my home destroyed five times with no-warning bombs. I was injured twice with two other bombs, although they werent serious injuries – cuts, lumps of timber stuck in you and so on. I was there the day two men I knew well – Ronnie Irwin and Snowden Corkey – were shot. I was standing beside another policeman in Newtownhamilton who was shot dead. I was there the day a soldier was killed. And its not like the films. They dont fall back and say these romantic words. Thats not how it happens. It is something you do not want to see. You never forget it.

Q But it wasnt always like that?

A I went to a Catholic school. I played Gaelic football. When my father was murdered my mother received over 1,000 Mass cards. That is some amount of Mass cards for any family, never mind a Protestant one. My father was respected within the Catholic community. There was hardly a house in south Armagh he couldnt go into.

Q So in your opinion what changed?

A It changed about 1972 and it really changed whenever we refused to go on the rent and rate strike. You had to put a poster up in your window to say you wouldnt be paying your rent and rates to the British government. The village we lived in, there was only us and another Protestant family. We didnt put up a poster. I was maybe 11 when men came and told my mother if she didnt put one up we would be burnt out. My mother was determined to pay her bills no matter who came to our house. That was the start of it.

Q Tell me about the day your father was murdered.

A I remember it like yesterday. I can remember them all. A couple of weeks earlier our next-door neighbour William Meaklin had been kidnapped and I remember coming home from his funeral. My father said to me: “Willie, son, youre going to have to harden up because youll have a lot more funerals to go to.” Little did I know that his would be the next one. I know who killed my father. Two boys who used to run about with my older brother. People were disgusted. There was a republican who carried by fathers coffin. He said their fight was with the Army, they didnt believe in killing local men. My fathers workmates were Roman Catholics. They stood and cried at the door. A few years ago a republican who had been in the IRA was talking to me and he told me they should never have shot my father. I knew he was genuine.

Q How do you feel that no-one has ever been held responsible?

A If I had known the justice system wouldnt be upheld, I would have taken justice into my own hands. I””””””””””””””””d have taken them out. Ive no hesitation in saying that.

Q Do you accept youll never get justice?

A No, I dont. I cant accept that. I cant allow it. If we do that we have failed our loved ones. We will have basically legitimised the murder of our people.

Q Do you think its a realistic prospect?

A Probably not, but if we give that away were sending a message to the next generation that the only thing that works is violence.

Q The people who have killed your family – do you hate them?

A I wouldnt say I hate them. I wouldnt be stopping to give them a lift, and if I did I certainly wouldnt be taking them where they want to go. I actually dont have a hate for them. I have a desire for them to be held accountable.

Q How did you get on with Catholics during the Troubles?

A I played on a soccer team, half of them were Roman Catholic, and I know three of them were IRA men. We went to play a match in a real bad area. Our republican team-mates would give us a hard time, acting up to other the republicans. The following week we were playing football in Derrybeg. In those days you changed in the car. The same thing happened. So I brought a loyalist tape with me and whenever everyone went on the pitch I put one of their windows down and put on the loyalist tape. We were on the pitch playing soccer and the next thing one of these republicans looked over and his car was getting wrecked. That was our way of dealing with things.

Q Do you still get threats today?

A Every day. In a week I would get an average of 20 death threats. Out of that maybe one or two would be serious. A few years ago I was out with a photographer and our car got rammed. They had the van reversed up. They were going to kidnap me. It was only by the grace of God they didnt get me. The police are giving my house a lot of attention because of a number of serious death threats. They were at my house four weeks ago saying they had information I would be attacked.

Q But you wont be intimidated?

A No. Absolutely not. It makes me more determined to carry on with my life.

Q Youve been involved in the Kingsmills campaign?

A Kingsmills was one of the worst atrocities. They took the men out, lined them up and executed them. Can you imagine how the community felt? If you ever wanted a justification for carrying out an act of revenge, then you got it that night. When they did Kingsmills, that was the closest we ever came to civil war in this country. The loyalist paramilitaries were going to retaliate – 10 times over, over one hundred victims. I know for a fact, they were more than prepared to do it. The only thing that stopped them was the families and the community pleading with them not to.

Q What about the on-the-run controversy?

A Sure we knew all about that, and so did our politicians.

Q Peter Robinson didnt know about it?

A He did know about it. I had the conversation with senior members of the DUP about OTRs as far back as 2004 – conversations Peter Robinson would have been privy to. If people dont believe me, Ill take a lie detector test.

Q Peter Robinson said he only found out last week.

A Okay, lets give him the benefit of the doubt. But if he didnt know, then he must be one of the most incompetent politicians in the history of this country.

Q You clearly knew what was going on?

A Of course I did. Let me tell you about an incident with Dessie OHare. He admitted he killed 27 people. We believe its more, that its 35, but 27 isnt a bad number. Dessie OHare had been on the run for 30-odd years. In 2006 I heard he was back across the border, and I went to his home. I asked the police to arrest him. They came out and contacted their powers-to-be. After two hours an inspector came and said: “Sorry Willie, but if you dont leave were going to arrest you.” He had been given a pardon. We reported that whole thing to the DUP – does anyone seriously think I didnt? The DUP told me theyd do this and do that. They did nothing. The DUP are playing with words. I cant confirm they knew about letters, but they knew the policy existed.

Q Youve been looking into smuggling recently – why?

A It pays for terrorism. We have saved the taxpayer millions upon millions of pounds. Weve had the Provos caught smuggling fuel and cigarettes. We even broke into a place where they were storing them, put a Union flag on one of the pallets, and took a photograph which we sent to the IMC.

Q What are your plans for the Protestant Coalition?

A We are a political party with proper policies – to uphold the rule of law and justice; to see our British democratic rights reinstated; tackling social deprivation in the Protestant community.

Q Will you contest the forthcoming elections?

A It looks like we are. We havent decided yet on the European election, but there may be a number standing in the council elections. I was hoping to avoid standing myself, but now it looks like Ive no choice. There is nobody else speaking up for us.

Q Do you vote and have you voted before?

A Not at the moment. I cant remember when I last voted. Certainly, unless something radically changes, Ill not be voting again.

Q What do you think of Peter Robinson?

A Hes an arrogant man. He cares nothing about victims and will use any means at his disposal to justify his actions. We used to think he was taking a stand for our community. We feel betrayed by him. Completely and utterly betrayed.

Q What do you think of Martin McGuinness?

A Well never be buddies, but I have to give him credit because Sinn Fein have negotiated a good deal for themselves. Theve had a long-term strategy but it is only through the stupidity and arrogance of our politicians that they have achieved what they have. If Martin McGuinness gave me a commitment on something, and Peter Robinson gave me a commitment on something, Id take Martin McGuinnesss word before Id take Peter Robinsons – and I dont say that lightly.

Q Some people see you as a fool. What do you say to that?

A Let them spend a few days with me. Im stopped on the street by people I dont know, and these people tell me Im the only one doing something. People can say Im a loony, but if it wasnt for FAIR victims would not be an issue. We were the first to raise victims”””””””””””””””” rights in 1998. There would have been no Smithwick Inquiry. Judge Corry told us he hadnt enough for an investigation until we gave him what we had. We also stopped the Eames-Bradley proposals being implemented. We were also big players in getting the Maze shrine stopped. The work were doing is voluntary – I havent been paid a penny in years.

Q What about the incident where you mistook an Italian flag for an Irish Tricolour at a Co Tyrone school?

A Well, I was sent photographs, and looking at the photographs it did look like a Tricolour. I got it wrong, but if someone sends you a photograph and it looks like a Tricolour…

Q What about dressing up as a Muslim? People laughed at you

A They may have laughed, but it got the message around the world. There was people sitting in Hong Kong, in Australia, watching it on TV who rang me.

Q What about the Eastenders controversy?

A My attention was brought to it by activity on republican and GAA sites. They were saying: “Look at the GAA top on Eastenders. Well be singing rebel songs in the Queen Vic next”. Theyre the ones who promoted it as a GAA top – not me. I questioned if it was a GAA top, and if it was it should not have been worn.

Q Why should it not have been worn?

A Because it supports terrorism. When the GAA comes out and says to stop naming clubs, trophies and stadiums after terrorists, then fine. I dont have a problem with GAA. I actually like the game itself.

Q And would you watch a GAA game?

A Yes, I would watch it, although I dont go out of my way to see it. I wouldnt watch Tyrone or Armagh, because theres a republican element to it, but Id watch the southern teams. They dont stand for being associated with terrorism. It””””s a good game, and it””””s unfortunate it has been tainted by support for terrorism. Can you imagine if Portadown FC ran an event for Billy Wright? There would be an outcry. So what the difference with the GAA running one for Bobby Sands?

Q Are you a man of faith?

A Im a born-again Christian. I have been for 17 years. The Bible I read continually talks about repentance. If Martin McGuinness and these people told me they repented, I would have to accept it. If they said what they did was wrong and without justification, I would have to forgive them. To prove that, I went to a gospel meeting four years ago which Dessie OHare was at. He claimed to be a born-again Christian, so I confronted him. I said to him that if he was born-again, that it was time to move on. I went and I shook his hand. He told me he had repented. A year ago I found out he was involved in criminality in Dublin.

Q Tell me about your interests, away from campaigning

A I like history and I like reading about Ulsters history. I used to be a very keen soccer player. I was a good footballer, without wishing to blow my own trumpet. Maybe I could have gone across the water, Im not sure. It was the same for others, there were a few footballers in south Armagh who were first class players who never got the chance of a career because of the Troubles. I also like shooting, but they took the shotgun off me.

Q Youve been unwell in recent years?

A I was diagnosed three years ago. The cancer is in my stomach and bowel. It cant be cured. I could live for 20 years, I could die next week – youre almost living month to month. I should be dead now. There was one night I took ill. They didnt think Id live through it. They couldnt get a pulse. They thought I wasnt going to make it. The funders of FAIR, SEUPB, moved in here three years ago and tried to close us down when I was seriously ill. People wrongly put me down as a whistle-blower – they thought it wouldnt matter because Id be dead soon anyway. The advice is for me not to get stressed. Thats why I want to get out of the victims thing, but I can””””””””””””””””t until I see some sort of justice in place.

Q So has it affected your work

A It has, yes. I wouldnt have the same energy as before. I wish I was as fit as I was 10 years ago, because if I was Id give the DUP some headache. I could pack it in now and my life would be a lot longer. But my father and people serving in the security forces could have done the same. Theirs was certain death. Mine may be too, but sure were all going to die anyway. I want to concentrate on recording the stories of the past, and the only people who can write the stories are the people who lived through it.

http://www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk/debateni/news/willie-frazer-cancer-death-threats-and-my-gaa-secret-30056375.html

Loyalist culture V republican culture.

We are continually told that we have two traditions and cultures living in Northern Ireland and that both should be respected. Why is it then that one gets gifted millions of pounds, has absolutely no restrictions on anything to do with it and is portrayed by everyone especially the media outlets as non-sectarian when it clearly is. In stark contrast the other gets vertically nothing in comparison, has an unelected quango who decides what it can and cant do and the media outlets who portray it and its supporters as sectarian bigots.

The GAA is a big part of republican tradition/culture just as is the band scene and Loyal Orders to the unionist community but that”s where the similarities end.

The amount of money pumped into the GAA is incalculable. They answer to no one, they openly support IRA killers and no one asks any problematic questions, let alone attempts to stop them attending games.

Stormont abides unofficial, private discrimination

Stormont abides unofficial, private discrimination

At best we have individuals in every aspect of life colluding to demonize and weaken Loyalism, at worst its sectarian anti Protestant bigots working toward a common goal of an all Catholic “Ireland”.

Our politicians say they represent well us but when you look at how republican culture is regraded and treated I and many others would challenge that. Those running this country need to realise that there is a biased anti Loyalist/Protestant agenda in funding, education, the arts and even Policing.

You will all be voting very soon but those seeking your vote would need to up their game because as it stands the GAA culture verses Loyalist culture is a one way street.

Stormont abides unofficial, private discrimination, even when that means allowing hate-filled groups and political party”s to exclude people based on their religion. If you believe in equality, if you believe in standing up for the rights of all, especially for people most affected by bigotry and discrimination, then you have no choice but to be accounted for when it comes to standing up for the Loyalist/Protestant community in Northern Ireland.

Remember no change can come if those who are impacted the most by discrimination are not willing to stand up for themselves.

Shocking truth about the Irish language

This whole Irish language debate is a total and absolute waste of time and people should just ignore it. The Irish language is spoken by a very few people in one country. There are absolutely no tangible benefits from learning it. Its fine that some wish to learn it and to keep it alive but for the other 99.9% of us we would much rather see the hundreds of thousands spent on something which may actually be beneficial to the community as a whole. However since it seems to be a big topic right now then lets take a cold hard look at just what the Irish language actually means to you and me.

Shocking truth about the Irish language

Shocking truth about the Irish language

In 2008 funding for it was a staggering £6.6m and Gerry Adams announced then that the Government had agreed with Sinn Fein that there would be another £20 million from the Treasury for Irish broadcasting and  infrastructure.

The department spent £68,000 on translating documents into Irish and on top of that employed two civil servants each paid between £24,000 and £35,000 for duties including “urgent translation work”. Translation of English to Irish in the CCEA cost £98,028 in 2006/2007 AND cost £598,828 in 2010/2011.

THE Department of Education (Sinn Fein IRA )gives Irish language schools more than three times as much funding per pupil as it gives to prep schools. Prep schools are allocated just £800 per pupil but the department allocates £3,371 for every pupil attending an Irish language school.

THE Department of Education also demanded that 21,000 transfer test information papers be printed and sent out in Irish, less than 20 were returned in Irish.

We then have the tens of thousands being spent replacing perfectly good street signs and as if all that isnt bad enough we have the possibility that Irish language signs at the University of Ulster are to blame for Protestant students making up only 32 per cent of the population. Signs coupled with GAA tops with the names of Kevin Lynch, Bobby Sands and Long Kesh. These tops and the abuse of  Irish language signs are deliberately trying to make a political point and intimidate the unionist community.

People are free to study dodos, dinosaurs and disappearing depleting dialects but they should do it at their own cost and in their own time. Stormont, yes our Unionest MLAs, those who say they are good value for money keeping funding this and its unnecessary.  They couldnt manage to spend the £80m Social Investment Fund set up to tackle inequality and unemployment, but they could mange to spend £400,000 on consultants. There are arguments for the promotion of the Irish language but this does not mean an ever increased budget when other departments are fighting for their very survival, need I even mention the Health Service?. And as for those within our community promoting the learning of the Irish language I say this, stop wasting your time and our money, the money you are being  funded would be best spent on more important things that would be of benefit to your community.

The Hill needs sorting out, thats the big debate, not if we should participate in the the Irish language.