Relatives reject claims Frazer supplied arms to loyalist Paramilitaries

ALLEGATIONS that victims’ campaigner Willie ‘Wullie’ Frazer was involved in supplying arms to loyalist Paramilitaries are “false”, his family said yesterday.

It is false to say he was linked to the importation of the arms. He was never, at any stage, arrested or questioned by the RUC/PSNI about such activities” Frazer Family Statement 

A new BBC documentary has linked ‘Wullie’, who died earlier this year, to the distribution of automatic rifles and rocket launchers imported from Africa. The weapons were reportly used in the murders of at least 70 people. But Mr Fraser’s family have rejected the claims made in the latest episode of Spotlight on the Troubles: A Secret History, describing them as “trail by television”. A statement issued by the family said: “We repudiate in the strongest terms the sensational claims made against William.

“It is false to say he was linked to the importation of the arms. He was never, at any stage, arrested or questioned by the RUC/PSNI about such activities.” The programme identified Mr Frazer, who supported victims of republican violence in the South Armagh area, as a key distributor of arms from the Ulster Resistance Movement to loyalist Paramilitaries. Multiple sources were said to have confirmed his role. However, the late campaigners relatives expressed shock at the “grave” allegations and vowed to defend his reputation.

“The documentary, which said it had evidence to link him to such actions, failed to provide a scintilla of evidence,” the family’s statement said. “Their claims were based on so-called multiple sources. The sources are anonymous, untested, their number is unknown as is their calibre and reliability. They are not witnesses. “Unlike evidence, the public have no way of knowing the truth of what these sources said, but are being asked by the BBC to accept at face value the truth of anonymous claims. “No official document was provided by the programme makers in support of their claims. “This was not evidence but trial by television.”

Referring to any journalist visits to Mr Frazer while he was in hospital, the family said he had been “medicated, suffering from infections and was easily confused”. The statement added: “William was a high-profile figure in the North of Ireland for over two decades but at no time was any suggestion of this nature ever made, yet within two months of his death these accusations are raised for the first time in a blaze of publicity. “This has added to the family’s distress at a difficult time. We wish to reiterate that the Frazer family reject the false allegations against William and deplore the way the BBC has behaved towards the late William and the hurt caused to our family.”

With many thanks to: The Irish News and Connla Young for the original story 



DUP MP Nigel Dodds pays tribute to Willie Frazer in House of Commons

DUP MP, Nigel Dodds,

DUP Nigel Dodds, pictured – Inset: the late Willie Frazer

DUP MP, Nigel Dodds, paid tribute to the late victims’ campaigner, Willie Frazer, in the House of Commons on Wednesday.

Mr. Dodds praised Mr. Frazer for what he described as “fighting for victims” of the Troubles.

“The late William Frazer was laid to rest on Monday and he devoted his life to fighting for victims and we pay tribute to his life and his work in that regard,” said Mr. Dodds.

Mr. Frazer passed away in Craigavon Area Hospital on Friday June 28 after a long battle with cancer – he was 58 years-old.

Jamie Bryson and Willie Frazer

Mr. Dodds’ tribute to the late Mr. Frazer came during Northern Ireland Questions in the House of Commons.

Mr. Dodds also used the opportunity to praise Mr. Frazer to direct a question to Northern Ireland Secretary of State, Karen Bradley, MP.

“Does the Secretary of State agree that she needs to make this one of the biggest issues which is in terms of ensuring that the definition of a victim is addressed so that innocent victims are entitled to the pension that they need?,” asked Mr. Dodds.

Earlier this year, DUP leader, Arlene Foster, met with Secretary of State Bradley to demand a clear distinction be made between a “terrorist perpetrator and their innocent victims” after new legacy proposals were announced.

With many thanks to the: Belfast News Letter for the original story 

Jamie Bryson defends Willie Frazer over claims he supplied weapons used in 70 murders

Loyalist blogger Jamie Bryson, and inset, how The Irish News reported on the BBC Spotlight programme 

LOYALIST blogger Jamie Bryson has defended Willie Frazer following claims the victims campaigner was involved in distributing weapons used during the Troubles to murder at least 70 people.

Mr Bryson, who was involved alongside Mr Frazer in the loyalist flag protests in 2013, said that “loyalist people of the time had a right to defend themselves”.

A BBC Spotlight programme aired last night claim Mr Frazer, who died earlier this year, had a significant role in distributing guns to loyalist paramilitaries.

The weapons had been brought into Northern Ireland from South Africa in 1987 by Ulster Resistance, a loyalist group set up in protest against the 1985 Anglo-Irish Agreement.

Spotlight reported that “multiple sources” confirmed Mr Frazer was Ulster Resistance’s key distributor of automatic rifles and rocket launchers.

A police report on former UDA boss Johnny Adair states he was receiving weapons from Ulster Resistance in the early 1990s. The programme says his contact in Ulster Resistance was Mr Frazer.

Mr Frazer, from Co Armagh, became involved with radical loyalists after his father and four other relatives were murdered by the IRA, the Spotlight programme said.


Defending the victims campaigner, Mr Bryson yesterday tweeted: “The loyalist people of the time had a right to defend themselves.

“Ulster Resistance evidently played a key role in enabling loyalist counter-terrorism – that’s nothing to be ashamed about.

“Proud to call Willie Frazer my friend.”

His remarks drew criticism from SDLP leader Colum Eastwood, who questioned whether the loyalist blogger should be given airtime.

In a video message posted yesterday on Mr Frazer’s old Facebook page, Pastor Barry Halliday also defended his friend.

He said he had not yet seen the programme, Spotlight On The Troubles: A Secret History, but insisted the claims about Mr Frazer were “not a confession”.

Mr Halliday said: “As an Ulster Scotsman, of course when he’s attacked and fired upon, he would defend what was his, and if somebody’s pointing the gun, why wouldn’t we point the gun back?”

He added: “We knew Willie, we understood Willie, and we will stand by him 100 per cent.

“Our flag needed defending and if Willie helped in that line, that’s fine.”

Ulster Resistance was launched at a rally in Belfast’s Ulster Hall in 1986 in protest at the Anglo-Irish Agreement, with the late DUP leader Ian Paisley and his then deputy Peter Robinson along with Sammy Wilson appearing on the platform. Noel Little, father of DUP South Belfast MP Emma Little-Pengelly, was also linked.

The DUP leadership later disassociated themselves from the group as its paramilitary links emerged.

With many thanks to: The Irish News and Brendan Hughes for the original story 

Trimble joins former first ministers in call for new Act of Union

FORMER Stormont First Minister Lord David Trimble believes a new “constitutional settlement” is urgently required to help secure the future of the UK.

David Trimble (left) with the late Ian Paisley not so many years ago

The ex-Ulster Unionist, leader Pictured above, leader has joined the former First Ministers of Scotland and Wales Lord Jack McConnell and Carwyn Jones in campaigning for a new Act of Union Bill that would include a new English Paraliment and greater powers to the devolved regions.

The three peers have joined the steering committee of the CRG (Constitution Reform Group), which they say has “for some years has been seeking a way of restructuring the constitutional relationship between the four so-called nations of the United Kingdom”.

They voiced support for the Bill, which was laid before the House of Lords a year ago, in a letter to the House of Lords a year ago, to a letter to the Daily Telegraph where they said the “approach it takes is on the right lines”. The peers highlight how the group was formed before the 2016 EU referendum “in the belief that, even then, the UK needed a new constitutional settlement”, but they note that the “present situation has, of course, made that even more urgent”. “The changes in contitional practice as a result of the activities in the House of Commons and cases to the Supreme Court of London – to take two samples – have further undermined  what has been hitherto established practice,” their letter states. “The events of the last few months have made the need for a new constitutional settlement all the more urgent.” According to the Daily Telegraph, the peers are advocating a “federalised” UK, with bolstered devolved legislislatures and abolition of the House of Lords. 

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