Unionists unite in opposition to push for an Irish Language Act

The protest in support of an Irish Language Act at Storming was organised by An Dream Dearg and other activist groups

As Irish language activists brought their protest for an Irish language act to the steps of Stormont, the three main unionist parties stressed that sufficient protection was already in place.

Friday’s protest follows an open letter earlier this week, signed by 200 civic, political and sporting figures and published in the Irish News, calling on both the UK and Irish prime ministers to take “resolute action” on Irish language.

The Ulster Unionists, DUP and TUV have all spoken out against having further legal obligations placed on public bodies in terms of making provision for Northern Ireland’s small number of Irish speakers.

Immediately following yesterday’s protest, a DUP spokesman said: “We recognise that Irish is important to some people but schools and hospitals matter to everyone. That’s why Sinn Fein should lift their blockade of the Assembly so we can progress issues which matter to everyone.”

The spokesman added: “The Irish language is already supported through public funds. Irish culture and language should not be elevated above any other culture in NI. We want a fair and balanced deal.”

Doug Beattie of the UUP said his party has “respect” for the language and its cultural contribution, and added: “It is part of our shared culture and identity and should be respected and cherished.”

However, he added: “All commitments under the Belfast Agreement have been met. Nobody is prevented from learning and speaking Irish and it is well provided for in terms of public funding. We do not believe there is the need for an Irish language act but that does not mean we do not support the language community.”

The TUV is also opposed to new legislation, with a spokesman saying that “Northern Ireland already provides Irish medium schooling at a cost to the public purse of £20m per year”.

He said the republican call for “equality” has already been shown to be “the Trojan horse of the entire republican strategy,” and added: “There would be discrimination against non-Irish speakers when it came to employment, particularly in the legal profession and civil service.”

Sinn Fein’s Michelle O’Neill said the message of a growing demand for an Irish language act was being heard “loud and clear”.

The party’s NI leader said: “Sinn Fein will continue to support the campaign for an Acht Gaeilge which includes rights and legal protections for Irish speakers in the north, just as exists elsewhere on these islands.”

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

MP says dissidents, Orange Order and Apprentice Boys are “barriers to peace”

Paul Sweeney MP

MP apology over Orange Order comparison to dissidents
An MP has said it was not his intention to conflate the violent activities of dissident republicans with the Orange Order or the Apprentice Boys of Derry while making a statement in the Commons.

It comes after concerns were raised about the MP’s comments by DUP MP Gregory Campbell.

Glasgow North East MP Paul Sweeney said organisations such as Saoradh — the political wing of the so-called ‘new IRA’ which claimed responsibility for the murder of journalist Lyra McKee — the Apprentice Boys and the Orange Order were “the only barriers to peace”.

He made the comments as Northern Ireland Secretary Karen Bradley updated the Commons on the latest talks aimed at breaking the political impasse and restore the devolved institutions.

He said as part of the post Good Friday Agreement generation, he found many were “bemused and offended” by the intransigence of the Northern Ireland political impasse.

He told MPs there needed to be more “temperate language” from both sides as they tried to find compromise in order to reach an agreement.

He said: “In raising my concerns about Saoradh taking part in a parade in Glasgow this weekend — which did take place in the end — I was confronted by people who questioned all sorts of motives. The lack of faith, the lack of trust on either side.

“Whether I call out the Orange Order and the Apprentice Boys of Derry intimidating Catholics at prayer in Glasgow, whether it’s organisations like Saoradh bringing their toxic politics and violence to the city of Glasgow. I call out both sides, because they are the only barriers to peace.

“We a bit need more temperate language from both sides and an understanding that, to paraphrase Mo Mowlam, if both sides are willing to compromise, we will get a good outcome.

“That is the way ahead. We need to understand that no one will get everything they want out of these negotiations.”

Saoradh are a different order of violence from anything that has taken place.

The comments caused DUP MP Gregory Campbell to raise his concerns.

“When criticising — quite rightly, in the view of many, many people — the actions of Saoradh, the political wing of murdering terrorists, but he made an oblique comparison with that group of, as I say, murdering terrorists with others who walk on the streets such as the Orange Order and the Apprentice Boys.

“That should not go unanswered, and it should be totally and utterly condemned by all right-thinking people.”

Mr Sweeney again took to his feet in the chamber to address Mr Campbell’s comments.

“It was not my intention in making that statement to conflate the motives of those organisations,” he added.

“I was merely reflecting my constituents’ concerns, as brought to me, about the intimidation that has taken place in the city of Glasgow, as they see it. I was merely reflecting that. I was not conflating violent acts with anything else.

“I abhor the actions of Saoradh, they are a different order of violence from anything that has taken place involving any other organisation in recent times. It was not my intention to cause that degree of offence.

“If it has been received in that way, I beg your forbearance for that it was not my intention.

“It is important that both sides understand each other if we want to reach a compromise — that was merely my intention in raising those concerns. I have had dialogue with both sides on that issue.”

With many thanks to the: Belfast Telegraph and Jonathan Bell for the original story

Arlene Foster says ‘Sinn Féin must not win 5-Nil’ – must be compromise for Stormont return

There is ‘huge frustration’ at the political impasse in the North of Ireland, DUP leader Arlene Foster said


DUP leader Arlene Foster has said that Sinn Fein must compromise on their demands if the Northern Ireland Assembly is to be restored.

Mrs Foster made the comments on BBC Radio Ulster while discussing the political legacy of the murder of Lyra McKee.

She held talks with Secretary of State Karen Bradley and Irish Foreign Minister Simon Coveney on Wednesday night following the funeral of Ms McKee.

DUP leader Arlene Foster with one of her UDA sidekick

Mrs Foster noted comments from Fr Michael Magill at the funeral service calling for politicians to get back around the table and talk to restore Stormont.

Read More:
Applause, tears and laughter at a farewell like no other to Lyra McKee
DUP and SF pledge to end the deadlock at Stormont
Mourners hear powerful plea for Lyra McKee’s death not to be in vain

The Fermanagh and South Tyrone MLA acknowledged a public appetite for the return of devolved government, but said that Sinn Fein could not have everything their own way.

“I think listening to people, and I’ve been out and about during the local government elections campaign talking to people, they want devolution back,” Mrs Foster said.

“I have said in the past and I make that plea again today, that we should get devolution back up and running again to deal with all of the issues that people are so concerned about.

“Let us back in and deal with those issues and have a parallel process to deal with matters which Sinn Fein want to raise, in a parallel and if necessary, time-limited process.”

Conor Murphy

Sinn Fein had previously suggested that returning to the Assembly before agreement on a way forward would be a “false start”.

“That would be putting their demands before the people of Northern Ireland, the people of Northern Ireland have many demands as well,” Mrs Foster said.

“As I said to Fr Magill last night, he will not find me wanting when it comes to trying to get things back up and running again.”

The DUP leader said that any agreement must be balanced and would not be giving into Sinn Fein’s demands.

The funeral of murdered journalist Lyra McKee
“We’ve always said that what must come out of any talks process is a balanced agreement, not just a win-lose scenario, because that’s not what Northern Ireland is about,” Mrs Foster said.

“Northern Ireland wants to have a power-sharing Executive that everyone has a stake in and not just one community or one party.

“We have always said it’s not a balanced agreement if Sinn Fein get everything that they want and people in my community are left with nothing.

“The red line is that we can’t have a 5-0 situation for Sinn Fein.”

Sinn Fein MLA Conor Murphy said that it would take a “sustainable agreement” to see the institutions up and running again.

“We need one of that means the institutions can last and not go up for a short period and come back down again,” the Newry and Armagh MLA said.

“It means that rights issues that people are entitled to in all other parts of these islands are delivered to people here as well.

“That’s something I think that Lyra McKee and many people that were in that service yesterday have campaigned on for a long number of years.”

Mr Murphy said rights issues like marriage equality affected everyone in Northern Ireland.

Mr Murphy said rights issues like marriage equality affected everyone in Northern Ireland.

“We had a negotiation for over a year, Arlene Foster had a year to bring issues that were important to the DUP into those negotiations, at the end of that process we reached an agreement which she signed off on and wasn’t able to deliver that agreement,” he said.

“These aren’t Sinn Fein issues, these are rights issues which apply to all people, not just Sinn Fein voters but DUP voters as well.

“These are issues that need to be addressed, the Assembly needs to be up and working again, but it needs to be working on the basis of the Good Friday Agreement.””

With many thanks to the: Belfast Telegraph for the original story

Glasgow parishioners call on council to protect the parish from ‘intimidating’ Orange march during Easter celebrations

Parishioners at two Glasgow parishes are urging councillors to protect them from fear and-intimidation after police failed to object to an Orange 🍊 walk that is set to pass their churches as family Easter celebrations take place.

The Apprentice Boys of Derry (Bridgeton) have notified Glasgow City Council of their plans to parade through the streets past St Alphonsus and St Mary’s churches on Easter Sunday—at the same time as a planned Rosary of Peace for the ­victims of a terrorist attack takes place inside.

Parish priest Canon Tom White was attacked outside of St Alphonsus in July last year as an Orange walk passed the church.

Parishioners, supported by campaign group Call it Out, had asked the council to reroute the Easter march which they argued is ‘inflammatory and provocative,’ however it is understood police have lodged no objections and the march is set to go ahead.

In a letter to councillors and local ­politicians, the St Mary’s & St Alphonsus parish pastoral councils cite their rights under international and European Human Rights Law to be ­protected from discrimination, hostility and violence and call on the council to re-route the march.

The April 21 march is set to leave Tullis street in Bridgeton at 9.45am and walk to Cathedral Square. It will return from Cathedral Square at 12:15pm and make its way back to Tullis street via Abercromby Street.

Rosaries for Peace in remembrance of a terrorist attack that killed 50 Muslim worshippers in New Zealand in March will take place at 10am in St Alphonsus and at 12pm in St Mary’s.

Baptisms are also scheduled after both Masses in the parishes and the parish council said those celebrating will likely be in and around the church until midday.

“The celebration of Baptisms will bring many visitors from near and far to both churches (who are extended family and friends); they will gather and mingle in the church grounds both before and after the celebration of the Baptisms as well as gathering for photographs and videos; the expectation is that they are able to do so without intimidation, fear or disruption to these celebrations,” the letter reads.

“An anti-Catholic organisation (with the ‘followers’ they attract) marching past the churches will absolutely result in ­intimidation, fear and disruption to these celebrations.”

The letter calls on the council to use powers in the Police, Public Order and Criminal Justice (Scotland) Act 2006 to re-route the march, stating: “To facilitate anti-Catholic marches past Catholic Churches on Easter Sunday could pose significant (i) public safety and (ii) public order issues while also seriously impacting on and creating (iii) disruption of the life of the ­community and in particular, the­ ­parishioners of St Alphonsus and St Mary’s and others ­visiting the Churches for celebration of Mass and Baptisms.

“It is simply unconscionable, given the background of the recent violent hate crime attack at St Alphonsus parish, that this march is granted permission to pass and intimidate the parishioners of St Mary’s and St Alphonsus, Catholic and non-Catholic visitors to the parishes, Catholic citizens of Glasgow and others in the community on this special day.”

The parish councils said they support the plans by Call it Out to protest the marches.

Call it Out has urged ‘the Catholic/Irish Catholic community as well as all ­anti-discrimination organisations/individuals to stand with us on Easter Sunday outside the churches of St Alphonsus and St Mary’s to defend our churches and fellow Catholics from anti-Catholic hatred.’

“We do not ask lightly for people to come out on this holy day but we cannot leave the parishioners of St Alphonsus and St Mary’s unprotected as they go about their religious observance,” the group said in a statement.

With many thanks to the: Scottish Catholic Observer and Daniel Harkins for the original story

Scottish Catholic Observer, 19 Waterloo Street, Glasgow, G2 6BT.

Robert Fisk: ‘Lesson from history: Arch – Brexiteers echo Loyalist zealots who fuelled Ulster terror’

Clear parallels between 1970s in North and Brexit dynamic


Robert Fisk: ‘Lesson from history: Arch – Brexiteers echo Loyalist zealots who fuelled Ulster terror’

It wasn’t the uniforms of the so-called Ulster Defence Association that worried me so much – not even the sadistic massacres of Catholics, with or without the assistance of the so-called British “security” forces.

No, it was the creepy, outrageous way in which the educated, constitutional unionist politicians of Northern Ireland co-existed with these thugs, supporting them with talk of sectarian warfare, disowning their violence with pious horror yet all the while relying upon the fear they created to maintain their own support among the Protestant community.

I’m not making immediate parallels with the present-day Democratic Unionist Party, although their current sectarianism and greed might make comparisons all too relevant.

It is, rather, to point up the way in which elected Northern Ireland politicians were prepared, almost half a century ago, to piggyback on racist bigotry; and of how today, at Westminster, the legally elected – and often profoundly well-educated – pro-Brexit MPs ride the waves of the racist, anti-immigrant elements of the hard right.

The Protestants of Northern Ireland perfected their stagecraft rather well in the 1970s. Some demanded an ‘independent Ulster’ (a kind of Ulsterexit even more preposterous than the UK version we are now supposed to endure) and they flaunted the union flag, demanded to be called ‘loyalists’ and threatened the British government with violence if it did not sever all links with the Irish republic.

I recall sometimes admiring this very tiny minority of UK citizens who were prepared to hoot their derision at the almighty and largely English public school Westminster government which imposed a colonial direct rule upon them in 1972.

But such admiration was a luxury. What actually happened was extremely frightening. There were, in effect, three levels of political life within Ulster Protestantism in the early 1970s. First, there were the official unionist politicians and MPs of the Northern Ireland parliament – later the assembly – who declared their loyalty to the crown, adored the motherland which had supported their Protestant and anti-Catholic statelet, and who would condemn IRA ‘terrorist violence’ while ‘deploring’ Protestant paramilitary murders.

Folk such as Brian Faulkner, a unionist prime minister who kept reminding us Belfast was as British as Manchester or Bristol – actually untrue, since Northern Ireland is officially a province of the UK and has constitutionally never been part of Britain (Theresa, please note) – and his people (mostly Protestant, of course) had the right to remain British citizens.

These politicians formed what we might call the “moderate” leadership. Crippled they may have been by third-rate and sectarian ministers, the Faulknerites could pass as tough, right-wing but comparatively sensible politicians when they visited London. Some, after all, held seats in Westminster.

Their fears of forcible union with the Irish Republic were irrational, but were constantly reinforced by talk of Catholic (or Papal) hegemony and rumours of secret British talks with the IRA to railroad Protestants out of the UK. Their privileges and wealth would be taken from them once they lived under the ‘grey skies’ of the government in Dublin.

Again comparisons should not be taken too literally, but if they were alive today the Faulknerites might faintly parallel the Jacob Rees-Moggs or the Boris Johnsons or the Michael Goves – perhaps even the Theresa Mays.

The official unionists relied on the old Protestant maxim of ‘No Surrender’ – just as the Brexiteer Tories will repeat ‘Brexit means Brexit’ or ‘Leave Means Leave’.

The Protestant politicians of the 1970s and the Tory Brexiteers of today had another common denominator: their fear of ‘betrayal’ and their constant assurance they were speaking on behalf of ‘the people of Northern Ireland’ or ‘the people of Britain’.

Members of the UDA in full military uniform

In fact, an extremely noisy unionist member of the later Northern Ireland assembly, a woman called Jean Coulter, confronted by some legislative sop to the Catholics, was moved to shout out in the chamber one day: “Mr Speaker, Mr Speaker, there’s more of the majority than there is of the minority.” The cry of any future Brexiteer on the referendum result.

Below the Faulknerites, unionism – or Protestantism – had some darker supporters: Ian Paisley was one; William Craig, a former minister of home affairs in Belfast, another. Craig raised the Vanguard party in opposition to Faulkner, whom he regarded as a traitor for ‘selling up’ to British direct rule and for accepting the dissolution of the local Protestant-dominated Stormont parliament. He was a rabble-rouser. He cursed his opponents; he abused the more constitutional politicians; he wanted to be seen as a friend of the ordinary Protestant, although he himself came from a middle-class background. He warned what might happen if ‘the people’ were pushed too far. He talked obliquely of civil war.

HE was not unlike Nigel Farage, whose former leadership of Ukip had almost as fearful an effect on the Tories as Craig’s Vanguard and Ian Paisley’s DUP had on Faulkner’s official unionists.

Now, however, any parallels fall apart. At least for the time being. Because Paisley was an anti-Catholic sectarian bully who encouraged Protestant militants, while Craig turned into the sinister political leader of those tens of thousands of brown-uniformed UDA men – some of whose members later proved to be responsible for the most horrific sectarian murders in Northern Ireland. Farage has no militia, and nor do the less restrained Brexit men such as Tommy Robinson. I did, however, watch the footage of the Brexit supporters screaming abuse at MPs outside parliament and the union-flag-waving toughs pushing and shoving journalists in Whitehall last week. No, they were not fascist thugs – but they were very unhappy.

Northern Ireland ghosts abound; the description of the Brexiteers’ protest march as ‘like Cromwell’s army’, for example, and the very name English Defence League, which is not that different from Ulster Defence Association. The anonymous death-threat letters the UDA would send to politicians in Belfast have a lot in common with the modern social-media death threats now targeted at non-Brexit MPs at Westminster.

Northern Ireland’s roughnecks even had their dodgy financial sponsors, the provenance of whose money we could never quite establish.

But it’s not the nature of the violence I am remembering. The IRA as well as the UDA killed political leaders; indeed it was the IRA who killed MP Ian Gow in 1990. They murdered Airey Neave.

JO Cox – I tend to see her assassination as a deliberate right-wing political killing rather than the work merely of a mentally deranged man – has been the only assassination victim of the (pre-referendum) Brexit campaign.


But what I notice is the way the layers of Brexit Toryism are beginning to take on the patina of Northern Ireland’s old Protestant ascendancy: the well-heeled little Englanders at the top, the inflammatory Brexit middle-men down the pecking order whom they fear and prefer not to upset, and the anti-immigrant toughs in London last week.

Just warning of how very, very upset and betrayed these people – aka ‘the British people’ – will feel in the event of a soft Brexit or a Final Say referendum should keep MPs worried enough in the next few days. And then there are all the newspaper stories about how the security services are ready for the outbreak of post-Brexit violence. Or post-non-Brexit violence.

They are almost exactly the same as the Belfast reports we read in 1974.

We used to live like this in Belfast 45 years ago, even when we could forget the IRA. The constitutional politicians rode the back of the tiger – until it ate them. For the heart of unionist Protestant Ulster was more important than Britain, just as the heart of the Tory Party is – and has been for decades – more important than Britain.

Now those Ulster super-loyalists Theresa May has tried to bribe – as unrepresentative of Northern Ireland’s people in the 1970s as they are today – are biting the poor prime minister, along with their dubious Brexiteer friends.

What irony! What lessons from the past!

With many thanks to the: Irish Independent and Robert Fisk for the original story

Irish Independent

Sex, collusion and coercion in a midlands town: How Disclosures Tribunal will probe garda’s ‘relationship with drug dealer’




Sir Anthony Blunt KCVO FBA FSA


NAZI SALUTES: What about the wartime letters from the Royals to their Nazi relatives that spy and Paedophile Anthony Blunt was sent to retrieve?




Eric Witchell who ran Williamson House

Last month Village described how Eric Witchell, the paedophile who ran Williamson House for orphans and neglected children in Belfast, was a key figure in the Anglo-Irish Vice Ring. There is as yet no indication that he will be questioned by the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse despite the fact he is one of the most important living witnesses to the existence of a vice ring which supplied children to VIPs abusers. They included Enoch Powell MP and a mysterious ‘refined’ Englishman who was a visitor to Northern Ireland (NI). The victim of the ‘refined’ Englishman is certain he was Sir Anthony Blunt, the infamous MI5 traitor, paedophile and Keeper of the Queen’s Pictures. Blunt was also a regular visitor to Ireland and active, albeit at a low level, in NI politics. He had an extensive circle of friends in Ireland, many of whom were also paedophiles.

Left to Right William McGrath, James Molyneaux MP, Eric Wintchell and Ian Paisley

In Part 1 of this article we will look at aspects of Blunt’s background and some of his more sinister connections to Ireland before turning to the intriguing allegation that he was the ‘refined’ Englishman.

In Part 2 we will describe the existence of a group of children who were defiled and broken by Witchell at Williamson House with the result they became sexually compliant playthings before they were sent to Kincora Boys Home where they became fodder in an MI5 blackmail operation. According to one of the victims, the operation revolved around a series of hotels including the Park Avenue and the Europa in Belfast, and the Queen’s Court in Bangor. Independent contemporaneous notes from a British Army psychological operations (PSYOPs) officer confirm the existence of a “prostitution ring supplying boys to hotels in Belfast and Bangor” at the time. The targets of the operation included working-class Loyalists from the UDA, UVF and DUP. We will refer to one of the DUP targets as “The Wife Beater”. He was a man with connections to paramilitaries and was despised by his party leader, Ian Paisley.

Sir Michael Hanley, the former head of MI5. Hanley was reportedly picked by Lord Victor Rothschild to be head of MI5. http://SIR MICHAEL HANLY, ROTHSCHILD, SEX

In Part 3 we will tell the story of ‘Charles’, another of Witchell’s Williamson House victims. In 2017 the Hart Inquiry rejected the notion that a paedophile network had operated in Northern Ireland in the 1970s with official connivance. The Hart Report is littered with factual inaccuracies and has been shredded by commentators. Charles’ account – told here for the first time – undermines it even further.

One of the Kincora victims Richard Kerr


Many of the boys who were sent to the hotels to satisfy the venal appetites of the strangers who preyed upon them at them and sometimes in their homes; and those who were abused inside the walls of Williamson House and/or Kincora by familiar staff members, were consigned to a life of depression, ill health, drug and alcohol abuse, isolation and – in a number of cases – suicide. Very few of the victims went on to form stable and lasting relationships or have families. It is now too late for one of them, Clint Massey, who lived a lonely and isolated existence. Towards the end of his life, he grew into a courageous Kincora campaigner. Sadly, he succumbed to cancer earlier this year without ever achieving justice. It was Massey who recalled a lot of “suits” arriving at Kincora, often in the evening. “In those days, there were loads of people over from London. I have always assumed they were senior figures from Whitehall. I certainly heard English accents”, he once revealed.

Lord Mountbatten (back row, centre) uncle of Prince Philip. He was also caught up in the paedophile ring

None of the puppet masters in MI5, MI6, the Home Office, the Northern Ireland Office, the Foreign Office or Whitehall, who were responsible for this world of pain, have ever been made to answer for their egregious crimes.


Theresa May must shoulder the responsibility for the ongoing cover-up of this far-reaching scandal. When she was Home Secretary, she assigned the Kincora Boys Home probe to the Hart Inquiry which was not given the power to compel witnesses. Instead, she should have let the Independent Inquiry into Child Sex Abuse in London, which had such a power, deal with it.

Eric Witchell

MI5 then proceeded to withhold the full truth about its penetration of the DUP from Hart and much more besides.

MI5 agent John McKeague who was also a founding member of the RHC (Red Hand Commando)

A number of declassified files which were furnished to Hart reveal that the NIO (i.e. MI5) had informers inside the DUP. However, they raise more questions than answers. In particular, how many of MI5’s DUP informers were blackmail victims, i.e. men who were lured to the Park Avenue and the other hotels by Joe Mains, the Warden of Kincora, or his friend and fellow MI5 agent, John McKeague, to defile boys? See Village December 2017 and February 2018 for details about John McKeague’s links to MI5.



Some DUP informers who were recruited while they were in their twenties are now in their sixties and early seventies and may still be active in the DUP. It would be a scandal if a single informer – recruited as a result of underage sexual blackmail – remains in the party that is now the tail that wags the British Government dog.

More than any other political figure in the UK, Theresa May, first as Home Secretary and now Prime Minister, has had the right to ask and be told how far MI5 managed to penetrate the fabric of the DUP, whether by surveillance or agent recruitment. MI5’s array of agents were undoubtedly recruited in the normal way, i.e. through the exploitation of internal party rivalries; bribery; and blackmail involving sexual, political and financial corruption. As with Sinn Féin, the penetration of the DUP was carried out during the Troubles against a background where the party had multiple links to Loyalist paramilitary groups including the UDA and the Red Hand Commando. The “Wife Beater”, for example, had connections to the Red Hand Commando led by John McKeague. Another DUP agent was a lover of William McGrath, the housefather at Kincora, and leader of a paramilitary group known as Tara. See Village December 2017.

In more recent times, an audit must have been conducted by MI5 and the Cabinet Office to ascertain what leverage the British Government might exercise over the DUP after Brexit; the same files must have been dusted down in the run-up to the conclusion of the confidence and supply arrangement between the DUP and the Tories in 2017.

Collusion is not an Illusion!!!

What, if anything, was May told about the use of sexual blackmail involving children during MI5’s penetration of the DUP? Was she told anything about blackmail victims such as the “Wife Beater”?

Is it possible she knows less about the “Wife Beater’s” dark side than the Garda? On one occasion officers serving with Garda Special Branch were told about the domestic abuse he meted out to his wife by their RUC counterparts; and the number of callouts the RUC was obliged to make to his house to deal with his rages.


If May was worthy of the trust placed in her by the British public, and is the Christian she professes to be, she would come clean on what MI5 has revealed to her about the DUP members who were subjected to blackmail, whether sexual or otherwise. If MI5 has disclosed nothing to her, and she has not asked it about the issue, she should do so now, make a full and comprehensive statement in the Commons and fire those who have participated in the cover-up of this scandal.

May, of course, will do nothing of the sort because she is gullible and in thrall to the most devious elements inside Whitehall who pull her strings and really call the shots. Her predecessor David Cameron was also their minion when it came to intelligence matters. Cameron told the family of Patrick Finucane (the Belfast solicitor who had been assassinated by British agents in NI) that he could not order a public inquiry into the scandal. When Finucane’s brother Martin asked him why, he turned to Mrs Finucane and said: “Look, the last administration couldn’t deliver an inquiry in your husband’s case and neither can we”. According to Cameron this was because “there are people all around this place, [10 Downing Street], who won’t let it happen”. As he was saying this, he raised a finger and made a circular motion in the air.

Jeremy Corbyn, however, has the appearance of a man with sufficient integrity and independence of mind to force the Whitehall, MI5 and MI6 pirates to walk the plank from Britain’s Ship of State. Corbyn’s deputy leader, Tom Watson, is one of the few politicians in Britain with proven grit: he has pursued the VIP vice ring scandal with courage and vigour for years. He is also a deft political operator.




By the 1970s, the puppet-masters who were overseeing the machinations of the paedophiles in the Anglo-Irish Vice Ring were not the aristocrats, nor the Unionist politicians who had been running it and preying on orphanages and care homes since the 1940s but rather MI5 and MI6, two organisations with an expertise in the black art of sexual blackmail. Ian Cameron led MI5 operations in Northern Ireland including the exploitation of the Anglo-Irish Vice Ring, in the mid-1970s. It is not even remotely conceivable that Cameron’s superior, Director-General, Sir Michael Hanley, who was based in London, was unaware of what he was doing in Ireland.

Malcom Turnbull  Also acted as Wrights lawyer. He later enter politics and became Prime Minister of Australia, a post he held until very recently

Peter Wright of MI5 was Hanley’s right-hand man at MI5’s HQ in London. Wright developed an extensive knowledge of the Anglo-Irish Vice Ring. His research most likely inspired the idea of exploiting the boys already ensnared by the ring for blackmail purposes if he did not instigate the sordid operation himself. The blackmail operation began while Loyalist opposition to the interests of the British State was at its height in the 1970s. The information in Wright’s files also provided potent ammunition for destabilisation purposes. In his books Wright blithely described how MI5 used prostitutes and engaged in sexual blackmail, albeit he did not go as far as to acknowledge that children had been exploited in these operations. He did, however, withhold his darkest secrets from publication and threatened to release them if MI5 did anything untoward against him during his marathon battle in Australia to get his first book, Spycatcher, published. Wright, more than most, knew full well that the British State was capable of murdering him. Emphatically, many of these secrets concerned MI5 wrongdoing in Ireland. “I spent a lot of time in Ireland”, he has written, “and it was not pleasant. We also did a lot of things there which I am never going to talk about, because it would just cause more trouble”. See Village July 2017. Malcolm Turnbull, who acted as Wright’s lawyer, might know about the secret dossier. He later entered politics and became Prime Minister of Australia, a post he held until very recently.

MI5’s Peter Wright: Soviet Spy, Double Agent and Agent Provocateur.



Peter Wright debriefed Blunt after he confessed in 1964 that he had worked for the KGB while serving inside MI5. The debriefing lasted seven years during which Wright and his colleagues in MI5 poured over the lives of the Oxbridge graduates of the 1930s, and anyone else of possible interest known to Blunt, many of whom, like him, were paedophiles. “Often we drank, he gin and I Scotch; always we talked, about the 1930s, about the KGB, about espionage and friendship, love and betrayal. They remain for me among the most vivid encounters of my life”, Wright wrote in Spycatcher.

Wright also wrote about how “Blunt, too, loved to discuss the scandalous side of Cambridge life in the 1930s… I soon realised that the Ring of Five [Cambridge-educated spies and traitors] stood at the centre of a series of other connecting rings, each pledged to silence, each anxious to protect its secrets from outsiders. There was the secret ring of homosexuals, where loyalty to their kind overrode all other obligations; there was the secret world of the Apostles, where ties to fellow Apostles remained strong throughout life; and then there was the ring of those friends of Blunt and Burgess who were not themselves spies, but who knew or guessed what was going on. Each ring supported the others, and made the task of identifying the inner core that much more difficult”.

In return for betraying some – but apparently not all – of his friends, former left-wing comrades and other miscellaneous associates, Blunt was not prosecuted for his treachery, nor for his sexual activities, all of which were concealed from public view until 1979 when Robin Bryans, an Irish writer and friend-turned-enemy, outed him with the help of Private Eye magazine.


Wright personally interviewed and re-interviewed more than 100 people over a period of seven years. By his own admission, the most ‘important’ information was about ‘who was sleeping with whom’ in the Guy Burgess and Blunt circle. Both Blunt and Burgess were paedophiles.

In Spycatcher Wright revealed that one of his interviewees, Arthur Marshall, “knew practically everyone in Cambridge in the 1930s, particularly the secret network of homosexuals at King’s and Trinity. Artie had a prodigious memory for gossip, intrigue and scandal, and most importantly of all, he knew who was sleeping with whom in the [Guy] Burgess and Blunt circles”.

By the end of his investigation Wright could boast: “I had seen into the secret heart of the present Establishment at a time when they had been young and careless. I knew their scandals and their intrigues. I knew too much, and they knew it”.


These inquiries must have enabled Wright to uncover and map out a concealed layer of Blunt’s existence: a paedophile netherworld that spanned both sides of the Irish Sea. Blunt was a regular visitor to Northern Ireland and a veteran member of the Anglo-Irish Vice Ring. Two of his closest friends in Ireland were paedophiles: Captain Peter Montgomery and Knox Cunningham.

Peter Montgomery Deputy Lord Lieutenant of Tyrone, and a member of Ulster’s landed aristocracy

Peter Montgomery was the Deputy Lord Lieutenant of Tyrone, and a member of Ulster’s landed aristocracy. His family owned an estate at Fivemiletown, Co Tyrone. During WWII he served with British military intelligence. His second cousin was “Monty”, the famous WWII general. Peter Montgomery became Blunt’s first boyfriend and thereafter his most enduring friend. Blunt always kept a room for him at his London residence while Blunt often came to Ireland to visit him at Fivemiletown. They also enjoyed trips around Ireland to other paedophiles on the “country house” circuit.

Follow this link to find out more about Peter Montgomery: http://www.rascal.ac.uk/institutions/public-record-office-northern-ireland-proni/montgomery-family-papers

Sir Knox Cunningham was an Ulster Unionist MP and QC. As an MP he had attended Cabinet meetings in Downing Street as the private secretary to British Prime Minister Harold Macmillan.

Sir Knox Cunningham was an Ulster Unionist MP and QC

Somewhere along the line Blunt had become a desensitised and callous abuser of young males despite his lofty pretension to care for the working class. He was particularly fond of ‘cottaging’ around seedy toilets in London for urchins, and no doubt did the same during his regular visits to Belfast.

All of Peter Wright’s MI5 files concerning Blunt and his associates should be handed over to the Independent Inquiry into Child Sex Abuse.


The world Blunt was hurled into as a child was barbaric, even by the standards of that time. He attended Marlborough College in the 1920s when it was a brutal and sadistic institution. Blunt’s great friend, the Irish poet Louis MacNeice, described in his autobiography how the school bullies would “seize a boy, tear his clothes off and cover him with house paint. Then put him in a wastepaper bag filled with rubbish and push him round the hall… The masters considered this a fine tradition”.

Old Malburian Club member Sir Peter Tennant

Another Old Malburian, Sir Peter Tennant, remembered that “Marlborough was ridden with homosexuality. I suppose all public schools are full of buggery. Masters were deeply involved in it. I won’t name names but as far as I can make out they were practising homosexuals and did it with some boys… I remember the headmaster, George Turner, giving a speech, saying, we will have no more buggery”.

John Betjeman Poet laureate and British cultural  attaché to the British Embassy in Dublin during the 1940s

John Betjeman, a future poet laureate and British cultural attaché to the British Embassy in Dublin during the 1940s, was haunted throughout his adult life by the memory of a child at the school peering out through the slats of a large basket like a terrified animal as the bullies hoist him in the air.

Then there was “hot-potting”, where the Malburian bullies stripped the trousers off their victims and made them wear two pottery tooth-mugs filled with flaming paper on their buttocks.

Another ritual, known as “bum shaving” was administered by prefects. This involved stripping two small boys naked and forcing them to bend over, backsides touching as one of the prefect’s whips came down between their buttocks. The trick according to Blunt’s older brother Wilfred, was to relax at the last minute and let the other boy take the full brunt of the lash.


Blunt emerged from Marlborough homosexual and went on to Cambridge. It was there that he befriended Peter Montgomery. At Cambridge Blunt also fell in with Guy Burgess, another future MI5 and MI6 traitor, and an occasional visitor to Ireland. (See Village May 2017.) The pair frequently trawled gay pubs and lavatories in London for working-class boys. In 1938 Burgess was arrested and charged with improperly soliciting a man in a public lavatory.

Follow this link to find out about The Ring of Five (Apostles): https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cambridge_Five

One of Blunt’s biographers, Miranda Carter, has provided a glimpse of the lifestyle of Blunt and Montgomery. She described how “Hugh Massingberd, Peter Montgomery’s great-nephew, remembered meeting Blunt, very much “off duty”, with his uncle in 1965. “It was a very hot day, and Blunt came in wearing virtually a G-string and a light sleeveless T-shirt, and said, ‘Peter’s overdressed and I’m underdressed. How do you do?’ It was a bit stagey”. His uncle also once took him to a party at Blunt’s old stomping ground, Palace Court. “There seemed to be a lot of oriental youths around, and Blunt and my uncle, one felt, had dropped their guards. It was full of opera queens and an odd mixture of seedy old faggots and oriental boys. It was very much a gay party”. (384)

Montgomery was a key figure in the Anglo-Irish Vice Ring and procured boys for its members from Portora Royal School in Enniskillen, Co Fermanagh. Lord Louis Mountbatten was one of those who enjoyed sex with pupils from Portora during his visits to Ireland.

Montgomery was also a friend of the British artist Derek Hill who lived in Ireland. Bruce Arnold’s biography of Hill provides a further glimpse of Montgomery’s lifestyle. Arnold describes a visit Montgomery made to a friend of Hill’s in Paris, a man called Geoffrey Gilmour. “Geoffrey Gilmour’s supposedly rather louche behaviour was not all fantasy. A friend of Derek’s – Peter Montgomery, who was gay – visited Geoffrey in Paris. He was taken to visit Diana Mosley at Orsay and entertained well. Geoffrey wanted to take Peter out clubbing in the city. He made him strip to his underpants and unburden himself of all possible valuables, including watch, ring, everything. Only then was it safe to go out and face gay club life in Paris. It seems it was not a lot different from the same kind of entertainment in New York and elsewhere”. (Arnold 293)


Village, The Belfast Telegraph and Channel 4 News, have all reported extensively about the stolen life of Richard Kerr, a victim of sexual abuse at Williamson House and Kincora. See, for example, Kincora Survivor in Village, November 2017; and Suffer Little Children, Village May 2018. The Channel 4 news broadcast is available on YouTube.

In the summer of either 1973 or 1974, when Richard Kerr was 12 or 13, and a resident at Williamson House, he was abused by a man who identified himself as “Andrew”. Kerr is adamant that the man was Blunt. If he is correct, Blunt would have been about 65 or 66 years of age. The man Kerr recalls was ‘about 62 to 65’. Whether he was indeed Blunt or someone who shared his distinctive appearance and build, the fact that a young boy in care in Belfast was supplied to an Englishman for sex is in itself a scandal.

Kerr’s journey to meet ‘Andrew’ began at Williamson House where he was picked up by two men in a car. En route, they stopped off at the Culloden Hotel on the Bangor Road opposite what Kerr recalls as the ‘Old Folk Museum’ which is clearly a reference to the ‘Ulster Folk and Transport Museum’. The adult front seat passenger went inside the Culloden, probably to make a telephone call and receive instructions. After he came out, they proceeded on to Bangor and reached a hotel which Kerr recalls was called the ‘King or Queen’s Arms, something like that’. This was undoubtedly the Queen’s Court Hotel. Kerr recalls the hotel was on the seafront; had an old fashioned lift and a few floors, just as the Queen’s Court had.

Significantly, it also had a large function room at its rear and was a popular venue for dance bands and discos in the 1970s, a factor which, in addition to its seafront location, made it ideal for a paedophile group because it was perfectly normal for young people to be on the premises and for adults who were total strangers to book rooms at it for short stays.

The Girton Lodge and Park Avenue hotels on the Newtownards Road were also used by the ring because young people were often present unescorted.

Kerr was taken inside and left to wait for a while in the lounge area. He got the feeling that a man present in the lounge was involved in what was taking place. A while later Kerr was brought upstairs by the adult passenger from the car and introduced to the man who would abuse him, a man who called himself ‘Andrew’. Kerr would spend about three hours with him upstairs. ‘Andrew’ was tall, wore a three-piece suit and came over as a ‘very unique type of’ person; someone who ‘presented himself very well and did a lot of talking’ in a refined English accent. Kerr was struck by his penchant for secrecy. ‘We can keep this to ourselves’ he urged. ‘I am a man of my word. I will look after you’, he promised in return for the boy’s silence.

Kerr found him ‘polite’ and ‘a little more gentle’ than some of his other abusers. Kerr was, as he puts it himself, ‘abused by sharks and dolphins and I would rather be with the dolphins.’ ‘Andrew’ was not violent with him as Enoch Powell MP had been. ‘Andrew’ had a grandfather watch and chain. ‘He pulled it out and flipped it open and entertained me with it. He let me hold it’, Kerr recalls. He also gave him a box of chocolates. ‘A lot of them gave me chocolates, Black Magic, Milk Tray and Quality Street. How did they known I liked chocolates?

Despite his pretence at kindness, the man was a perfidious and calculating pervert with only one agenda – to have sex with a child. Once he had put him at a relative ease, the older man instructed Kerr to get undressed and started kissing his ears. By now this type of behaviour had become ‘natural’ for the boy; he had become, as he puts it himself, “a boy toy”. He focussed his mind on the chocolates while ‘Andrew’ continued to talk into his ears softly; repeatedly whispering that he was “safe”. He soon made his real intention clear: he wanted the boy to penetrate him and then give him a massage. Kerr did as he was bid.

Later, in the car on the way home, one of the men stressed the importance of not talking about the man in the hotel. ‘Richie, you must not talk about this to anyone’, he stressed.

It was night by the time Kerr arrived back at Williamson House after this ordeal. He was abused on at least two further occasions by ‘Andrew’ who had obviously been promised access to the boy by the men running the ring and hence ‘Andrew’ had told him in Bangor that he ‘would look after’ him. Kerr never stayed with him overnight as he did with some of his other abusers.

Kerr recalls another incident which took place in a house with a ‘library’ with a driveway leading up to it. On this occasion, ‘Andrew’ gave him alcohol, either brandy or scotch.

One day Kerr was watching TV when Blunt came on the screen and he recognised him immediately as ‘Andrew’. This was undoubtedly the press interview Blunt gave after he had been unmasked as a traitor on 20 November 1979.


MI5 and the RUC Special Branch had a clear duty and interest in maintaining an eye on Blunt’s movements in Ireland for a number of reasons. First, he was the Keeper of the Queen’s Pictures, a former member of MI5, and, like his friend Captain Peter Montgomery, the Deputy Lord Lieutenant of Tyrone, a possible IRA assassination target.

Second, as a former Soviet agent, Peter Wright and others in MI5 would have felt it imperative to keep an eye on him lest he revert to his treacherous old ways. At the time they were concerned that the Soviet Union might be meddling in the affairs of Northern Ireland.

Third, Blunt remained a potent font of knowledge. Despite any lingering suspicion MI5 might have harboured about his repentance, by the early 1970s, they would have been quizzing him intently about what he knew about his political friends including those in the Ulster Unionist Party (UUP) such as Knox Cunningham and his protégé James Molyneaux MP, who rose to become leader of the UUP. Suffice it to say, they would have had a particularly keen interest in any of the paedophiles and pederasts in his circle who were now influential in Loyalist circles.

Bearing the foregoing in mind, and assuming for the moment that Blunt was indeed ‘Andrew’, it is difficult to conceive how he could have gained access to a child from Williamson House without MI5’s knowledge. While it is possible that Peter Montgomery could have arranged the assignations for him, it is unlikely that Eric Witchell would have released Kerr from the home on three occasions to him or anyone else without permission from his handlers. The odds are high that Blunt had wormed his way so deeply back into MI5’s good books they were prepared to let him enjoy this perk as a reward.


Blunt was also active in Northern Ireland politics. In one of his books, the Irish author and journalist, Robin Bryans, described how Blunt – whom he had known extremely well – had once tried to inveigle him into a scheme to undermine Ian Paisley. Unfortunately, Bryans did not reveal the details of this plot; in particular he failed to disclose the date. Nonetheless, it is abundantly clear that MI5 schemed and plotted against Paisley during the early and mid-1970s by attempting to link him with a homosexual netherworld, precisely the terrain about which Blunt was so familiar. See Village December 2017. If the plot Bryans wrote about falls into this timeframe, it raises the possibility Blunt was a cog in it, a further indication of his return to the MI5 fold.

If it was earlier, in the mid to late 1960s, MI5 would have been keen to learn the minutiae of the plot as part of its efforts to build up a picture of Paisley’s life and associations. Ultimately, it recruited William McGrath, the housefather at Kincora, who knew about Paisley’s involvement in a string of UVF explosions in the late 1960s. See ‘Blackmailed’ in Village December 2017.

Either way Blunt would have been of enormous potential to MI5 as a source in the very early 1970s when they were desperate for information about the men directing the Loyalist opposition to London. A man like Blunt would have been invaluable to them because he would have helped break their reliance on the RUC Special Branch which was loyal to the Stormont Government and, in their eyes, neither reliable nor competent.

It has been common knowledge for decades that Blunt cooperated with MI5 after it discovered his treachery but the depth of that cooperation has never been fully fathomed. If he gave them information which they used to ensnare Loyalist paedophiles, it would make sense of the strenuous efforts that a string of senior officials in Whitehall exerted to dissuade Margaret Thatcher from naming him as the traitor referred to obliquely in Private Eye. The magazine had stopped just short of naming him. One of their concerns must have been that he would blow the whistle on their dirty trick operations in Ireland.




Ultimately, whether Blunt was ‘Andrew’ and back in the MI5 fold or not, it is crucial not to lose sight of the real essence of this scandal: the existence of the Anglo-Irish Vice Ring and its exploitation by MI5 and MI6 to recruit Loyalists including DUP members.

The links between the key suppliers of children to the ring such as Eric Witchell at Williamson House and the trio of abusers at Kincora were strong. The Kincora trio consisted of Joe Mains (an MI6 and later MI5 agent); William McGrath (also an MI6 and MI5 agent); and Raymond Semple (who did what Mains told him). All of them were visitors to Williamson House. Mains sometimes stayed overnight. At one stage Mains ran Williamson House for a few weeks, presumably because Witchell or some other member of staff was on holiday or ill.

In 1975 a group of 14-year olds under the care of Witchell at Williamson House was transferred to Kincora. Up to this point, Kincora had normally housed 16 –18 year olds. Some, if not all, of the new influx from Williamson House had already been crushed and remoulded to the point where they were fearful and compliant sex drones; probably the very reason for their transfer. They were now earmarked as bait for an MI5 ‘honey trap’ operation based at a series of hotels in Belfast and at least one in Bangor. Over time, some of the boys, especially Richard Kerr, would begin to resist, but not at this stage.

Most, but not all, of the new boys installed at Kincora hailed from Williamson House. They included Richard Kerr who arrived in August 1975; ‘F’, who is still alive; ‘B’, who later shot himself, and ‘S’.

Steven Waring, who had not been in Williamson House, joined a few months after. He committed suicide in 1977.

The reinvigorated Belfast and Bangor hotel ‘honey trap’ operation recommenced in September 1975, a few weeks after Kerr’s arrival at Kincora.

Another young boy, ‘D’, would be consigned to the hell of this existence the following year. He is still alive. Collectively, these boys will be referred to as the Hotel Victim Group.

Kerr, who has described what took place to Village, was the first of the Hotel Victim Group to arrive at Kincora. On the surface, there was no logical reason for the transfer of the new residents. Ian Cameron and MI5, however, were the beneficiaries of the new arrangement because it allowed them to replenish their ongoing “honey trap” blackmail operations in Belfast and Bangor with a fresh batch of younger teenagers who were sexually compliant. In addition, MI5 was in complete control of Kincora, a detached house which was smaller and more manageable from their perspective than Williamson House which consisted of two buildings. Kincora was also controlled by three men, all of whom were paedophiles. Witchell – as a paedophile – was very much on his own at Williamson House, at least at that point in time. In a nutshell, MI5 could remove the members of the Hotel Victim Group from Kincora at will.

Members of the Hotel Victim Group were also shipped to England and Scotland by Mains on the orders of Joss Cardwell, an influential Loyalist politician. (See Village February 2018.)

Joss Cardwell Loyalist politician


The account Richard Kerr has provided about the defilement of boys – including himself – at hotels in Belfast and Bangor is independently confirmed by contemporaneous British Army notes.

One of MI5’s darkest projects in Northern Ireland was entitled Operation Clockwork Orange. It went through a number of phases. It was primarily designed to counter Loyalist anti-State activities. It involved, inter alia, the collection of damaging information about DUP and other Loyalist politicians as well as paramilitaries.

Colin Wallace, a British Army PSYOPS officer, was asked by MI5 to assist Clockwork Orange. Towards this end, he was provided with information which he recorded in his notebook. Forensic examination has proven that his notes are authentic. In December 1974 Wallace recorded the following: “Joseph Mains may be extensively involved in a prostitution ring supplying boys to hotels in Belfast and Bangor. The hotels include: Girton Lodge, Park Avenue; Stormont; Europa and the Queen’s Court in Bangor. [John] McKeague is said to use the Royal Avenue Hotel for the same purposes. Bearing in mind that the East Belfast UDA leadership use the Girton Lodge and the Park Avenue for their meetings, it is simply [not] credible that they did not know what is going on there. Note: Mains has a brother in the RUC. He also has a questionable relationship with Belfast Corporation Welfare Chairman (Cardwell) and Legal Adviser (Young)”.

In September 1975 Wallace wrote a letter to his former boss at British Army HQ in Northern Ireland which referred to “homosexual prostitution at a children’s home in Belfast”. The relevant extract reads as follows: “My concern now is that there may be an attempt by the Ministry [of Defence] to deny any form of official ‘dirty tricks’ organisation existed within the Security Forces. For example, in the Ministry’s summary of my oral representations made [at an employment tribunal] to John Groves and Mr Fairbairn on 10 May reference is made in paragraph 3 to ‘actions’ which I was asked to launch during the [Ulster Workers Council anti-power-sharing] strike. The word “actions” appears to have been used by MOD to conceal the fact that I referred to the attempts made by the Security Service [i.e. MI5] to discredit various Loyalist politicians, including the Rev Ian Paisley [of the DUP], by the use of forged documents and by linking the MPs with loyalist paramilitary figures involved in homosexual prostitution at a children’s home in Belfast”.

Wallace’s Clockwork Orange notes and his September 1975 letter were furnished to the Hart Inquiry which clearly did not appreciate the significance of either. On their own – and at a minimum – they confirm that MI5 knew about the existence of a paedophile network involving Joseph Mains and John McKeague in Belfast and Bangor five years before it was exposed in the Irish Independent, yet did nothing to interfere with it.


When Kerr’s social worker rang Kincora looking for him while he was out of the home being defiled, Joe Mains would brush her off by saying he had gone on some sort of an outing. She was not fooled and would eventually expose the scandal through the Irish Independent in the Republic of Ireland.

Others, beguiled by State lies, have not demonstrated the same penetrating insight as Kerr’s social worker. To cover his tracks, Joe Mains would enter false destinations for the boys into the Kincora logbook, or make no entry at all. While Kerr refused to appear in person before the Hart Inquiry in 2016, it examined a written account he had provided concerning his trips to England. Hart ultimately decided to {i} accept the veracity of the Kincora logs maintained by Joe Mains at face value and {ii} use them to dismiss Kerr’s account of his trips to England and {iii} dispute his credibility. Does it need to be stressed that the organisers of paedophile rings have never been known to {i} make accurate and incriminating records of their crimes, {ii} preserve them and {iii} ultimately furnish them to the police?




After the departure of Kerr and the others from Williamson House in 1975, Witchell found a set of new victims to torment. ‘Charles’ (not his real name) was a few years younger than Kerr. His ordeal began in 1975.

Last month Village outline some of the activities Witchell engaged in while at Williamson House. Charles’ account adds further detail to our knowledge of him. He recalls how Witchell presented himself as “plausible”, and how he ‘hoodwinked people into thinking that he was a man of God”; how he “wore a cloak, portraying himself as a man of God but was a paedophile”. Witchell, an Anglican Franciscan, should not have worn the habit of his Order as it was a condition of his employment that he would not.

Witchell’s horrific abuse of Charles lasted five years, only ending when he left Williamson House at the age of 18.

Charles had been abandoned by his parents at Brefne Residential Nursery in Belfast as an infant. He was transferred to Williamson House at the age of 4 at the end of the 1960s.

Charles’ motive for talking to Village is to tell the story of what happened at Williamson House on behalf of the victims who took their own lives. Richard Kerr shares this identical motive, as does his brother Alan Kerr, whose story will be told in the next edition of Village.


Charles has many happy memories of Williamson House but they all pre-date 1975. For a start, the children were always well fed and clothed, and the home boasted a full complement of staff to mind the children. Charles remembers games of tennis and football; playing in a recreation room which had a television; visits from well-wishers. Christmases were memorable too for all the right reasons: Charles and his friends spent time with kindly families who welcomed them into their homes over the festive season. There was also a string of Christmas celebrations around Belfast to which they were taken.

The children were integrated into the wider community by being enrolled at various primary and secondary schools nearby. Some of the Catholic boys, for example, went to a Christian Brothers school.

Charles recalls how the Catholic and Protestant children got along perfectly well with each other. ‘The Catholics were like my family”, Charles, a Protestant, recalls.

Charles got to spend time with two other families in the community who treated him kindly. He went with one of them to the Martyrs Memorial Church on Sundays where Ian Paisley gave his sermons. Charles recalls having chatted to Paisley, something that occurred a few times as the family he accompanied to Paisley’s church often turned up half an hour before the sermons began, when Paisley came out to mix with them.

Charles enjoyed Paisley’s captivating style of preaching. “He was charismatic”, he recalls. Paisley would quote scripture and make the occasional reference to Catholics but, insofar as Charles recalls, he didn’t really dwell on the issue. “The implication was that the Catholics were going to go to hell. He didn’t say so in so many words” but that was what he meant. Charles, who clearly had a mind of his own from a young age, took no heed of Paisley’s bigotry and continued to get on perfectly well with his Catholic “family” at the home.

What Charles did not know was that Paisley knew what was going on at Kincora from at least 1973 (see Village December 2017). Paisley – one of the best informed men in Ireland about the seedy underbelly of Loyalist politics and paramilitarism – must have learnt or at least suspected that Kincora was not an isolated aberration and that similar violations were being perpetrated at other homes. Yet, while he occasionally visited care homes and orphanages in Northern Ireland – including Williamson House – he never once lifted a finger to end the suffering of a single victim at any of them.


Eric Witchell used the existence of Kincora to intimidate and control the children he abused at Williamson House. “He threatened us with Kincora,’ Charles has explained. “If you are a bad boy, you’ll end up in Kincora”, he would warn.

William McGrath, the Housefather at Kincora, was a familiar face to the children at Williamson House. Witchell introduced him to them as “Master McGrath”, his idea of a joke as Master McGrath was then a popular dog food.

He described McGrath as “his friend, someone who worked in another home” but he did not tell them it was Kincora. To the best of Charles’ recollection, Witchell never once mentioned that McGrath worked at Kincora. “They were often together having cups of tea and biscuits. [McGrath] would chat with Eric in a room”. He saw them together “many, many times”.

Richard Kerr confirms what Charles has to say about McGrath’s regular visits to Williamson House.

Raymond Semple, the third abusive staff member at Kincora, also visited Williamson House. However, he may have been visiting a relative who worked there, a ‘lovely’ person who was not involved in any abuse’, according to Charles.

Mains, McGrath and Semple were all convicted of child abuse in December 1981.

The following link brought about the conviction of Mains, McGrath and Semple: https://books.google.co.uk/books?id=WPzOCwAAQBAJ&pg=PA243&lpg=PA243&dq=Joe+Mains,+McGrath+and+Semple+convicted+of+child+abuse+December+1981&source=bl&ots=3_nyzxyRng&sig=ACfU3U3IN0c4tgowFeCbVE4S6iKDdIE_4g&hl=en&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwi7g9yojLfhAhWCtXEKHfFnC9MQ6AEwCHoECAYQAQ#v=onepage&q=Joe%20Mains%2C%20McGrath%20and%20Semple%20convicted%20of%20child%20abuse%20December%201981&f=false

How and when did Witchell first become acquainted with Mains and McGrath and what did they discuss? Some of their deliberations must have involved the selection of suitable candidates for the transfers from Williamson House to Kincora. These are questions Witchell will have to answer if he is brought before the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse in London. Professor Alexis Jay, who is now in charge of it, can hardly be expected to understand the full extent of the sexual abuse which took place in England, Scotland and Wales – much of which was successfully concealed by the Special Branch on orders from MI5 – if she chooses to ignore the research and evidence available about the modus operandi of MI5 in Ireland. Unfortunately, she cannot rely upon the Hart Report as an accurate account of what happened in NI. At the very least, she should conduct interviews with the many witnesses – whether victims or perpetrators – who did not contribute to the Hart Inquiry, especially Eric Witchell.

Witchell, if he chooses to tell the truth, will be able to provide details about the trafficking of Richard Kerr to Enoch Powell MP, something that is definitely within her remit. See Village May 2018. Witchell should also be asked about what he knows about Anthony Blunt, again something within Professor Jay’s remit.

Colin Wallace, whose life was derailed because he tried to tell the truth about Kincora, is another witness who should be interviewed.

In addition, MI5 should be required to furnish Professor Jay with the list of the agents it recruited inside the DUP. It should not be limited to those who attained elected public office

Watch “PEDOGATE Clear Coverup, Kincora” on YouTube

https://youtu.be/Watch “PEDOGATE Clear Coverup, Kincora” on YouTube

With many thanks to the: Village Magazine Ireland’s political and cultural magazine and the Author who has written this piece Joseph de Búrca for for the original story

Pat Finucane human rights lawyer executed by loyalist paramilitary forces on the orders of Britain’s secret service MI5/Special Branch

Extremism has become normal
Her Majesty’s Hatchetman: the murder of Pat Finucane


History repeating as the Union itself stands at the ‘crossroads’

Fifty years ago saw the end of unionist-only government; now, there’s a lot more at stake

The North of Ireland’s prime minister Terence O’Neill and independent unionist candidate Maj RL Hall-Thompson during the 1969 election. Photograph: Tommy Collins/The Irish Times

Fifty years ago, on February 24th, 1969, was Northern Ireland’s “crossroads” election. Northern Ireland prime minister Terence O’Neill hadn’t wanted one, fearing, as he put it, “that those who would sow the wind by having a bitter election now would surely reap the whirlwind”. O’N eill was also the first senior unionist to realise that repeating the “we are the majority”’ mantra was not going to be enough anymore. But his hand was forced by increasing pressure from his own Stormont backbenchers about what they described as his continuing weakness in the face of civil rights demonstrations across Northern Ireland and reformist pressure from Harold Wilson’s Labour government in London.

Between December 9th, 1968 (when he made his “Ulster at the crossroads” speech) and early February, he was forced to sack a cabinet minister; another one – along with two junior ministers – resigned. A third of his parliamentary party called for his resignation. An election seemed his only option; so, buoyed up by the 150,000 letters of support which had followed his “crossroads” speech, he chose to ignore his personal “reap the whirlwind” opinion and appeal to a supposed “groundswell” of moderate support for his policies.

The Unionist Party endorsed and fielded official candidates who were both pro- and anti-O’Neill
It was to be a fatal miscalculation, yet fairly typical of an otherwise decent, thoughtful, reform-minded man who never really had his finger on the pulse of traditional grassroots unionism. As Brian Faulkner noted: “I do not think he ever felt really at home in Ulster politics. His personal remoteness made it difficult for him to lead his party along new and difficult paths at a very crucial period in the province’s history.”

Internal critics
And it was that remoteness, along with a reluctance to listen to well-disposed internal critics, which led to his comprehensive inability to appreciate the sheer scale of the opposition to him. My father, who knew him reasonably well, told me: “Just because Terence was looking at you and nodding politely didn’t mean he was seeing or listening to you.”

What followed was farce on an epic scale. The Unionist Party endorsed and fielded official candidates who were both pro- and anti-O’Neill. A group of pro-O’Neill supporters formed the New Ulster Movement three weeks before the election, backing pro-O’Neill candidates within the Unionist Party, as well as 17 “unofficial” Unionist candidates who were opposing the anti-O’Neill candidates from the Unionist Party. O’Neill, as tin-eared as ever, didn’t seem to have a problem canvassing for “unofficial” candidates who were running against candidates selected by his own party.

The result was a disaster for him. Of the 39 unionists who won, 27 were supporters (although some much more so than others). The comfortable majority he had banked on winning from the “groundswell” of moderate opinion didn’t materialise, leaving him with a paper-thin 27-25 overall majority in Parliament. Just one defector would cripple him. He was hobbled; deprived of the authority he needed to negotiate with Westminster and permanently at the mercy of his internal opponents. Ironically, both Brian Faulkner (in January-May 1974, after he had signed the Sunningdale Agreement) and David Trimble (after the 1998 Assembly election) found themselves in a similar position: lacking authority and flexibility because they didn’t have a solid unionist majority behind them, even though that same groundswell of moderate opinion was supposedly supporting them.

Eased out
Within two months O’Neill had been eased out of the leadership. But by that stage it was too late to avoid the impending implosion. Under his successors (James Chichester-Clark, who defeated Brian Faulkner by just 17-16, and then Faulkner, who replaced him in March 1971), the unionist government found itself forced into one concession after another. And with each new concession came another division. Between 1970 and early 1972 a number of new political/electoral vehicles emerged to eat into the Unionist Party vote: Vanguard, formed by Bill Craig, who addressed huge rallies and once spoke of the need to “liquidate” the enemy ; the DUP; and even Alliance, which started life as a home for moderate unionists uncomfortable with the direction of the Unionist Party. Along with that there were a number of new offshoots and independent mavericks operating on the fringes. It was the beginning of the end of the Ulster Unionist monolith.

O’Neill was undone by events beyond his control and the control of the Unionist Party
The biggest change over the past 50 years has been in the election figures. On February 24th, 1969, unionist parties and independent candidates accounted for 67 per cent of the votes cast; while the Northern Ireland Labour Party, which was pro-Union, won 8 per cent; meaning that almost three-quarters of the vote was unionist of one kind or another. On March 2nd, 2017, at the last Assembly election, the combined unionist vote was 45 per cent.

Unionist majority
It was 1969 that marked the end of unionist-only government. 2017 marked the end of an overall unionist majority in a local parliament or assembly. The unionist and pro-union vote is not always the same thing, of course, because there are people who do not vote for unionist parties but who might, nevertheless and for all sorts of reasons, choose to support the Union in a border poll. But the shift in electoral figures since the 1969 “crossroads” election suggests that unionists need to face the fact that it is maybe the Union itself that now stands at the crossroads. This time, though, it is the leader of the DUP monolith who will have to make the crucial decisions on behalf of unionist interests.

Irrespective of the fact that the DUP recorded its largest-ever vote in the 2017 general election, that it is presently a key player at a crucial moment in Westminster, and that Arlene Foster has no rival hovering in the wings with a dagger, her position is not much more comfortable than was O’Neill’s 50 years ago. She is not the mistress of her fate. O’Neill was undone by events beyond his control and the control of the Unionist Party. She, too, is at the mercy of events beyond her personal control or the control of her party.

Alex Kane is a commentator based in Belfast. He was formerly director of communications for the Ulster Unionist Party

With many thanks to: The Irish Times and Alex Kane for the original story