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Down Goes Frazer, Down Goes Frazer, Down Goes Frazer

By Mahons On October 9th, 2019

I’m unclear why it is major news in Northern Ireland but the late William Frazer, a loyalist victims only campaigner, has been accused of participation in supplying guns to loyalist paramilitaries that reportedly resulted in 70 killings. The reason I am unexcited by this development is I thought this type of action was assumed. Perhaps I am wrong.
Frazer was an unlikely candidate for Sainthood. Like many leaders on both sides of the divide he had his hands in the dirty and violent aspects of NI life and was extremely offended by terrorists actions against his side while, how shall I put this, being less upset by terrorist actions by his own crowd.
I suppose the news soils an already soiled reputation, and perhaps deflates the hypocrisy cloud somewhat. I’ll of course hope our NI comrades to weigh in with their thoughts. For me it is like a breaking news flash that Gerry Adams was in the IRA.

26 Responses to “Down Goes Frazer, Down Goes Frazer, Down Goes Frazer”

  1. First of all, sincere apologies to Mahons for my snidy comment on the other post. I mistook his comment as sarcasm and responded in (un)kind.

    I think the issue with Frazer was that he was given a bit of a by-ball, because of his history. Losing his father, uncle and other family and friends appeared to be seen as an excuse for him to behave the way he did. But I don’t think many people believed that he was involved as deeply as these revelations appear to have placed him.
    I think many (most) here saw him as a dangerous fool: inflammatory, divisive, reckless in his actions and language, but not someone who could be so immersed in so many sectarian murders. Not when he campaigned for the victims of murders himself.
    His statements and videos were almost always aimed at stirring up trouble, but I think that was all people thought he was doing: stirring up trouble, not supplying the guns to cause that trouble. Many, myself included, laughed at much of his stuff online. His ridiculous statements and insane stunts: dressing up as Muslim cleric and agitator Abbu Hamza for a court appearance; the hamburger and horse picture; the fake kidnapping. The list goes on. And on. And, unfortunately on.
    When he died, I, like many others, were bothered at the immediate attacks on the guy. I didn’t like him, didn’t like his politics, didn’t like his attitude, didn’t like him personally (I only met him once, and he was a dick). But he left behind a wife and family, and I think it crass in the extreme to attack someone when their family is grieving. I have noticed that here on ATW, most public figures are given a 24 hour period of grace before the attacks start, an approach which I find respectful, if not always adhered to.
    These revelations shed a new light on someone most believed to be a clown. Is it too close to Halloween to say a Killer Clown?

  2. Interesting and thanks for insight.

  3. One of the most famous calls in sports history, by a very famous announcer, Howard Cosell.


  4. Seimi

    I think you are right about the perception of Frazer before the Spotlight show. An offensive fool given some latitude because of the deaths in his family. That he was in the thick of the murder machine is almost hard to believe. Fools usually do not have much competence other than being fools. It seems Frazer was an exception.

  5. It is, or should be, major news for some. After all, Frazer was supported by several Unionists on ATW not long ago, one of whom I hope would have been disgusted to hear that the man she followed had so much blood on his hands.

    It’s particularly bitter when you remember that these scores of killings that happed with his help were almost invariably Catholic civilians, sometimes children, murdered randomly just because of their religion.

    But he was in good company; and many in higher Unionist circles and the British “security forces” were pulling in the same direction and using the same or similar methods.

    The only thing that can be said in mitigation is that the murder of a beloved father tends to unhinge the mind. Apparently he had been non-sectarian until that happened. Just goes to show how, apart from the immorality of it, politically stupid the IRA campaign against their neighbours was in the “narrow ground” of NI. Shooting an armed British soldier is one thing, killing a country policeman in his home quite another.

    Interesting, Séimí. Could you tell us how you met him?

  6. Agreed, Noel.

    None of us know how we’d react if the same happened to us.

    But, he did become the thing he hated – he may need to answer for that to his god.

  7. I think the revelations of Willie Frazer in the Spotlight series have highlighted my major problem of the Spotlight series. The “Spotlight on the Troubles: A Secret History” with all these revelations and after watching the programs there is very little on it that I didn’t already know or at least very strongly suspect. Gerry Adams was in the IRA, Ian Paisley had strong links to loyalist paramilitaries, the IRA had links to the Irish mob in Boston, the breakdown in relationships between the primarily Belfast based younger members of the IRA (Gerry Adams, Brendan Hughes etc…) and the primarily Dublin based leadership (many of whom would go on to breakaway from the Republican Movement and form the Continuity Republican Movement), there was a major coverup by the state of the murder of Pat Finucane. None of these are revelations. The big “oh wow” moments are stuff that I think many people already kind of knew or suspected.

  8. Noel,
    As I’ve said, I have worked as a community worker for most of the past 25 years, in various roles. At one point, I was working with community groups in Nationalist/Republican and Unionist/Loyalist areas. At one of the meetings in Armagh, Frazer was present, representing FAIR. He was unfriendly, refusing to speak sociably to anyone unknown to him other than to shake hands (especially when he heard my name and the organisation I was representing), and his contributions during the meeting were all about Republican sectarianism in the area. Hardly surprising really, as that was his remit, but whilst others talked about co-operation and goodwill – the actual point of the meeting – he didn’t contribute anything of substance and left immediately after, whereas others waited around and did a bit of networking. Like I said, a dick.
    There’s a character in the graphic novel Preacher (written by Co. Down man Garth Ennis) who is a member of the KKK, who constantly goes on about how much he hates N*****s, to the point where even his fellow Klan members are a bit tired of him. Frazer always put this character in mind: sad, pitiful and full of hate.
    Like I said, I refrained from any attacks on him immediately after his death, as he had a grieving family, but I can’t now think of any redeeming features of this hatred-filled man.
    His Pastor, Barrie Halliday, as well as Loyalist campaigner and fellow eejit, Jamie Bryson, have defended his actions. Halliday also used a video on Facebook to insult Catholics and others he views as ‘lesser breeds.’


  9. Seamus
    I agree. There haven’t really been any huge revelations in the series so far, except for this story about Frazer. There were reported links between his father and the Glenanne Gang, but Frazer Jr was regarded more, as I said, as a dangerous fool, not someone who had directly contributed in so many killings.
    Peter Taylor’s programme on the Troubles (still on iPlayer I think) was much more interesting, as were his three series, Provos, Loyalists and Brits.
    By the way: Gerry was never in the ‘RA! 😉

  10. I would say Peter Taylor is, as an investigative journalist on the Troubles, probably second only to Martin Dillon. One of the things I found best about was when he asked members of the IRA why they joined the IRA, and asked loyalists why they joined the UVF/UDA etc…, and also when he asked a lot of police officers and soldiers why they joined the RUC/UDR etc… the answers were remarkably similar. “To serve my community, country etc… and they killed my mate, they killed my Da, they maimed that fella from my street”.

  11. //after watching the programs there is very little on it that I didn’t already know or at least very strongly suspect. //

    Right. It’s also a bit phoney how they tag on the “Secret History” bit, sort of promising to reveal new things to perhaps an otherwise jaded TV audience.

    Still, while I’ve seen only episodes 1 and 2 so far, both – but especially 2 – contained really interesting footage from the early Troubles. I thought I’d seen almost everything recorded from those few years, but inside IRA recordings of meetings, training sessions and planning and carrying out operations etc….. that was all new to me.

    I would also be a good place to start for someone who knows little about the Troubles…
    But I won’t mention any names because he seems to be absent these few days.

  12. I’m a bit late to the party here because of silly things like work which means there’s little to be said which hasn’t been said above, but anyway:

    First the programme. The programme has shed little light on what was already known or at least heavily suspected, collusion and destruction of evidence with Finucane, Adams in the RA, Paisley involved in loyalist attacks etc. Wullie in involved in loyalist paramilitarism? – Say it aint so!

    As to Wullie himself, as both Seimi and Seamus have said above, he was regarded as a bit of a clown, I personally think he was very literally mentally ill. Here’s what his friend, self appointed mouthpiece and fellow sectarian shit stirrer Jamie Bryson had to say about him:

    In my opinion Willie Frazer would have never wanted to be remembered for the stunts or the controversies over Facebook videos or comments. He often said to me “it takes a wise man to act the fool. Those who talk the most about what they did against the IRA usually contributed the least”.

    Willie Frazer was no fool, and no keyboard warrior. Perhaps he wanted to be remembered for what he was and for what he really believed- namely that the Protestant people had a right to defend themselves against the IRA. It was always notable in my mind that at times when even some of our community joined in the mocking of Willie Frazer, senior loyalists never joined in. Indeed many privately expressed their respect for Willie and the man he was. They knew the calibre of the man; it takes a wise man to act a fool


    High praise indeed from a self promoting attention seeker who was four years old at the time of the 1994 ceasefires and who would be ‘close to the thinking of the UVF’ – very much in the same vein as Frazer himself.

    It’s been commented here what was itthat made Frazer so sectarian? I’ve often said here that the major empirical factor for people joining the IRA wasn’t some high political ideal but a knee jerk reaction to themselves, family and friends being assaulted, harrassed and worse by British soldiers, likewise with Frazer I suspect, his profound sectarianism came from the IRA shooting dead, IIRC, his father and two uncles, all of who were members of the UDR. It’s also been claimed that Frazer’s da & uncles were involved in the notorious Glenanne Gang:


    I’ve experienced the UDR maybe a dozen times in my life, hateful, sectarian bastards to a man & a woman, every last one, (in my experience). The links between the UDR and loyalist death squads are numerous and well documented so I don’t think I need to go into them here suffice to say that I imagine Frazer felt the same way about the IRA as I did about the UDR.

    Weeping Wullie was the worst kind of hypocrite, provocation with ‘I Love Ulster’ marches in Ireland’s capital city:


    And fronting a selective victims group while facilitating victim makers.

    Still, it’ll be nice to see the numerous ‘respectable’ unionists who worked with hime line up to condemn him, just watch them.

  13. They will probably be in the line next to the respectable Republicans condemning Adams….

  14. Yeah, weeping Wullie quartermastered guns to kill Taigs but what about Adams.

    The ‘respectable Republicans’ who were condemning violence while working with Adams? Those respectable Republicans?

    Or maybe you’re referring to John Hume?

  15. The film of the book “Lost Lives” is being released this week. Over 3,700 lives were lost in “The Troubles” and this documents every one of them:


  16. I bought it when it came out at the beginning of the century Peter and regularly take it out to remind myself of the squalid horror.

    Harrowing reading.

  17. Every household in NI should have a copy of Lost Lives as a reminder of what we lost here.

  18. I was referring to a person in NI whose participation in unsavory activities would not necessarily cause extreme shock to the general population were in broadcast on a television special.

  19. Fair enough comment although it’s unfortunate that he was the only one you signalled out while ‘respectable’ unionists like Peter Robinson and the British state who were also complicit were ommitted from your hook.

  20. I didnt see this programme but “No Stone Unturned” was on RTE last week (about the Loughinisland massacre). It had many disturbing revelations about this tragedy but the squalid hatred is quite hard to believe from this remove…and yet I remember the night very well.

  21. Here you are Reg, and anyone else who may be interested:


  22. Apologies, the link above is to ‘No Stone Unturned’

    These are the links to the Spotlight series:


  23. From reader’s comments to Lost Lives on the Amazon website:

    “I have in the past few years gained many close friends from northern Ireland for whom this book is just too painful for them to read as they can closely remember the events when they happened and the terror and fear associated with living in such an environment. I can only sympathise and read of the events in an historical context and agree wholeheartedly with McGarry and other reviewers that this is indeed a most important book.”


    It’s a very difficult task the authors undertook. A history book needs context and a tragedy needs a plot, and this book has none of these. I haven’t seen it, but I imagine the endless list with personal accounts must almost be mesmerising after a while and merge into one terribly painful picture of all the victims, innocent and “guilty”.

  24. Noel,

    the 4 people who wrote the book needed counselling afterwards.

  25. It really is difficult reading Noel. IMO the most important work undertaken about the conflict in the north.

  26. Paul – I will happily adopt any additions to the rogues gallery anyone suggests.