Frazer slams planned forgiveness vigil, saying: ‘Killers must repent first’

Willie Frazer, pictured in 2016 outside the inquest into the Kingsmills atrocity

Willie Frazer, pictured in 2016 outside the inquest into the Kingsmills atrocity

A vocal loyalist campaigner has denounced a planned prayer vigil at the Maze site, which aims to foster forgiveness towards those who carried out paramilitary atrocities.

As reported this week, Anglican cleric David Jardine – a former chaplain at Crumlin jail – is hoping to arrange an event on September 17 at the former site of the Maze prison, where people will be invited to pray and reflect on the Province’s past.

He told the News Letter that he has overcome his anger and has managed to forgive those who murdered many of his colleagues in the Prison Service – and is encouraging others to follow suit (see the story about the planned event here).

However, Willie Frazer – many of whose family, including his father, were murdered by the IRA – said that “victims cannot forgive terrorists who believe what they did was justified and justifiable, they must first repent in order to seek forgiveness”.

He said: “If society is to move on it is the terrorists who should get down on their knees repent their sins and seek forgiveness.

“They must first admit that the murder of men, women, and children was wrong and completely unjustified in the name of any political cause.”

Mr Frazer added that “we simply cannot forgive people who do not repent”.

“I have shaken hands with IRA men who have repented and asked god for forgiveness and have given themselves over to the Lord, which is completely different from what is being proposed here.”