‘Burning out Fenians’ discussed at Ulster Club meeting, say files

Alan Wright (right) of the Ulster Clubs, pictured with Ian Paisley and  Peter Robinson at an Ulster Resistance rally in 1986
Alan Wright (right) of the Ulster Clubs, pictured with Ian Paisley and Peter Robinson at an Ulster Resistance rally in 1986

A meeting of a hard line group set up to oppose the Anglo-Irish Agreement discussed burning Roman Catholics out of their homes, a British official was told in 1986.

According to a file at the Public Record Office in Belfast, the idea was floated at a meeting of the Ulster Clubs, which were led by Alan Wright, although he does not appear to have been at the meeting in question.

A June 1986 memo by J E McConnell in the NIO’s Political Affairs Division entitled ‘Views on the current situation’ included the comment: “I received a more worrying report that a branch of the Ulster Club had met at the leisure centre in Seymour Hill, Dunmurry, recently and, after starting their meeting with prayers, they moved on to discuss such edifying topics as ‘burning out Fenians’ and ‘doing something about people who are part of a mixed marriage’.

“Apparently whenever the topic of mixed marriages was discussed several people got up and left the meeting, presumably because of connections or involvement with mixed marriages.”

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