Willie Frazer: a vital voice on behalf of terrorist victims

News Letter editorial
News Letter editorial
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Willie Frazer, who has died aged 58, was an uncomfortable but crucial voice within Northern Ireland.

While much of society was prepared to turn a blind eye to terror, often due to fatigue over the past rather than support for such violence, Mr Frazer never did. After all, he lived in one of the frontlines against the republican campaign, South Armagh. Mr Frazer’s father severed in the UDR, and like many Protestant security force volunteers in border areas, was murdered by the IRA in 1975. Other relatives were also killed.

During the rest of his life, Willie Frazer was a victims campaigner. He was sneered at, mocked and demonised by some trolls, particularly when internet social media (the worlds of Twitter and Facebook) became widely used in Northern Ireland. This was largely because he was not afraid to keep a spotlight on the history of republican actions and its impact on their victims.

Mr Frazer sometimes had fraught relations with unionists too, but this was often because he spoke out about the accommodations they were making with republicans, when so much truth and justice was missing and issues such as Libya compensation had not yet been resolved.

Ultimately though, he was viewed with much affection within the unionist family, and respected too, for the work that he had done, the horrific experiences he had endured, and the vital campaigner that he was known to be.