Bryson dubs Simon Coveney a ‘meddling aggressor’ saying the Dublin government ‘swans around NI as if they own the place’

Loyalist activist Jamie Bryson has slammed the Irish foreign minister Simon Coveney, saying it is “perfectly legitimate” to oppose his actions in Northern Ireland – so long as it is done peacefully.

By Adam Kula
Friday, 25th March 2022, 8:02 pm
18-02-2022: Jamie Bryson at an anti-Northern Ireland Protocol rally in Co Armagh
18-02-2022: Jamie Bryson at an anti-Northern Ireland Protocol rally in Co Armagh

It comes after Mr Coveney was the target of a hoax bombing in north Belfast earlier today.

Mr Bryson also suggested that unionists were tricked into inactivity during 2021’s parading season when it comes to the Protocol.

But he pledged not to allow this to happen twice, as he re-stated his ambition to see the 1998 Belfast Agreement “destroyed”.

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He was speaking at a loyalist rally in Ballymoney this evening, alongside figures including Jim Allister and Jeffrey Donaldson.

He shared his written remarks with the News Letter shortly before the event, and in them he said: “[The Belfast Agreement] is rotten, corrupt and for 24 years has brought nothing but destruction to our place in the Union.

“It is the father of the Protocol, and therefore it follows that in order to safeguard the Union, the entire bloodline of the wicked ‘process’ must be eradicated.

“It isn’t the time to meekly keep operating our own destruction- either via implementing the Protocol, or the Belfast Agreement.”

He quoted the following extract from the 1912 Ulster Covenant: “[We] do hereby pledge ourselves in solemn Covenant, throughout this our time of threatened calamity, to stand by one another in defending, for ourselves and our children, our cherished position of equal citizenship in the United Kingdom, and in using all means which may be found necessary to defeat the present conspiracy.”

He dubbed Simon Coveney a “meddling aggressor”.

“The Irish Government come to Northern Ireland and swan around as if they own the place,” he said.

“And it’s perfectly legitimate that unionists/loyalist exercise a basic right of peaceful protest (and I do emphasise peace protest only) and to ensure that Irish Government officials will no longer be able to behave as if they have some authority in this part of the United Kingdom.”

In beginning to draw his comments to a close, he said: “Last summer the temperature was lowered because we- foolishly- trusted the command paper, issued to try and calm unionist and loyalist anger.”

This is a reference to a paper produced by the Tory government last July, in which Boris Johnson said “it is increasingly clear that we cannot solve the problems simply by a rigid and unpurposive application of the Protocol in its current form” - adding that he would feel justified in triggering Article 16.

Mr Bryson said: “It was a false promise, a clever device to lower the temperature over the marching the season.

“We wont fall for it again. Its time for action by the Government, not more words. We have had enough.”

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