The wife of prominent victims campaigner Willie Frazer says she has placed him “in God’s hands” as he lies critically ill in hospital.
The leader of Markethill-based victims group FRPU has been plagued with ill health for years, having won a serious battle with cancer,
Willie is critically ill and it is all in God’s hands. We would like to thank all the well wishers for all their messages of support and prayers.Anne Frazer, Willie’s wife
However he has now been in Craigavon Area Hospital hospital for some five weeks, and is critically ill with organ failure.
Willie’s wife Anne told the News Letter last night: “Willie is critically ill and it is all in God’s hands. We would like to thank all the well wishers for all their messages of support and prayers.”
She said the family has been inundated with text messages and phone calls from well wishers.
UUP peer Lord Empey paid tribute to the campaigner last night, whom he has worked with for years in seeking compensation for victims of Gaddafi-IRA terrorism.
“William Frazer has been a thorn in the side of the establishment and the republican political elite for many years,” he said.
“I was last speaking to him at the funeral of [UVF victim] Ian Ogle, illustrating that he was not just confined to opposing murders carried out by the IRA.
“I hope he makes a full recovery and will be able to carry on the fight for justice for victims of paramilitary terror.”
Bessbrook man Colin Worton, whose brother was murdered in the 1976 Kingsmills Massacre, also paid tribute.
“I know a lot of people didn’t get one with him but to me there was nobody better. What you see is what you get with Willie.
“He has made great recoveries in the past so we are all hoping and praying he does so once again. Without question he has been the driving force for truth and justice for the Kingsmills families”.
The News Letter Facebook site was inundated with messages and prayers from well wishers last night - as well as some caustic comments from some nationalists.
However one nationalist won praise from Willie’s supporters for his magnanimous approach.
“Not a fan of the fella but he is what he is and he does what he thinks is right and for that it’s his choice,” he said. “I heard a while back that he wasn’t very well as he was in hospital at a time when someone I know was there too. But regardless of his beliefs I’ll never speak ill of the dead or anyone who’s ill. Best of luck to him on his illness and hope he beats it.”
Six members of his family were murdered in the south Armagh Troubles - his father, two uncles, two cousins as well as many friends.
The Frazer family say they are “devastated” that The Victims and Survivors Service (VSS) confirmed in the media on Wednesday that it had cut off funding to Willie Frazer’s group.
The family claimed VSS had opposed his social media comments on legacy matters and instigated an audit of FRPU as a result.
However VSS said it had been a regular audit, which uncovered “serious issues” in safeguarding, duty of care, committee governance and financial management. The family said VSS had agreed not to publicise the issues until Willie had a chance to respond.