The family of victims campaigner Willie Frazer have been “overwhelmed” by support as he remains critically ill, their pastor has said.
Pastor Barrie Halliday of Fivemilehill Pentecostal Church in Mountnorris said reaction to news of the 58-year-old’s illness is “overwhelming”.
“The support has been coming even from a lot of old fashioned unionists who have been stopping us in the street,” he said. “Typically they are saying, ‘we didn’t always agree with how he said it, but now we see that what he said was true’. People have been stopping Willie’s friends in Markethill, they are quite emotional about it all.
“One victim rang me up and was very emotional. You don’t realise how much security they took from knowing that Willie was always there to speak up for them.
“A Catholic man in Newry whom Willie was very fond of asked me to tell him that he had lit a candle for him.
“The family have been just overwhelmed by the good wishes and prayers of people from all walks of life right across Northern Ireland.”
On Thursday Willie’s wife, Anne, told the News Letter: “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.”
It is understood that he is suffering from organ failure.
Willie’s father, two uncles, two cousins and many friends were killed in the Troubles.
The Frazer family said they were “devastated” that The Victims and Survivors Service (VSS) confirmed in the media this week that it had cut off funding to his group, FRPU.
They claimed VSS had agreed not to publicise the matter until Willie was well enough to respond to “serious issues” it found in an audit. However VSS said it had no choice but to end the funding.