Senior NIO man called McNarry a dangerous nuisance

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DAVID McNarry was described by a senior NIO official as “a dangerous nuisance”, the newly-released government records reveal.

In a confidential memo dated September 27, 1982, David Blatherwick reported back to other officials about a conversation which he had had with Mr McNarry.

A month after the meeting, the then young Ulster Unionist was to stand for the Assembly in North Down but lose out on a seat.

In his conversation with the civil servant Mr McNarry had asked the NIO to issue a statement refuting a claim by Jim Molyneaux and Enoch Powell that, at a Hillsborough Castle reception, the Secretary of State had been “rude about the UUP and its prospects of regaining devolved powers”.

Mr Blatherwick said: “Mr McNarry (who I see from today’s News Letter has told the press that he has been in touch with the NIO on this topic) is a dangerous nuisance who does neither himself nor us much good by his politicking.”

Another file contains an article in an Ulster Unionist publication in which Mr McNarry gave an account of his Saturday night routine as a teenager.

The piece by the now UKIP MLA, which appeared in a UUP publication, ‘Unionist ’82, the party of the Eighties’, is in one of the NIO files released under the 30-year-rule and published today by the Public Record Office in Belfast.

Under the headline ‘Teen emergency’, the then Ulster Unionist and now UKIP member said: “The writer well remembers his own escapades as a teenager.

“Compared to today’s Punk Rocker I suppose we were timid in our protest.

“My normal Saturday began with rugby in the morning, followed by soccer in the afternoon, and home for Juke Box Jury.

“Then getting ready for the club dance: on with the gear, splash on the Old Spice, ready for the off.

“First, however, came the lecture from mum. I met the crowd at the pub. We looked older than our real age. Two Carlsberg Specials and we were ready to take on Chubby Checker or if need be Henry Cooper.”

He added: “We know for sure we caused consternation to our elders. We were chased by the police, and sometimes caught. But we knew the rules and accepted them.”

Mr McNarry, who urged readers not to write off teenagers, said: “What concerns me deeply is how the dangerously growing number of teenagers will make out in their approach to adulthood.

“How on earth will the DRUG taker, the GLUE sniffer, the JOY rider, the teenage TERRORIST make the adjustment in life?”