Monthly Archives: January 2015

Work Harder to End Racism: Learn Lessons of Holocaust

Work harder to end racism. Learn lessons of Holocaust


(John Coulter, Irish Daily Star)

Tonight I won’t sleep for fear of nightmares because tomorrow has become one of the toughest days in my life and has been for several years.

Tomorrow (Tuesday 27th January 2015) is International Holocaust Memorial Day when many across the globe remember the six million who perished in Nazi death camps in the 1930s and 1940s.

But it will have added significance as tomorrow marks the 70th anniversary of the liberation of one of the most notorious camps, Auschwitz Birkenau in Poland, where more than a million humans were murdered.

After almost 37 years in journalism, I thought the Irish conflict had enabled me to experience every emotion imaginable. Wrong! I still have nightmares about the visit to that place of mass genocide; that’s why I want to stay awake for all of tonight, so the nightmares won’t come back.

As I started on the Auschwitz tour to write my article, I was physically ill. Passing through the camp gates with its sickening iron sign in German, I had to rush back into the visitor’s centre and vomit.

Hitler’s SS had its genocide machine at Auschwitz down to a fine art – butchering 3,000 people every half hour. Just imagine everyone killed in the Troubles dying in only 30 minutes.

Nothing in life ever prepares you to confront racism. I once spent 18 months researching a two-part series on links between republicanism and the evil Ku Klux Klan in the US.

But one of the KKK’s supporters lived in Ireland and within hours they had traced me, forcing me to leave the North until the heat of the story cooled.

Officially, I was taking my annual leave. In reality, I was getting out of Ireland on the best plane available. I stayed at a camp site in Jersey. Ironically, the Klan nearly had its own vengeance on me because I almost blew myself apart lighting a camping stove!

One of the creepiest moments of my career hunting racists came when I interviewed former British National Party (BNP) MEP Nick Griffin, then Chairman of the National Front (NF), over lunch.

He was accompanied by a few senior cronies. He handed me a booked entitled Attempted Murder, which basically was a rant about people opposing the NF.

I almost puked over Griffin during that working lunch when I discovered a half page on myself, claiming my articles exposing the Front were “lurid publicity designed to frighten the NF away from involvement in Ulster”.

I’ve always pondered if Griffin knew I was the John Coulter criticised in the NF’s ‘wee black book’ and this was his way of letting me know I was being watched.

Or maybe it was just one of those strange coincidences in life where Griffin happened to give one of the NF’s strongest critics a copy of its silly, but sinister wee book.

Worse was to follow when after another of my exposes, the NF retaliated by publishing my name and home address along with a photo of me in its hatesheet, National Front News.

The Front did its homework well, carrying precise details of my employment, university career, trade union role and details of my dad’s political activities.

The RUC gave me lectures on personal security, but eventually I knew I would have to leave home as the NF shoved a copy of the hatesheet with this ‘expose’ on me through my home letterbox.

Then a Klan source from the Knights of the Invisible Empire took great exception to an article I wrote entitled ‘The Orange Swastika – the rise of new millennium Loyalist Nazism.’

This so-called Grand Dragon arrived at my doorstep, issuing the immortal words: “You don’t blow my cover, and we won’t blow up your house!”

My message to politicians, church and community leaders is simple – I have personally suffered for my stand against racism, so please do not bore me with pious words of condemnation.

Take positive action and get those tougher laws I want against hate crime. I don’t want racism to become Ireland’s new sectarianism.

January 28, 2015


Tough Tactics on Terrorists-Let’s Round up the Radicals: Dr. John Coulter

Ireland’s spooks across the island need Dandy Dave and King Kenny to introduce internment of suspected jihadist radicals on both sides of the border if the Emerald Isle is not to have its own Charlie Hebdo massacre.


We are not combating the deadly Ebola virus with a sticky plaster and cough sweets, and as a society we will not be able to protect ourselves from jihadists with a ‘softly, softly’ approach.


So round up all the jihadists, launch a B Specials-style armed community police force, and allow it to use Black and Tans tactics against any and every suspected jihadist radical.


MI5 and the Irish intelligence community also need to stop behaving like frightened pussy cats and become more like the Israeli Mossad or the old East German Stasi secret police who knew everything about everybody.

Look at how the Mossad hunted down the Black September terrorists after they murdered Jewish athletes at the 1972 Olympics in Munich.


East Germany may now be part of a united nation, but it never suffered a terrorist campaign because of the excellent intelligence gathering Stasi activities.


The majority of British and Irish citizens want the political gloves taken off and an iron fist policy adopted towards jihadist terrorists from the likes of Al Qaeda, Islamic State, Hamas, the Taliban or Boko Haram, all of whom have been responsible for thousands of murders across the globe.


The Paris slaughter cannot be dismissed as a French problem. The American State Department has already warned there are at least six jihadist cells operating in Ireland because Shannon airport was allegedly used as a refuelling point for US planes taking jihadist suspects to Guantanamo Bay.


Sources within the Brits’ intelligence community suspect that dissident republicans have been trying to link up with Islamic terrorists for mutual training in the same way as the Provos got into bed politically with Palestinian extremists.


While MI5 head spook Andrew Parker boasted that most terrorist attacks in Ireland had been foiled last year, he warned it was unrealistic to expect every planned attack can be stopped.


Oh yes they can, Andy Boy, if you and all your spooks in Ireland act tough like the hero Parker from Spider Man and not the pathetic Parker puppet from Thunderbirds.


Internment became a dirty word in 1971 because it was based on outdated information. But if Dandy Dave and King Kenny can agree sweeping new snooping powers, the spooks can build up a comprehensive list of suspected jihadists to intern.


And that can be the solution to what to do with the Maze site – convert it into Ireland’s Camp X-Ray for processing all jihadist suspects.


And before the trendies in society start screaming about human rights, we need to remember that these jihadists don’t give a damn about human rights – even their own, when they use suicide bombers.


One of the most terrifying interviews I did recently was with a radicalised Muslim. They actually make the so-called republican and loyalist hardmen of the Irish conflict look like pussy cats.


The interview got off to a bad start when I referred to Al Qaeda as terrorists. “They are not terrorists! There are no terrorists in Ireland!”


What about police warnings about dissident republicans who have killed and bombed people, I asked. “Dissident republicans are not terrorists! They are like Al Qaeda; they are freedom fighters!”


But dissidents recently tried to send a letter bomb to the PSNI Chief Constable, I pointed out. “Did the bomb explode?” she snapped. When I said ‘no’, she said: “That’s because there was no bomb; it was all lies; propaganda put out by the American government!”


Who are the terrorists then, I queried. “MI5!” There was no point in continuing given the totally closed mind I was dealing with.



Remember My Name: A Short Story

Remember My Name.


We are patrolling outside Gereshk.   You may know  the place.  Helmand province.  In sunny Afghanistan. It is hot – very hot. I am a long way from home. I miss the family, the children, the fun. But I joined up of my own free will. This is my job. My duty. This is for my country. We walk in a straight line at the side of the road. If you could call it a road. Dirt track more like.  I cradle my rifle in my arms. It looks causal but we are always on alert. We are very visible which is risky but we have back up if we need it. We watch for ambushes and hints of the enemy. This particular place is a hot spot , plenty of action. I always dreamed of the action, wanted it so badly that until my first fire fight.  Then it was a case of I wish I had a deeper hole to hide in.  Any soldier will tell you. The hours and days of boredom, repetitive tasks,  tedious patrols. Then  bang. It all goes haywire. Contact with the enemy. Heart in throat.  Adrenaline. When minutes are like hours. The thing that really worries me is the ambush.  No warning. No signs. No chance to fight back.

And today it happens. It is a pure blue sky above. Its mid-afternoon.  Just a usual patrol. I hear the soft whistling sound but we all react too late.  A massive explosion tears the air, raises a huge cloud of dust,  bodies are thrown to the ground. Me included.

Bullets start flying kicking up dirt. I don’t care. Im lying on my side and I can’t move. I see things but I cant hear. Im know I’m hurt but strangely there is no pain. A total numbness.  I think,  ‘where’s my rifle’,  when I need it. But I can’t move my arms or legs.  I am then aware I’m being dragged from behind. I dragged behind a small mud brick wall. Some shelter at least. I suddenly feel cold but the sun beats down on my face.  My hearing is returning. I can hear the phut of bullets digging into soil and mud. There is a lot of shouting. Some screaming. I look up into the face of my best friend. He looks shocked. I can’t believe it. He’s crying. I know what’s happening here. My war is over. I recall the first time I seen the aftermath of an explosion.  Bodies blown apart. I wanted to cry and be sick.  I want to say to him ‘Tell me the truth’,  ‘Is it bad’, but my mouth doesn’t seem to work either.  I just want to close my eyes and sleep.

I think back to my childhood days. Warm summer days playing hide and seek with my brothers and sister.  Then my own children.  My son,  my little man. Carrying him on my shoulders.  Laughing.  And my daughter.  My beautiful daughter who got all her good looks from her mother.  As my wife always told me with a smile.  I am so sad. And much colder now. I know I won’t be seeing them again. Ever. How will they cope? How will my children grow up? Will they remember me with fondness?  And my elderly parents.  Just one more time to say I love them dearly?  Too late. Far too late. I think it strange,  that its getting dark. It’s not night time yet.  I hope someone remembers me when this war is over. Im only 28 years old.  Like so many others.

Remember my name.

Khan Fawad Shinwari.


A Response to “Pink Unionist Party”: Jamie Bryson


After reading an article in relation to the PUP by Charlie Freel, on the Long Kesh Inside Out website, I felt compelled to respond.
I must place on record from the outset that I agree with much of what Charlie says, however I think it could be directed in a different manner. I do not intend to stray into my views or vision of the PUP, because that is not my place as I am not a member of the party. I simply wish to highlight the positive work of Julie Anne Johnston.

I have in the past published articles calling for the principles of ‘For God And Ulster’ to be adhered to and it is a matter of record that I oppose gay marriage and the dilution of biblical principles. I believe in Protestantism and am extremely uncomfortable with left wing politics or socialism. My views on that are well known and I do not intend to rehash them. That is not what this response is about.

I believe that Julie Anne Johnston has been a breath of fresh air for working class loyalist communities- her political views differ from mine on a massive scale- however her genuine belief in doing what is right for her community and her desire to stand by people who need support is unquestionable.

I am writing this blog not to defend Julie Anne’s politics or the politics of socialism- which I oppose- but instead to defend Julie Anne as a person.
She is genuine, caring and by all accounts an extremely effective constituency worker. She has time for everyone and on a personal level she was straight out offering public support to me and in contact to see if she could help with the contrived political case against me.

Julie Anne has never sought to aggressively push her political or social views down anyone’s throat and she is a rare breed on the left wing of politics- she preaches tolerance and she shows tolerance of others viewpoints, even if she is opposed to them. She practices what she preaches.

I will continue to articulate my political views and vision of loyalism, which are different than Julie Anne’s, but I will support her right to continue to promote her views & visions. I think to personally attack her is grossly unfair and I think that someone who is working as hard as Julie Anne is for the loyalist community deserves nothing but praise and support.

Jamie Bryson


Progressive Unionist Party or Pink Unionist Party?



As someone who right from day one has always voted PUP when available, I am becoming increasingly alarmed by the media campaign being waged via the Guardian Newspaper, Republican websites and twitter, by those attempting toconstruct a “Pink Trojan Horse” within the PUP.    Personally speaking Ihave no problem with whatever immoral sexual activities these individuals get up to, in the privacy of their own homes, in the company of other willingly consenting ADULTS.
What I do object to is the fact that, support, for these anything goes immoral practices are being portrayed as policies, which are endorsed by the PUP as a party. If the PUP as a political party, still wishes to associate its self with the original unalterable policies of Northern Ireland Loyalism proclaimed within the Ulster Covenant and adhered to by the Ulster Volunteers of 1912 and the Ulster Volunteers of the seventies, IE,”FOR GOD AND ULSTER”, then it needs to make its position perfectly clear to the ordinary decent people of Northern Ireland and the World, regarding the basic Christian moral principles and the basic human moral principles proclaimed within the Original Ulster Covenant.
Unfortunately due to the deliberate efforts of Pink News, Republican web sites and twitter, the Guardian article has now been copied world wide as PUP supported policies.
The PUP, for its own electoral gain and in defence of our Forefathers staunch, basic Christian and basic human moral convictions must understand that, because the vast majority of Working Class Loyalists, do not support buggery, or any other form of fatal, disease spreading, sexual activity between homosexuals, bisexuals, or heterosexuals, THIS DOES NOT MEAN THAT THE LOYALIST WORKING CLASS ARE HOMOPHOBIC.
It also needs to understand that the Loyalist Working Class, because of their basic Christian and basic human moral principles, greatly treasure the sanctity of life for the unborn Child, while at the same time have the basic common sense to realise that, in some extreme circumstances, abortion is the right course of action for both Mother and Child, if the Mother so decides.The pink section of the PUP needs to stop spouting the intolerant declaration, that if you are not pro choice in every situation, then you have to be pro Life in every situation.    THE LOYALIST WORKING CLASS HAVE THE BASIC CHRISTIAN AND BASIC MORAL UNDERSTANDING AND RIGHT TO DECIDE WHAT, IS THE CORRECT COURSE OF ACTION FOR THEY, THEMSELVES.
In the case of immigration, the PUP needs to realise that, because the vast majority of the Loyalist Working Class are opposed to the present rampant, uncontrolled, immigration system swamping, solely working class areas. THIS DOES NOT MAKE THE LOYALIST WORKING CLASS RACIST.
Finally in the case of cultural hobbies, like the Irish Language and Ulster Scots, the vast majority of the Loyalist Working Class would have no objection to anyone taking up these cultural hobbies, in their own time and totally at their own expense.  However at the present time these cultural hobbies, are being misused as a political football by the IRA, to deliberately cause offence to the Loyalist Working Class, at the expense of unwilling tax payers. The totally useless Irish Language, is also being forced down some Children’s throats at school, at a time when Chinese, Polish, and other relevant languages would be of much more advantage for our children.  THIS DOES NOT MAKE THE LOYALIST WORKING CLASS ANTI-IRISH.
In short the PUP, needs to start proclaiming its policies on its own presently defunct web site and on other Loyalist Working Class web sites, so that the Loyalist Working Class do not have to depend on second hand, deliberately biased reports of PUP policies from republican and pink news sources.

Charlie Freel.




The North Must Join the Party: Whole Island Key for Lucy..Dr.John Coulter

The North must join the party: whole island key for Lucy


(John Coulter, Irish Daily Star)

Strike North! That’s what Ireland’s latest political leader in waiting, Lovely Lucy, must do if she is to truly add real spice to the island’s political stew.

Ex-Fine Gael mover and shaker Lucinda Creighton needs to think big and organise on an all-Ireland basis.

If she limits her new Irish political party to a purely 26-county outfit, then Ireland’s potential new Iron Maiden’s political stew will rapidly be dumped into the dustbin of history.

There, she’ll join a hot pot of other failed parties such as the Progressive Democrats, Democratic Left and the North’s NI21 movement.

Pundits would be foolish to dismiss Iron Lady Lucy as either a comic Juicy Lucy making politically spiced-up speeches, or a sexist Ironing Maiden trying to mobilise the married women lobby.

And if Iron Lady Lucy was to “reboot Ireland” economically by getting the Republic to join the influential Commonwealth Parliamentary Association, she’d have a united island within five years – and no civil war from fundamentalist Northern Prods to boot.

Ireland on both sides of the border is ripe for a new Centre Right party, a ploy which would seriously bugger up the Shinners’ agenda to be in government at Stormont and in the Dáil by the Easter Rising centenary next year.

Sinn Féin may be pounding its green bodhrans that it is the main party combating austerity cuts by the Fine Gael/Labour coalition in the South, and by the Brits in the North.

But the Shinners are still haunted by the Provos’ terror campaign which murdered and maimed thousands of Irish people on both sides of the border, as well as the perception Sinn Féin is still a hard Marxist outfit.

That ‘wanna-be communist’ label doesn’t sit well with either Ireland’s Catholic middle class or the thousands of born-again Southern Christians flocking to the ranks of the Elim Pentecostal movement.

The Elim movement was founded in Monaghan in 1915 and is now in the middle of centenary celebrations. In the North, it is rapidly replacing the late Ian Paisley’s Free Presbyterians as the most influential voting denomination.

Future Dail, Stormont and Westminster elections on the Emerald Isle will be both fought and decided by the Centre Right.

Had NI21 not imploded amid sexual allegations and designation rows during last year’s polls, the party could have dented both Alliance and the already election-battered Ulster Unionists.

Indeed, NI21 should now have been rebranding itself in the Republic as the Ireland21 party.

If Iron Lady Lucy does not organise her party and contest elections in all 32 counties, she hasn’t a snowball’s chance in the flames of Hell of overtaking Sinn Féin as the favourite to become a minority government partner in the next Dail.

Rather than ‘Rebooting Ireland’, Iron Lady Lucy must really pump in the political spice by ‘Sticking the Boot’ in the current establishment parties.

She must decide if she wants to be a major player in a big ocean, or an insignificant voice in a meaningless duck pond.

It is clear Britain is getting ready to ditch the European Union, a move which will leave the Republic as a financially irritating pimple on the arsehole of nowhere.

The cross-border bodies and institutions set up by the Good Friday Agreement have cemented Anglo-Irish relations.

The CPA, with more than 50 national and regional parliaments, is rapidly outstripping the cash-strapped two dozen plus EU state membership.

Under a CPA future, nationalists will have a united island, and Unionists will have the 26 counties back in a closer union with the UK. But Iron Lady Lucy must make the first move, or she will become Loser Lucy.

The UUP has given up the fight with Robbo’s DUP and is abandoning its traditional Loyal Order roots to do battle with Alliance.

This will be such a dirty fight, that a clean-cut Centre Right all-island movement will also ‘reboot’ Northern politics.


Tony Blair:Professional Deceiver and Irish Republican Sympathiser



What the deceitful Tony Blair carefully forgot to disclose was the fact that, his treacherous underhand deal with the IRA, was deliberately not publically disclosed to the electorate of Northern Ireland, because he knew that the ordinary decent people of Northern Ireland who had successfully withstood 30 years of indiscriminate sectarian slaughter at the hands of the IRA, would never have endorsed his cowardly surrender.






Yet again deceitful treachery from the mainland.

Cowardly politicians bought and paid for everyone.

Their frozen smiles, mask broken oaths so boastfully given, While hatching dirty deals with terrorists on the run.


Observe the cowering, cowardly toothless, British Bulldog, Lies dripping from its double dealing tongue, As it rolls over on its back to smother justice, To appease cowardly IRA men, on the run.


It will not bark for innocents victims of terror, It will not snarl for the bereaved or the maimed, Dishonesty remains the only toothless whimper, From the flabby British Bulldog, lame and shamed.

Charlie Freel



Sinn Fein Could Hold Key in General Election: Dr. John Coulter

Sinn Fein Could Hold the Key in General Election

Sinn Fein could well decide if Ed Miliband or David Cameron becomes the next Prime Minister after the 2015 general election. That may seems an unlikely scenario, given that the IRA once tried to wipe out a British Prime Minister and her Cabinet in the Brighton hotel bombing in the 1980s.  However, all the opinion polls indicate a hung parliament in May and with the inevitable collapse in the Liberal Democrat vote, a new coalition government is on the cards. If Cameron is to stay in Downing Street, he may need the backing of Nigel Farage’s UKIP and the Democratic Unionists from Northern Ireland.

If Miliband is to snatch the keys, he may have to form a “rainbow coalition” with Scottish and Welsh nationalists as well as any Respect party and Green MPs. The figures are expected to be so tight that only a handful of MPs will decide which coalition wins.

While Sinn Fein is the largest nationalist party in Northern Ireland and is expected to win around half a dozen of the 18 Westminster seats, its MPs refuse to take them because of the oath of allegiance.

Cameron has already been courting the DUP’s House Commons contingent as the party’s eight-strong group could well seal his second term as PM, given that Sinn Fein still operates its outdated policy of abstentionism.

Time is not on Miliband’s side if he is to tempt Sinn Fein to abandon a stance it has adopted since its formation in 1905. This was especially obvious in 1918 when Sinn Fein won over 70 of Ireland’s 105 Commons seats when the entire island was under British rule.

If Miliband concocts an oath which Sinn Fein MPs could sign up to, it could tip the balance of power in favour of a coalition headed by British Labour. But there is another scenario in which Miliband may not need their help.

The Sinn Fein electoral bandwagon has been rampaging through Northern Ireland’s nationalist constituencies at the expense of the moderate Catholic Social Democratic and Labour Party. But SDLP MPs take their Commons seats. Indeed, the SDLP was for many years regarded as British Labour’s sister party in Northern Ireland, as the Dublin-based Irish Labour Party did not contest Ulster elections.

Ever since the collapse of the original Stormont Parliament in 1972, Northern Ireland socialists have been refused membership of the British Labour Party.

In the Unionist-dominated original Stormont, the old Northern Ireland Labour Party was just beginning to have a significant impact as a viable opposition to the Unionist Party until the parliament was prorogued. The membership rule for Ulster socialists stayed in place because it was always assumed the SDLP would remain as the majority nationalist party.

Since 1972, there have been several attempts to form an alternative labour movement, but because of the sectarian divide in Northern Ireland, each experiment was branded either as a Unionist or republican initiative.

For example, the Workers’ Party was seen as the political wing of the old Official IRA, while the Progressive Unionist Party was viewed as the political mouthpiece of the loyalist terror groups the UVF and Red Hand Commando.

Sinn Fein has found a reason to take its seats in every other parliament it has contested, including Stormont where it now forms the power-sharing executive with the DUP.

Many Unionists and a sizeable chunk of moderate nationalists suspect there are behind the scenes negotiations to get Sinn Fein to embrace the democratic process in the House of Commons rather than merely wandering the Westminster corridors with no real influence.

Another factor fuelling this speculation is Sinn Fein’s choice of candidate. The 1981 republican hunger strike propelled Sinn Fein into the electoral arena. The general rule of thumb then was that candidates had to be linked to the IRA or former republican prisoners. But since the 1994 IRA ceasefires, an increasing number of so-called “draft dodgers” have been selected and elected as Sinn Fein candidates. These are republicans who have no connection with the IRA.

As their influence increases within the republican movement, so Sinn Fein is evolving to resemble an Irish version of the SNP – a purely democratic organisation. The bottom line is that Red Ed may have to think “Irish green”’ if he wants to be in Number 10.

This article first appeared in the Irish Tribune.


Shinners to Shine in 2015: DUP will cosy up to Tories: Dr. John Coulter

Shinners to shine in 2015: DUP will cosy up to Tories


Robbo’s Dupes and the Shinners will be the big election winners of 2015 thanks to the Stormont House Agreement, according to Coulter’s Crystal Ball.


Among my predictions are that Brit Prime Minister Dandy Dave Cameron doesn’t want an Irish bust-up given that both the DUP and Sinn Fein will be crucial in getting him back into Downing Street next May.


The DUP will form a coalition Westminster Government with Dave’s Tories and Ukip, while the Shinners don’t take their Commons seats so that rules Sinn Fein out from helping Ed Miliband’s Labour and the Scottish and Welsh nationalists.


If Dave hadn’t thrown the 1.5 billion quid at the Executive, Stormont would have failed and there would have been a huge backlash against the existing DUP/Sinn Fein coalition in a future Assembly poll.


Stormont will now become a two-party parliament, with the other parties becoming meaningless observers.


So 2015 will see the following enter the dustbin of history as the ‘Politically Disappeared’ – UUP, SDLP, TUV and NI21.


Election wipe-outs for the Ulster Unionists and Stoops will spark leadership coups with the UUP becoming little more than a Unionist social club and the SDLP forced to merge with a Southern party or join a newly emerging moderate nationalist movement.


The Protestant Loyal Orders will become severely pissed off at the DUP’s lack of engagement with them over parades as the Dupes focus heavily on their link with Cameron in the Commons.

With the Shinners unleashing a new Trojan Horse against loyalist band parades, the Loyal Orders will step up their campaign to launch a new political movement aimed at uniting the Protestant working class.


Even if things get a bit rocky in the coming months for the DUP and Sinn Fein, the Brits can always pull a few strings to devolve more powers to the 11 new super councils which come into effect.


And with the North calm again, stand by for major gains by the Shinners in the Republic. If King Kenny calls a snap Dail poll, he’ll be back at Taoiseach, but Shinner president Gerry Adams will be his new Tanaiste as the party pushes through the 20-plus TDs mark.


As the Brits get more nervous at the seemingly unstoppable Shinner bandwagon and with memories of the 1918 Irish General Election Sinn Fein landslide still fresh, London will do all in its power to encourage the party to take their Commons seats.


In Britain, the clamour to quit the European Union will reach a crescendo, forcing the Republic to seek closer ties with the UK.


The Brits will use the cross-border bodies to create a united island in all but name, with the Southern parties trying to combat Sinn Fein by nudging the Republic back into the Commonwealth.


In sport, Ireland will be outstanding in the rugby World Cup, and in soccer, both the North and South will notch up some impressive results to take them closer to the 2016 European Championship finals.


Ulster teams will reassert their dominance in GAA, while Irish riders and horses will be the big bets in the year’s top trophies.

The arts will see major film roles emerging for our TV legends, The Fall star Jamie Dornan and The Missing star Jimmy Nesbitt as well as Hollywood hunk Liam Neeson. All three will be in the running for a blockbuster flick on the life and times of former First Minister Ian Paisley senior.


And keep an eye on wanna-be Shinner Sinead O’Connor. She is set to rock republicanism in a way they never thought imaginable.


Meanwhile, Unionism will produce a sexy dolly bird who will shake up the traditional men in dark suits and bowler hats. 2015 is set to be a year like no other!




It is with regret that we at learn of the death of an old friend and comrade.  Geordie Withers–better known by his nickname The Bear–passed away at the Ulster Hospital on Tuesday 30th December.  he was 62 years old. Geordie had taken ill a short time ago and sadly his condition worsened rapidly.  In November a number of former colleagues met for a small function in the Toye Orange hall in support of The Bear and his family.  Many stories were exchanged most of them relating to the period Geordie spent in both the Crumlin Road jail and latterly Long Kesh Prison Camp.  Geordie was a stalwart in Compound 11 and was at the forefront of many of the altercations and protests we had especially in 1974.  I remember Geordie at the height of the food protest in mid 74..because of his powerful build he had the task of throwing the food containers over the wire.  Most of us would have struggled just to lift the containers but they presented no difficulty to The Bear.
There are many other tales–most of them funny–about the Big Man and no doubt they will be told and retold over the coming days.  A funeral service will take place from George’s home at 13 Cuan Beach Killyleagh tomorrow–Friday 2nd January-at 10:30 am–followed by a service at the Church of Ireland  in the town.  There will then be a cremation on Monday 5th January at 9:30 am in Roselawn Crematorium.
George Withers will be remembered by all who knew him as a kind and thoughtful person…a gentle giant in many ways.  His dedication all those years ago will also be remembered for ever.  To George’s family we send our deepest condolences.  Our thoughts and prayers are with them today.