He was a friend of mine – Alec Smyth

It is with regret that we mourn the sad passing of our friend and comrade Alec Smyth.  Alec passed away in hospital in the early hours of December 18th.

Alec was a character and never changed.  He died the way he lived – challenging authority with his swift remarks and biting wit.  I can remember one day the governor coming to Alec to ask him did he want a job in the aviary to get him out of his cell and some fresh air, to which Alec retorted “If I want some fresh air I’ll open a window, now take yourself off”.

Most of the lads in here can remember a similar story or two about Alec.  We can all recall New Year’s Eve (2012) when we were in dispute with the prison authorities and refusing to lock up.  The SO with his staff team came in to individually call us for lock up and subsequent charge when we refused.  Not waiting to be addressed, instead Alec accosted the SO, grabbed him by the elbow, ushered him to one side and says “would you mind being our hostage?”.  With an adamant “No” from the officer Alec quipped “I’ll take that as a refusal shall I!”.  With all of us ‘in stitches’ he had successfully diffused the tension and matters were resolved peacefully.

Again, it is with sadness that we are even talking about the passing of Alec.  He certainly was a character and a ‘one off’ and is missed and fondly remembered by everyone in Loyalist Bush House.  We extend our sympathy to Ruby, Heather, Dougie and the family circle – our thoughts and prayers are with you all.

S. Brown

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