Happy new year

A GUID New Year tae yin and a’; and mony may ye see; And during a’ the year tae come, O Happy may ye be.

Quick fact: Did you sing the traditional “Auld Lang Syne” at the stroke of midnight? Did you know it is a Scots-language poem sung worldwide and was written by Robert Burns in 1788?

Dalaradia group

Merry Christmas

Ablythe Yuletide billies

Merry Christmas friends/comrades

🎄 Dalaradia group 🎄

Rathcoole Primary School

Our group recently shared a story highlighting issues within Rathcoole Primary School & Nursery Unit.

Some members of Dalaradia and members of the local community recently helped paint parts of the school in an effort to lighten the load. These small jobs if contracted out of budgets cost a substantial amount. This day and age it is much easier closing a school instead of using much needed funds which “stretch” budgets.

Were also happy to report members of the community have rallied around to help.


Every little helps. You can still donate here –


There is no power for change greater than a community discovering what it cares about.


A recent news report highlighted a serious problem within Rathcoole Primary School & Nursery Unit who serve our local community which are struggling with funds for the upkeep of the school due to budget limitations. Dalaradia are in the process of getting together to help with a more hands on approach. In the mean time if any individuals would like to donate to them your more than welcome. Every little helps.


There is no power for change greater than a community discovering what it cares about.

Abbeydene House, Newtownabbey.

Yesterday evening our group visited Abbeydene House, Newtownabbey.

A house built in 1850 that boasts quite a history including visitors ranging from United states President Dwight D. Eisenhower, Field Marshal Montgomery and Lord Edward Carson to more recent times the singer Daniel O’Donnell.

One previous owner, Ulster Unionist Councillor Sir Crawford McCullagh, bought the house in 1915. He was also the Lord Mayor of Belfast for three terms which makes him a record breaking longest-serving lord mayor in the UK who went on to be knighted in 1918. He was the instigator of the five minute silence of remembrance in 1916 which went on to be the minutes silence used worldwide at times of remembrance. In July 12, 1916, Lord Mayor McCullagh had asked that all business, courts and traffic in the city come to a halt between noon and 12.05pm in honour of the dead Ulster soldiers of the Great War. Silence echoed through the streets of Belfast as a result of his request. This marked the occasion of our visit. We layed a wreath followed by a minutes silence.

He was commemorated with a blue plaque in 2016.

The house is now a Bed and Breakfast owned by our lovely hosts on the evening, Tim and Ethy Clifford.A very enjoyable night and we highly recommend visiting the house which is right on your doorstep.



Over the past few weeks our group have provided complimentary tickets to various groups to attend Friendship Four Ice Hockey Tournament and the Basketball Hall of Fame Belfast Classic events.





Due to its vast reach, unparalleled popularity and foundation of positive values, sport is definitely one of the greatest things man has ever created. It’s also a powerful tool and is a common language that unites cultures and breaks down barriers in society.

We hope members of the Loughside Youth FC, Carrickfergus Chargers Basketball team, 18th Newtownabbey Youth and Whitecity homework club among others enjoyed their respective nights out.

A big thanks to the Belfast Giants and Sport Changes Life for their help.

100th anniversary of the Armistice at the Somme Centre, Conlig.

On Sunday morning our group, along with many friends, attended a very special event to mark the 100th anniversary of the Armistice at the Somme Centre, Conlig.




The Armistice of 11 November 1918 was the armistice that ended fighting on land, sea and air in World War I between the Allies and their opponent, Germany.

We also remembered more recent victims of the troubles including many friends and fellow comrades.

The soldier, above all other people, prays for peace, for he must suffer and bear the deepest wounds and scars of war. The brave may not live forever, but the cautious do not live at all. The brave die never, though they sleep in dust: Their courage nerves a thousand living men.

Honour service sacrifice
Lamh Dearg Abu

We remember 11/11/2018






They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old:
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning
We will remember them.

New Mural – Stevie McCrea

On Saturday evening our group attended the unveiling of a new mural dedicated to our friend and comrade Stevie McCrea, fondly known as “X-ray”.


The image replaced an old mural dedicated to Stevie located at the junction of Hopewell Crescent and Hopewell Avenue, Lower Shankill.

The William Strain Memorial Flute Band played a set before speeches explaining the origin of the mural and Stevie’s story. A booklet originally released at the time of Stevie’s murder was also available to the people in attendance.





29 years ago 16th February 1989 Stephen had just finished his last day of work at the Belfast enterprise zone on the “work out” ACE scheme.

Stevie, who was sent to Long Kesh on Halloween Night in 1972 went on to spend the next fifteen years of his young life in those bleak, soul-destroying cages and was not re-involved in any paramilitary activities upon realease. It is well known that there was a strict policy that ‘Lifers’ are not to be involved in current activities. Stevie, while in prison was involved in a marathon escape bid from Long Kesh Camp. At the time, he was being held in Loyalist Compound 19 as a Special Category prisoner. An ‘x-ray’ van was driven into the Camp for the purpose of taking chest x-rays of all prisoners. Stevie realised that the attending Prison Officers were not monitoring the van and making a spontaneous decision, seized the moment and dived underneath the van and climbed onto the axle stand. During the head count that evening one of his comrades done the ‘Colditz Shuffle’ and was counted twice covering for him. Stevie endured two long and freezing days and nights lying under the ‘x-ray’ van wearing only a thin denim jacket and jeans. On the third evening he managed to climb inside the van itself and conceal himself in a cupboard. When leaving the camp the following day it successfully got through the security checkpoint at the Prison Officer’s gate but Stevie was discovered by a young Squaddie at the main gate. He was hastily taken to the punishment cells and held for three days in solitary confinement.





Upon his release from ‘solitary’ Stevie returned to the Compound and from that day on became known as ‘x-ray’ McCrea.

Stevie, in his short period of freedom posed no threat to anyone and sought to re build his life settling down and enjoying the remainder of his life in peace.

On that day after cashing his last pay cheque, he and several of his work colleagues went for a lunch-time drink in the local Orange Cross Club. The drink, was to bid their friend farewell after working together for the past year.

At 1.15 p.m the security buzzer sounded. As the door opened, three IPLO gunmen brushed inside and ordered the men in the room to stand at the bar. In an effort to get people to let their guard down during those murderous days, they pretended it was a robbery. When everyone lined up as instructed the gunmen opened fire indiscriminately. Stevie, in this moment of chaos, thought only of his friends safety. One friend described the scene:

‘I stood in line whenever the first shot was fired and all of a sudden Stevie McCrea dived in front of me. The shots rang out and we all hit the floor. By this time the gunmen had run out of the room and we all stood up again. That is, except for two other men and Stevie McCrea. He had saved my life alright but lost his own in doing so’.

Two days later Stevie passed away at the Royal Victoria Hospital, Belfast. Upon realising they had murdered a former Loyalist prisoner the IPLO issued a gloating statement in which they claimed to have singled Stevie out for attack, a blatant lie. The truth is that Stevie had been in the wrong place at the wrong time and it was nothing but blatant sectarianism.

We are free to express ourselves.
We are free of oppression.
We are free of fear.
We all owe our freedom to them.

Honour – Service – Sacrifice

Lamh Derg Abu

Lest we forget







This morning some members of Dalaradia visited graves of our former friends and comrades at a time of reflection in the run up to Remembrance Sunday. When we come together to reflect, let’s remember our duty to educate future generations of our forebears’ sacrifices.









Honour – Service – Sacrifice


and our dear friend R. Warnock