Jan 04

Workshop on Ulster Scots

Dalaradia were delighted to host a discussion workshop on Ulster Scots, Ulster Gaelic and Ullans language, culture and traditions at the Reach UK office.

The event was chaired by Dalaradia Patron Dr Ian Adamson OBE with Helen Brooker of Pretani Associates.

Guest speaker was the Professor Emeritus Wesley Hutchinson, Honorary President of Europe’s largest Irish Affairs body, the Societe Francaise d’Etude Irlandaise.

Professor Hutchinson is the senior academic of Irish affairs at the world renowned Sorbonne Nouvelle University in Paris.

His global perspective on minority languages was most helpful in celebrating culture without allowing it to be used as a political weapon.

His work with Dalaradia and Reach UK will feature in his forth coming book examining the Ulster Scots people and space throughout history.

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.


Dalaradia group

Merry Christmas

Ablythe Yuletide billies

Merry Christmas friends/comrades

Dalaradia group

Dec 11

Proud Sponsors

Dalaradia are proud to announce we are now Sponsors of a local childrens football team, 18th Newtownabbey 2008s based in Monkstown.





Monkstown was originally called Ballynamanagh/Ballymanock/Baile na Manach, meaning ‘townland of the monks’.

Fergus Mor Mac Erc – king of the Gaelic kingdom of Dalriada and an ancestor of our British Royal Family– is reputed to be buried in the ancient Monkstown Cemetery. Unfortunately there is nothing there to mark the spot. He left his home in north Antrim and colonised Argyll and Kintyre. He became the first king of Scottish Dalriada, uniting Scotland and Ireland. It is often said he was the fabled founder of Scotland.

We wish the guys all the very best for the future.

Lest we forget

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.

Unveiling of a mural

Today members of Dalaradia attended the unveiling of a mural at Glenwood Street off the Shankill Road in memory of three key figures in the peace process. One figure being our friend and comrade William “Plum” Smith, alongside Augustus “Gusty” Spence and David “Davy” Irvine.

A fitting tribute to men who gave their all to their country, not for glory nor riches, but for their people.

We are duty bound to carry on their great work and legacy. It is not enough to just win a war; it is more important to organise and maintain the peace.


Honour Service Sacrifice

Time of reflection

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

Nov 10

Those old £1 coins

Still have those old £1 coins and nowhere to spend them?

The Royal British Legion will be happy to accept the old £1 coin throughout the Poppy Appeal right up to Remembrance Sunday.

By wearing a poppy, you aren’t just remembering the fallen: you’re supporting a new generation of veterans and Service personnel that need our support.

Nov 08

African orphans benefit from LCC volunteers


A Carrick man has spoken of his involvement in a project assisting staff at an orphanage in Africa and the personal development he experienced.

The LCC team of volunteers pictured with David Campbell (LCC Chairman) and Bob Thompson.

Robert (Bertie) McWilliams has returned from Tanzania after spending a month there as part of a Loyalist Communities Council (LCC) delegation.

Bertie was one of eight volunteers from across Northern Ireland who travelled to the east African country under the stewardship of project leader, Bob Thompson.

The group spent four weeks working with the Kidzcare orphanage and schools in Tanzania from September 17. The purpose of the project was to promote team building within different loyalist communities, offer international work experience and personal development and to expose the volunteers to different cultures, religions and challenges, while at the same time benefitting the children of the orphanage. The aim was to make a difference both at home and in Africa.

Ahead of their departure, Bertie was unsure how his special diabetic dietary requirements were going to be met in Africa. He also questioned his participation in the project as he knew he would miss his six-year-old daughter a lot.

Bertie, who works as a window fitter/joiner, was able to use his skills in Africa to carry out maintenance at the orphanage.

Commenting on the duties he performed in Tanzania and his interaction with the orphans, the east Antrim man said: “Straight away we got stuck into general maintenance work around the orphanage and whilst doing that we met the beautiful kids that stayed there.

“All our hearts were touched as these kids really have nothing and they are the most happy and friendly wee kids I have ever met. We soon learned that these kids are very much the lucky ones compared to others, as they have a safe life and love at the orphanage and without the staff they would be desolate and abandoned.

“Listening to their individual life stories would melt the hardest heart. My thoughts went back to my own daughter and I realised just how well-off she is compared to these kids.”

Although most of their time was spent carrying out work around the orphanage, the LCC volunteers were able to experience African culture on a rare day off.

Bertie explained: “We spent our day off by having a beach day with the kids.

“We had a fantastic time enjoying the beach, the warm Indian Ocean and most of all having fun with the kids. The trip home on the bus was amazing with the kids entertaining us with selection of Swahili songs.”

On his return, Bertie, who said he would be keen to volunteer in Africa again, said: “I learned to respect a lot of things back home, such as hot water, food and family. Everyone realised just how well off we are back home and none of us will take things for granted again.

“We went to Africa as strangers and returned as a family of the LCC and we will support each other from now on. I now see things very differently and I am so glad I got the opportunity to do it.”

Bertie would like to thank everyone for their support, the sponsors, the LCC and its chairman David Campbell for the idea and Bob Thompson the project leader for putting it all together.

For more information about the orphanage and the project, check out www.kidzcaretanzania.org



Micheal Martin



Why Micheal Martin is a key unionist ally against resurgent republicanism

If the DUP want to see off Sinn Fein, they need to adopt the tactics that defeated the IRA: hit them hard, often and from different angles


Fianna Fail TD Micheal Martin condemns ‘cult-like’ figures in Sinn Fein
Fianna Fail TD Micheal Martin condemns ‘cult-like’ figures in Sinn Fein

Courageous security forces crushed the Provisional IRA. If Northern Ireland is to prosper, courageous unionists need to crush Sinn Fein.

Tribalism is the Provos’ genome. They tried to destroy the state by keeping its two communities apart and distrustful of each other. Sinn Fein has the same genetics. The complete Provo set was violence and hypocrisy. They denied their dirtiest deeds, blamed others and silenced the opposition.

Effective security ended the terrorism, but not the duplicity. That was for a British Prime Minister.

But Tony Blair lacked the bottle to make the Provos atone for their atrocities. The Belfast Agreement was a job half-done. Local politicians must finish it.

The task is harder for 20 years of republican “rights and equality” fairytales that a political process moved out of the fiction section and turned into bestsellers.

From redefining victim to rewriting the past, the “Ourselves Alone” cult have got their way and flourished for it. Given an inch, they’ve taken a mile. Morality and the truth have been turned upside down.

Like the worst years of the Troubles for security, unionism’s mission looks impossible. The current big test is the Irish Language Act – yet another Sinn Fein-manufactured crisis and brightest red line in the current political impasse.

Sinn Fein politicised the Irish language to make it difficult for unionists to accept. Unionists would do well to copy the best bits of the security solution – hit the right spot hard, often and from different angles.

Provos were arrested with a regularity that shocked the army council far more than the nationalist community. Even on the rare occasions when the SAS killed “volunteers”, the nationalist reaction was muted.

As long as security’s attention was on the right people – and in the intelligence war we got very good at this – Catholics were not that bothered, especially those in impoverished areas living under the Provo jackboot.

An unpopular “armed struggle” could not cope. More “volunteers” were being put in prison than could be replaced. Having started the Troubles by declaring war on the state, they sued for peace. Loyalist terror groups followed. The crisis was over.

Or, as my friend, IRA leader, “informer” and author Sean O’Callaghan put it in describing local security forces: “They were of the soil, as their enemies in the IRA were, and they proved more resolute and fearless in protecting their children, homeland and way of life than those who opposed them. They were often frustrated by having to observe the rule of law, but it proved the right way. They were determined to outwit and outlast the IRA – and they did.”

The bad bits of the security solution are also relevant. Internment, for instance, was a poorly conceived catch-all mess that outraged nationalists and, as their anger swelled, so did the ranks of the Provos.

To hurt militant republicanism is to understand it. An example in the political arena is Micheal Martin. He hits Sinn Fein where it hurts. The Fianna Fail leader speaks in simple right and wrong terms, lifting the debate out of tribal politics and pulling Sinn Fein out of their comfort zone.

Sinn Fein’s fatal flaw is the past. Hypocrisy’s enemy is the truth.

Micheal Martin is repulsed by a republican reign of terror in the Troubles and condemns “cult-like” figures in Sinn Fein.

He slams Provo murders as inexcusable, recently highlighting the horrific case of Tom Oliver (43), a Co Louth farmer executed by the Provos in 1991.

They claimed he was a police informer. Tom Oliver’s family (he had seven children) was afraid to speak out in fear of retribution.

Torturing to death Tom Oliver was “politically motivated” and the offenders should not be pursued, according to Gerry Adams. Sinn Fein does not want any justice system to investigate Provo killings, but to investigate only the ones that they pick.

Micheal Martin has made it clear that Fianna Fail will not enter a coalition with Sinn Fein to form a government in the next election – a case of “do what I say, not what I do” when it comes to the “north”, which typifies the huge challenge facing the DUP.

Micheal Martin is a Jack Lynch, or Liam Cosgrave, Taoiseachs who detested the Provos. Not since Gerry Fitt, whom the Provos despised and went to great length to undermine, have unionists seen a nationalist leader like Micheal Martin. And, in my opinion, the SDLP and Northern Ireland have been the poorer for it.

On the crucial issue of the legacy of the past, the SDLP followed Sinn Fein’s orbit. Although the Adams factor has hardened the unionist mainstream, one criticism of the DUP is that a polarised electorate also suits them and, as a result, they were too cosy with their Sinn Fein partners when in government.

For many, only Jim Allister of the TUV was hitting Sinn Fein’s weak spot with any real force, or frequency.

Within unionism, agreeing an Irish Language Act is contentious. Refusing it, however, hurts the nationalist community, not Sinn Fein. This is the dilemma.

Not only is political courage about being fully committed to hitting the right target, but also taking care not to harm the other side, not rubbing their noses in it when your side has gained and not throwing cheap shots. The damage caused to David Trimble’s UUP is a reminder of just how hard this is to pull off. But it is the right way.

I have not felt threatened, or disadvantaged, by the Irish language, and I say this as someone who works in Maynooth alongside friends who are fluent Irish speakers. Indeed, the best television documentary I have watched is in Irish.

An Tost Fada (The Long Silence) is about a Protestant enclave in Co Cork that Tom Barry’s IRA persecuted in the War of Independence. The main character is George Salter (92), a Church of Ireland canon and fluent Irish speaker.

I met George at a screening of An Tost Fada at a history festival in Skibbereen and was inspired by his faith and grace. Before it started, an academic handed out leaflets against it – I took several – and, when it ended, a Shinner went on a rant.

I am not concerned with the Irish language being formalised in law and sensibly implemented. My concern is that it will be corrosively divisive. In other words, it becomes an extortionately expensive, unequal and highly controversial statutory arrangement, because this is what happened for a similar Sinn Fein red line on the past that has, effectively, silenced negative views of the Provos.

The DUP are undoubtedly aware of this in contemplating how to sell a deal that includes an Irish language Act to their constituents. I am sure Arlene Foster will want the unionist community – particularly working-class Protestant areas – back-paid for a political process that has heavily favoured nationalists, in addition to moving forward on a fairer footing.

Hypocrisy is crippling the political system and Northern Ireland, holding back everything, from health and education to the economy and culture. To halt this, regardless of Stormont rule, or direct rule, a mandatory coalition, or voluntary coalition, the set-up for the past needs changed to a level playing field and the ashes of Gerry Adams’ Trojan horses scattered on it. And, if a crisis shelves Stormont again, let it be for a red line that reads: MLAs who condone murder cannot get into government.

As I said, it takes nerve.

  • Dr William Matchett is the author of Secret Victory: The Intelligence War That Beat The IRA. He is a senior researcher at the Edward M Kennedy Institute for Conflict Prevention at Maynooth University.

Belfast Telegraph