Loyalist campaigner Willie Frazer has claimed that “Fenian-looking” people are “snaking about” the Markethill area of County Armagh and watching his house.
Frazer is one of the leaders of the Protestant Coalition, an openly sectarian political party in the north of Ireland. He was also a leader of the ‘Love Ulster’ campaign, which sought to stage a loyalist parade through Dublin city centre, as well as the Belfast City Hall protests over the flying of the British flag.
In a video posted to his Facebook page, Frazer (pictured, left) said: “We know who is snaking about. You are that obvious and that stupid and that Fenian-looking that you can’t be hid when you are in the area. We know who you are and so do the security forces.”
The idea that Catholics and Protestants can be differentiated simply by their appearance is a long-standing urban myth in the north of Ireland.
In the video message ‘liked’ by more than 300 people, Frazer also threatened to attack people in their cars, and said they “shouldn’t be surprised if they end up with the bucket of a digger on their car”.
SDLP Assembly member John Dallat said the ‘Fenian-looking’ reference was “utterly reprehensible”.
“Some have likened his words to the type of thing you would have heard during our dark past but it was unacceptable then and it is certainly unacceptable now,” he said.
“Mr Frazer thrives on creating suspicion, heightening tensions and increasing segregation. His insulting comments certainly serve that purpose but we must take encouragement that his views are shared only by an extreme minority if anyone at all.”
Frazer his since said that his reference to ‘Fenian-looking people’ was aimed only at republicans, not all Catholics, and that he should have used the word ‘scum’ instead.
He said: “If you put an ordinary Catholic and a republican in a room, you can tell there is a difference. They have a look of bitterness and hatred... evil in their eyes.”
WELLS ON WOMEN
Meanwhile, former DUP Minister Jim Wells is the subject of two complaints at the Stormont Assembly over his hostility towards women.
In the first incident, Wells (pictured, right) was heard on an Assembly microphone telling a colleague that he “can’t cope” with women aged between eight and eighty.
After that became public, Wells engaged in a public altercation on the Assembly floor with Sinn Fein’s Megan Fearon over her reaction to his remarks.
Ms Fearon had criticised the former health minister after the video snippet was widely circulated.
“This type of ‘boys club’ politics is out of date and should be a thing of the past,” she said in a statement released on Tuesday.
The party’s assembly whip Caitriona Ruane said the heated exchange “was witnessed by other MLAs” and submitted a complaint to the Assembly Commissioner for Standards about Wells’s behaviour.
“The complaint has been made on the grounds of equality, respect and good working relationships between members,” she said.