Loyalist pastor Barrie Halliday launches tirade against Seamus Mallon and GAA

Posted By: February 04, 2020


Distributed to Congress by Irish National Caucus
“This article from the Irish News is a sad reminder that despite the progress in Northern Ireland/The North, there remains a deep strain of bitter anti-Catholicism. Anyone who tries to deny this does not understand  Irish or British history.”
—Fr. Sean McManus

Connla Young. Irish News, Belfast. Tuesday, February 4, 2020

A prominent loyalist pastor and former friend of Willie Frazer has launched an outspoken attack on the GAA, branding it “Fenian, dark and hellish”.

Barrie Halliday also described Catholics who go to Gaelic games on a Sunday as “Sabbath-breakers”.

The ex-UDR man-made the remarks on Facebook just hours after the death of former SDLP Deputy First Minister Seamus Mallon last month.

He filmed the five-minute rant at the grave of loyalist victims’ campaigner Willie Frazer, who died last June.

The footage, which was shot at night and included offensive remarks about Mr. Mallon, the GAA, and Catholics, was later posted on what appears to be Mr. Frazier’s former Facebook page.

Mr. Mallon was known for his love of the GAA and Mr. Halliday turned his anger on the sporting body.

“Here we have a situation where the country is lining up to say the great man and great contribution Seamus made.

“Yes in the civil rights they lit the fire and then anti-RUC and particularly wicked against the UDR, and with the auld [old] GAA background and everything Fenian and dark and hellish it stands for.”

The former UDR man also criticized Catholics who attended Gaelic games on a Sunday.

“Local GAA clubs, who he (Mr. Mallon) was so fond of, and Irish language and the abuse and disgraceful acts of Roman Catholics going to and from their Masses and GAA matches on Sundays and all of that stuff – everything that auld [old] Sabbath-breakers do.

“And we would stop them and be as mannerly as we could, it was just ignorance from the word go and we believe that Seamus Mallon contributed greatly that.”

The GAA last night declined to comment.

SDLP Assembly Member Justin McNulty, who is a former Armagh All-Ireland winner, said: “the people insulting the memory of Seamus Mallon aren’t fit to lace his boots”.

Mr. Halliday has previously attacked nationalist politicians including Gerry Adams.

He also made headlines in 2013 when he voiced support for former DUP councilor Ruth Patterson after she backed a fictional gun and bomb attack on a Republican parade.

She later apologized for the remarks.

In a YouTube video clip Mr. Halliday, a former TUV election candidate, claimed there “weren’t enough” IRA members killed during the Troubles.

In 2017, Mr. Halliday was sentenced to nine months in prison, suspended for 18 months, after pleading guilty to 17 counts of VAT repayment fraud.