Rea bites back at Foster over crocodile jibe

Posted By: August 07, 2017


“Famed  Irish actor Stephen Rea — from a Belfast Protestant background— deplores sectarianism and anti-Catholic discrimination. …Fears Arlene Foster wants to take Northern Ireland back to the bad old days of the Basil Brookeborough — the George Wallace of Northern Ireland.”—Fr. Sean Mc Manus.


Distributed by Irish National Caucus

Eithne Shortall. The Times. London. Sunday, August 6, 2017

Rea: criticized Foster views. Photo : BRYAN MEADE

Stephen Rea, the Oscar-nominated Irish actor, has criticized Arlene Foster, describing her recent crocodile comments as “an outrage”, writes Eithne Shortall.

He said the DUP leader had pushed Northern Ireland back to the time of Lord Brookeborough, the former Northern Ireland prime minister known for his anti-Catholic views.

Rea was referring to Foster’s comments in which she explained her refusal to countenance Sinn Fein’s demand for an Irish Language Act by stating: “If you feed a crocodile they’re going to keep coming back and looking for more.” He compared this to a speech given by Brookeborough in 1933 in which he said he would not employ a Catholic or have one at his home. As minister for agriculture, Brookeborough appealed to loyalists to “employ good Protestant lads and lassies.” He said: “There are a great number of Protestants and Orangemen who employ Roman Catholics. I feel I can speak freely on this subject as I have not had a Roman Catholic about my own place,” he told a meeting of Orangemen.

Rea, who starred in The Crying Game and Michael Collins, said Foster had “pushed it right back to Brookeborough … Right back to “wouldn’t have a Catholic about the place,” that’s what

Brookeborough said. She’s saying, “Crocodiles, you give them something, they want more. It’s an outrage, and she hasn’t apologized,” he said.

Foster did say she regretted using the term “crocodile” because it had allowed Sinn Fein to mount “a campaign of demonization against me.” She said the crocodile comment referred to Sinn Fein and not the Irish Language Act and said she was not anti-Catholic.

“She was apologizing to herself for being a completely useless politician because she didn’t think about what she said,” according to Rea. “She should have apologized to every nice Catholic in the place. She wasn’t talking about the Shinners; she was talking about all Catholics.”

Rea said he was in favor of a united Ireland and that he wanted Scotland to become independent, but he didn’t believe that was going to happen in the near future.

The Belfast-born actor also revealed that he turned down an offer to play Gerry Adams in the recent film The Journey. The Sinn Fein leader was played by Ian Beattie.