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His contempt for terrorists has to be applauded

By Jim McDowell

Willie John McBride is right in calling those terrorists who callously cut down his friend and fellow player John Haldane 'b*******'.

All the cowards on both sides who murdered innocent people in cold blood were. And still are.

Now, the most lion-hearted of the Lions bares his teeth again in showing his contempt for the terrorists by describing what happened for almost 40 years in this country as "that stupid carry-on".

The big man was never behind the door on his calls on a rugby pitch: the infamous '99' battle cry which was the signal for 'one in, all in' when a scrap erupted, or the 'get your retaliation in first, boys' ethos which was so vital in those days to self-assertion, and self-survival in some of the provincial matches on tour.

And he isn't behind the door, again, in describing terrorist killers with the 'b' word. He is cut from the stock of the breed which is the quintessential 'Honest Ulsterman'. No holds barred. They tell it exactly like it is. Like it, or lump it.

And now Willie John has done exactly that, again. And again, he is exactly right.

The headline on yesterday's Sunday Times piece says it all. In big, black and bold capital letters it bluntly stated: I HATE BULLIES. That's Willie John McBride.

And he wasn't just talking about the bully boys he's taken on, and beaten, on the rugby paddocks of the world. This time, he cut closer to the quick. And a helluva lot closer to home.

The Ulster, Ireland and Lions captain never stepped back from facing the awesome All Blacks. And at 76 years of age he is obviously intent on not stepping back now.

Whether they're wearing an All Blacks shirt or a black balaclava.

And fair play to him for that.

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