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Jamie Bryson talks to Máiría Cahill: the protocol has to go, it has to be put in the bin

Loyalist activist Jamie Bryson is combative, conservative – and hellbent on saving the union: ‘I’m a unionist before I’m a democrat’

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Jamie Bryson. (Brian Lawless / PA)

Jamie Bryson. (Brian Lawless / PA)

Jamie Bryson. (Brian Lawless / PA)

Jamie Bryson, once the poster boy for loyalism during the flag protests, has the ear of hugely influential people in Northern Ireland these days. Articulate, cheeky and quick with a quip, he courts controversy, and, at times, publishes provocative social media comments. Wherever there is political chaos, Bryson is usually in the thick of it.

All of this makes him, for some, a public pain in the ass. He is argumentative, but not thin-skinned. Once, I characterised him on radio as “more Frank Carson than Sir Edward Carson” after he stood on top of a wheelie bin to deliver a speech. He reminds me of this and laughs, as we meet on Monday evening in Bangor, and find a quiet bar to have a discussion.


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