Belfast Telegraph

Willie Frazer's messages of goodwill from Irish government officials

Critically ill: Willie Frazer
Critically ill: Willie Frazer

By Gillian Halliday

Senior Irish government officials have sent well-wishes to critically ill victims' campaigner Willie Frazer.

Family pastor Barrie Halliday also said Mr Frazer had received messages of support from Catholics in Northern Ireland - including one who said he had lit a candle.

"I've had at least a dozen calls from Roman Catholics who have said that they don't like the abuse that has been aimed at Willie," he said.

The pastor was referring to online abuse directed at the victims' spokesman since his hospital admission last month. Mr Frazer is in the intensive care unit of Craigavon Area Hospital.

An image taken of Mr Frazer lying in his bed and posted online is under investigation by the Southern Health Trust.

Mr Frazer - who has battled ill health for several years and was diagnosed with cancer in 2010 - is believed to have organ failure. Pastor Halliday said yesterday that the Frazer family has received much support.

It includes from officials in the Republic, where over the years Mr Frazer has locked horns with the Irish authorities.

"I don't wish to reveal who they are, only to say they are senior placed government officials in Dublin," he added. "They get on really well with Willie. They understand how he reacts sometimes. They wish Willie the best.

"They think he's what he is and have sent word of their concerns for him. They want to see him recover."

Mr Halliday added: "I had a call from a Roman Catholic man living in Newry who said, 'I just wanted you to know that I appreciate what Willie has done for me and I've just been down to the Cathedral to light a candle for him'. Willie does have a sizeable following in the country. There are Roman Catholics in the Newry/south Armagh area who never supported the Troubles and find no comfort in the nationalist parties."

Pastor Halliday confirmed his friend remained critically ill, but is making slight progress.

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