Paisley dominated hardline unionism and his dual role as political and religious leader provided a controversial combination of anti-nationalism and anti-Catholicism
Paisley and the Kincora Scandal
1973: Valerie Shaw, a full-time missionary in Paisley’s church, approached Paisley with horrific news. William McGrath,senior administrator,house master at Kincora Boys’Home,
an orphanage in east Belfast was abusing boys at the home. Paisley knew the ringleader McGrath very well.
He was a close ally who had accompanied him to many meetings. Paisley had officiated at the weddings of two of McGrath’s children. Paisley ignored Shaw and refused to investigate.
“Senior members of the Grand Orange Lodge are aware of the situation because of the discussions and correspondence relating to McGrath within the Orange Order … Thomas Passmore and the Rev. Martin Smyth have blocked any action against McGrath. The Rev. Ian Paisley is aware of the situation but has failed to take any action because of possible blackmail pressure owing to his connection with McGrath, David Brown and John McKeague.”
January 1980: the Kincora scandal broke amid allegations, later proven that McGrath established it as a centre of child sex abuse. McGrath, Orangeman, leader of Tara,
a loyalist paramilitary group that sought to establish a Protestant Northern Ireland and outlaw Catholicism, was on the payroll of MI5 and MI6. He travelled to South Africa and Rhodesia to buy arms for Loyalist paramilitaries to help crush resistance to British rule in Northern Ireland. He and invited friends, including Red Hand Commando founder,
John McKeague regularly raped boys at the home.
A man who was also involved in the Orange Order and the Tara movement fell out with McGrath and allegedly attempted to expose his involvement in Kincora in an anonymous tip-off to the Police 10 years before McGrath’s arrest.
1982: Joshua Cardwell committed suicide after being questioned over Kincora.He was an East Belfast councillor who had chaired the committee responsible for children’s homes in the city.
When McGrath was convicted of repeated child abuse he boasted,
“Never have I committed an act unbecoming to an Orangeman”.
Paisley denied Shaw had told him about McGrath years earlier, but under pressure later admitted he had been told of her suspicions
Former Army Press officer Colin Wallace, who was based in Belfast, has long insisted that the authorities knew boys were being systematically sodomised at the home six years before they decided to act.
He was later jailed for the murder of a friend, but has maintained his innocence. Paul Foot , British investigative journalist, asserted he had been framed for manslaughter with a view to suppressing Wallace’s allegations of collusion between British forces and Loyalist paramilitaries in Northern Ireland during the 1970s
In files released by the Public Record Office under the 30-year rule a FORMER religious preacher involved in loyalist circles, who was a suspect in the Kincora abuse scandal, walked free because of perjured evidence, the UK’s most senior legal figure was told. Attorney General Michael Havers and senior Government officials were briefed on the man’s links to the children’s home – and how a file on his case had been destroyed.
A confidential government note in the files said: “It is claimed that influence was brought to bear on the police not to pursue their enquiries.”It added, “There are persistent rumours that ‘guilty men’ in high places have not been brought to justice.”
Here’s what Ken Livingstone said about Kincora boys home
January 2014: The Northern Ireland Historical Institutional Abuse Inquiry, chaired by retired judge Sir Anthony Hart,
will examine claims relating to the Kincora boys’ home in east Belfast where a senior Orangemen, the late William McGrath, along with a number of loyalist extremists, repeatedly raped young children.
The tribunal may also have to explore allegations that the security services MI5 and RUC special branch knew about the abuse in Kincora but failed to act because some of those responsible were state agents.
• Who Framed Colin Wallace?, (1989), London:Macmillan, ISBN 0-333-47008-7.