Now there’s one for the books. Apparently the Reverand Willie Mc Crea, MP was the recipient of a Royal Pardon from Her Maj way back in 1971 . I ‘d forgotten all about Willie getting himself banged- up in a Norneverland prison on the Crumlin Road, way back in those bad old days. Imagine …forty four years ago , already.Those were the days , eh? Street entertainment was in its infancy then. People were just getting the hang of this rioting lark back then. There was the odd hijacking when everyone in the street got new shoes for free from the odd “abandoned” burnt-out lorry…or maybe a few crates of beer or a case or two of creamed rice..Those really were the days! There were riots nearly every day or so and plenty of otherwise shy and quiet lads were tempted to get into the spirit of things .I suppose some might have felt left out of a special ,group social occasion otherwise.There was n’t nearly as much to do back then. No computer games back then for twiddling thumbs.
He was a bit of a lad back then ,was our Willie. He enjoyed a little Light Rioting as a pleasurable pastime in 1971 , long, long before he shared a pleasant soiree with Billy[King Rat} Wright many years later.They had similar interests too ,I suppose but Billy might have been a bit young to really have enjoyed the rioting properly.Billy would only have been about eleven at that time after all .What does an eleven -year old know about the intricacies and subtleties of a good old street- ruck?
Anyway , back then, Willie would have been just the right age at around twenty three, to enjoy the craic of a good old riot .This was obviously before his adherence to the teachings of the Very Big G in the Sky took a proper sticky hold of him and saved his immortally soled shoes, for all time ,and that. While he was awaiting the Ultimate Deliverance and his comfy spot on a cloud on God’s Right Hand , Her Maj’s own brand of magic would have to do.Recently there have been hints that Our Wullie was in line for a nice little earner as a Lord. Anything can happen when you consider some of the unlikely recipients of that privileged pension fund….but a Royal Pardon and then a Lord ?…..
It hardly bears thinking about ,does it?You really have to question the morality of anyone involved in a system like this.Why would a felon like this be given a Royal Pardon and then ,even mentioned in terms of the House of Lords. Then again , Ian Paisley slipped through those doors too…but wait !!Wasn’t it Willie’s own DUP party that railed and ranted about Royal Pardons being handed out to On The Runs{OTR’s} only some months ago ?
Did I imagine that?
In June 1971{Ahhhh…those good old days!} trouble broke out after the Stormont government banned a parade through the mainly Nationalist town of Dungiven. Orangeman really wanted to march through the town anyway, no matter the rights and wrongs of it and attacked British soldiers at their hastily erected barricades at the edge of town. The soldiers responded in the time-honored way by firing back rubber bullets and CS tear gas.That was the expected response back then, but the Orangemen thought it was a bit unfair …after all weren’t they all supposed to be on the same side ?Well these were early days and the soldiers thought that all the Paddies looked much the same , so you couldn’t really blame these young English lads for being confused. Anyway, Our Willie was caught on camera in the press with a soldier standing over him with a raised baton. It was a fair cop you might think. Evidence and all.
Anyway Willie spent a few months in gaol before getting his Royal Perogative of Mercy from Her Maj. I think he thought God might have had something to do with it too.Her Maj being Big G’s representative in England and all that.
Willie reckoned…. “It was God wot dun it”…putting a good word in with Her Maj….because it cetainly wasn’t John Taylor MP or that stoat Brian Faulkner. They’d already deep-sixed the idea of a pardon for him , in no uncertain terms. So all of this helped Willy build up a special relationship with the Big G in the Sky, obviously with built-in special dispensations when it came to dealing with headcases and killers…just as long as they killed the right kind of people.
Willy reminisced about all of this recently when he gave a lovely sermon entitled “Looking Back and Learning” to a rapt congregation of obviously stupified followers. They do say a near -death experience can put you into a very religious state of mind . Willie thought that he was toast back then, obviously. He thought his own particular end was nigh… It’s a pity he didn’t remember some of this great story when there was that hullabaloo about the On The Runs some months back , though .It would have been a great yarn to tell.
Now that this great story of gaol-time redemption , is already old hat, given that the DUP have an even bigger story ongoing, to flog.
It’s an even better one than any old “Royal Pardons” tosh.


  1. RJC September 8, 2015 at 11:55 am #

    I think Mad Willie McCrea is my favourite of all the Unionists –


    These ‘men of God’ have a funny old way of following in the footsteps of Christ, eh? And to think this man still holds considerable power within the DUP. Kind of says it all, really.

    • paddykool September 8, 2015 at 12:48 pm #

      Kind of does …..alright RJC…!

    • sherdy September 8, 2015 at 4:09 pm #

      RJC, – Would you expect anyone with a brain to hold considerable power within the DUP?
      By the way, during the whole recent hullaballoo about the OTRs the DUP and others of that ilk were telling everybody that it was only Provos who had got these Lizzie Letters.
      Ergo, Willie McCrea was a Provo!
      At least that’s what logic says.

  2. paddykool September 8, 2015 at 12:50 pm #

    Willie’s the kind of guy you’d need in the White house …with his finger on the nuclear launch button!!! Oh yeah!

  3. michael c September 8, 2015 at 8:45 pm #

    There was a celebrated case 3 or 4 decades ago when a republican rioter managed to upend an RUC landrover by skilfully trundling a beer keg under it’s front axle.His skill was lauded in the “Republican News” at the time.The reporter hoped beer keg bowling would take off in riot situations and suggested the kegs should be “preferably empty”!

    • paddykool September 9, 2015 at 10:58 am #

      Well he had apoint michael…not much pont in wasting good ale ,after all…..