Opinions and attitudes expressed in signed articles are solely those of the contributors and not necessarily those of the publishers. We do not publish personal attacks on individuals or hysterical abuse.

Home page  Pictures  Glenwood Publications  Facing reality  What's new  Contact us  Ballynafeigh Archives 2001-2006

Articles  Reviews  Feedback  What we're about  links

 Broxburn Loyalist speaks out

I’M TOMMY. I am from West Lothian and I play the flute with the Broxburn Loyalists Flute Band.  We are a Blood and Thunder band.

I first became interested in bands when my uncle gave me an old flute which he had on his wall.  My family encouraged me as I managed to play a tune or two after only a few weeks.  After a few months, the family noticed I had a talent for the flute.  To this day they still enjoy listening to my music.  Indeed, for my 21st birthday I asked for my very own flute.  I then taught myself how to play the concert flute.   

My father introduced me to the Broxburn Loyalists Flute Band one Saturday.  In the early 70s, we used to have a local Rangers Supporters Club in the town.  Sadly it is no longer there.  However, the band would play before matches and I would go down to listen.

I joined the band when I was about 13 years of age, of my own accord.  My Dad never would force me to do anything and left me to make up my own mind.

I remember being told after a couple of years that the band’s objective was to go to the World Flute Band Championship one year.  Our Band Sergeant believed we had a flute core second to none.  This would have been a dream for me.

I still recall my first trip to Ulster. I had mixed emotions.  On the one hand I was so proud to be marching the streets of Ulster.  On the other hand, however, I felt very scared.  I thought that the whole band would be wiped out by a bomb!

Every year we go to Ulster we see more and more restrictions being put in place.

I have friends who have their estates attacked and their homes burnt out.  Sinn Féin stand and watch our parades and try to intimidate us.  However, we know to look forward and disregard them.  Their objective is to ethnically-cleanse us from society. I have a growing fear that one day our democratic right to parade will be taken away from us.

When I am out with the band I feel proud.  However, I also feel our faith and culture is being rubbished by certain people.  Unless we keep our traditions then we could lose everything that our forefathers fought for many years ago.  I am a Protestant night and day and realise we could do a lot better for our faith but we carry a lot of dead wood who are keeping us back.

I do not have a problem (and neither does the band) with anyone from another religion.  As long as they let me practise my religion in the way I choose. However, I feel Sinn Féin/IRA is seeking to destroy my culture by various means.  They have certainly used the world media to side with ‘poor Catholics’.

I respect any man's religion.  However using the Roman Catholic church name to promote a ‘United Ireland’ is wrong.  To murder and destroy peoples lives is also wrong.

To conclude, I’ve a few questions to pose.  Not so long ago, the USA declared war on world terrorists.  Why have they not shut down or hunted down the IRA?  Are there one set of rules for some terrorists and another set of rules for others? Is the US military now going to get the same treatment in Iraq the British forces received in Ulster for 30 years?  Are we going to see more bombs, drive by shootings and the like?

Why is it that leaders such as John Paul II don’t speak out against the IRA?  Why doesn’t he teach his people that bullets and bombs are a thing of the past?  What about ‘Love thy neighbour’?

Why is it that Catholics in the South respect the marching season?


Home page Pictures Glenwood Publications  Facing reality  What's new  Contact us  Ballynafeigh  Articles Archives 2001-2006

Reviews Images of the Twelfth  Feedback  What we're about  links

Copyright © 2000 - 2007  Glenwood Publications. All rights reserved.