Northern Ireland news

Funding withdrawn from charity linked to Willie Frazer

The Victims and Survivors Service has withdrawn funding from the Families Research and Policy Unit (FRPU) which was linked to loyalist victims' campaigner Willie Frazer
Connla Young

FUNDING for a charity linked to loyalist campaigner Willie Frazer has been withdrawn.

The Victims and Survivors Service pulled the cash from the Family Research and Policy Unit (FRPU) last month.

The service provides funding to community and voluntary organisations which deliver “support and services in a wide range of areas including health and wellbeing and advocacy support”.

Until recently the FRPU was based in Markethill in Co Armagh.

Mr Frazer has been quoted as a spokesman for the group in the past.

He previously came to prominence with victims' body Families Acting for Innocent Relatives (Fair) in south Armagh.

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The Irish News understands that concerns were raised with VSS in relation to public comments made by Mr Frazer by relatives of people killed during the Troubles.

He has made headlines in recent years over a series of controversial claims, often made on social media.

FRPU has received more than £542,000 in funding from VSS since 2015.

A spokeswoman for the organisation last night confirmed that funding has been stopped.

“VSS recently initiated a review of the corporate governance of Families Research and Policy Unit that identified serious issues with regards to safeguarding, duty of care, committee governance and financial management,” she said.

“As a result of the investigation, we had no option but to withdraw funding support.”

The VSS spokeswoman said it "regularly monitors and evaluates these services to ensure that they are being delivered in a way that makes a positive difference to the lives of victims and survivors impacted by the Conflict/Troubles".

“We would like to reassure victims and survivors in this area that they will continue to have access to the support and services that they need.

"We are working to ensure that the advocacy support in that area continues and expect to have an alternative provider in the coming weeks."

Mr Frazer and the FRPU could not be contacted for comment.

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