Victims campaigner Willie Frazer dies aged 58

Victims campaigner Willie Frazer, who has died following a long illness. Credit: Pacemaker

Well-known victims campaigner Willie Frazer has died aged 58.

Mr Frazer, who had been battling a long illness, passed away in hospital surrounded by his family.

He was the founder of the group Families Acting for Innocent Relatives, which campaigned for victims' rights for many years, but was seen by some as a controversial figure.

Tributes have been paid following the news of his death.

Danny Kennedy from the Ulster Unionist Party said: “William Frazer was in many respects a child of the Troubles.

"The cruel murder of his father and five other family members by republicans shaped his life and later career.

"He himself served in the UDR and he knew the cost of that service to his own family and numerous friends and colleagues.”

Mr Kennedy added: “I worked with William over many years. We didn’t always agree and sometimes we differed in our approach to political developments, but I liked and respected him.

"He was fearless in his approach and some people didn’t either like or appreciate that - but they had not lived the experience that he had, growing up in South Armagh and the loss of so many family members.

"I am genuinely grieved at his passing at such a young age and will always remember him fondly.”

DUP leader Arlene Foster said: “William had more pain and grief imposed upon him during his life than anyone should ever have to experience.

“William dedicated himself to fighting for victims of the republican terrorism he experienced so personally growing up in South Armagh.

“My thoughts are with William’s wife and family at this very difficult time and I can only hope they are able to take some comfort that the pain William experienced during his life is now finally at an end."