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Anglo-Irish Vice Ring. Chapters 14 – 18



James Molyneaux MP was one of the most significant figures in Unionist politics during the Troubles. He was first elected as a Westminster MP in 1970 for the then dominant Ulster Unionist Party (UUP) and served as its leader 1979-1995. He was also an Orangeman and a member of the Monday Club, a right-wing pressure group which was associated with the Tory Party.

According to Robin Bryans, Molyneaux was part of the paedophile gang which preyed on vulnerable boys in care in Northern Ireland.

MI5 did not hand over it files on Molyneaux to the Hart Inquiry which reported in 2017.

Of equal disappointment is the fact that the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse (IICSA) in London is not looking for MI5’s files on Molyneaux. It has shown no interest in him nor other MPs and VIPs who abused boys as part of an Anglo-Irish Vice Ring.

Richard Kerr,was trafficked from Belfast to London in the 1970s aged 16 to be abused by an MP who was a friend of Molyneaux. 


Robin Bryans tried to expose Molyneaux’s links to Kincora while he was still Leader of the UUP but without success.

Bryans, however, did manage to expose Sir Anthony Blunt, the Surveyor of the Queen’s Pictures, who had been a KGB mole while he served inside MI5. Byrans knew Blunt well from his frequent visits to Ulster where Blunt seized opportunities to abuse underage boys. Bryans tried to expose Molyneaux in a letter he wrote on 3 November, 1989, which also made reference to Blunt’s treachery. This was six years before Molyneaux would step down as Leader of the UUP. The relevant extract reads as follows:

‘Although Margaret Thatcher’s showed loyalty to those who had eased her path, by fair means or foul, to office, her forthrightness and inexperience enraged many. While (Sir Anthony) Blunt had a cosy relationship with the security services (based on his knowledge of incriminating political and sexual leanings among the Royal family), Thatcher showed herself to be unsympathetic to this delicate quid pro quo. She unbalanced the status quo by admitting that Blunt had been a Soviet agent [in the House of Commons in 1979]. This betrayal (as Blunt saw it) risked letting all sorts of other skeletons out of the cupboard. Not the least of these was the long-standing arrangement whereby Kincora and Portora Boys’ Schools were used as homosexual brothels by many prominent figures, including Lord Mountbatten, James Molyneaux, Leslie Mackie and Blunt’s coterie of highly placed friends. Blunt, however, kept his mouth shut, and Thatcher learned her lesson well. The establishment knows best’.

Pictured above: Molyneaux never sued: this is a copy of the extract from the letter Bryans put into circulation while Molyneaux was leader of the UUP. He did not sue Bryans.


Molyneaux was the political protégé of Sir Knox Cunningham QC, MP. Cunningham was a senior Unionist MP at Westminster who rose to become Prime Minister Harold MacMillan’s Parliamentary Private Secretary, 1959-63, and as such was present at the deliberations of Macmillan’s cabinet. Macmillan recalled Cunningham fondly in his memoirs and awarded him a baronetcy in his resignation honours.

Molyneaux acted as Cunningham’s election agent and succeeded to his seat in 1970 when the older man retired.

According to Bryans, Cunningham once described the young Molyneux as ‘a pretty little thing’.

Cunningham was also a senior member of the Anglo-Irish Vice Ring of which the infamous Kincora Boys’ Home was a part.

Richard Kerr has revealed that Cunningham was an abuser of Kincora boys.

A memorandum prepared by Colin Wallace a PSYOPS officer at British Army HQ Lisburn in the 1970s stated that Cunningham was ‘closely associated’ with William McGrath, the brutal child rapist and Housefather at Kincora and was ‘aware of his activities’.

Cunningham became involved in the World Alliance of Young Men’s Christian Association (YMCA) in 1947 and became Chairman of its National Council two years later, something which put him in charge of the YMCA in Ireland, Wales and England. Cunningham took boys from Kincora to the YMCA in England. His Wikipedia entry suggests that he became involved with the YMCA because of his “religious faith” but it is more likely he wanted to gain access to young men. Much of his interaction with the YMCA boys involved the sport of boxing. According to Bryans, he took Kincora boys to the YMCA in England.

According to Bryans, Cunningham ‘always liked to appear as the great Queen’s Counsel who knew more than anybody about everybody, especially those in my books and bed’. (The Dust Has Never Settled p.56)

Although he resigned his seat in Westminster 1970, Cunningham remained an influential figure in Unionist politics in Northern Ireland.

It is abundantly clear from Colin Wallace’s contemporaneous notes that Cunningham’s depravity was known at Lisburn HQ where a number of British military and civilian intelligence services were based. More importantly, what did they know about Molyneaux’s secret sex life? The IICSA has the power to demand all of these files but appears to have no interest in it


As indicated earlier, in 1973 MI5 planned to leak details about the sexual secrets of a group of Loyalist politicians as part of what they called Operation Clockwork Orange. It was a scheme designed to undermine Loyalist opposition to the Sunningdale Agreement and the Power Sharing Government of NI which was set up under its auspices.  Molyneaux’s name would undoubtedly have emerged if Clockwork Orange had gone ahead. However, it was aborted because Harold Wilson of the Labour Party became the UK’s prime minister. The ‘Ultras’ in MI5 such as Peter Wright actually believed Wilson was a KGB mole and decided to oust him from power. Suddenly, it suited their plans to get at Wilson by letting Sunningdale and the Power Sharing Government fail. Hence, details about the private lives of senior Loyalists such as Molyneaux were not leaked to the press. Instead MI5 threw its weight behind the Ulster Workers Council strike of 1974 which tore down the Power Sharing Government.

One of the most vicious acts of the UWC strike was the Dublin and Monaghan bombings. They were carried out by a gang of Loyalist terrorists including Robin Jackson who was an RUC Special Branch and MI5 agent. Jackson was far from the only MI5 agent involved in the Dublin and Monaghan atrocities which killed 33 people.

The British Government was asked by the Irish Government to release its file on the atrocities to assist the Barron Inquiry. The British Government refused to make the disclosure.


The Kincora scandal finally erupted in 1980. Lyra McKee states in her book Angels with Blue Faces that Molyneaux was interviewed about Kincora by “a senior [RUC] detective who’d worked on the [Kincora] investigation” and had heard stories about him. McKee interviewed the former officer during the research for her book. In it she described how:

“Various names were bandied about or alluded to by the tabloid press [after the Kincora scandal erupted], so many that a senior detective investigating the home collected press clippings and followed them up. This led him to interview [the] then UUP party leader James Molyneaux. Molyneux had protested his innocence and said he’d never been near the home. A closeted gay, his sexuality was open secret among political circles, but homosexuality would remain illegal in Northern Ireland until 1987. The detective believed his protest and that press stories linking him to the home were inaccurate. Yet Molyneaux had not disclosed his links to [William] McGrath [the Housefather of Kincora], that he’d known the political preacher and of TARA [the paramilitary organisation commanded by McGrath] and had actually visited McGrath’s home. The police investigation was concerned primarily with the abuse allegations and so the political web linking the likes of McGrath and Molyneaux and other figures within unionism were never examined. Except by journalists”. (46/7)

In his 1996 book The Kincora Scandal, Chris Moore exposed some of Molyneaux’s links to McGrath.  Moore revealed how Molyneaux had displayed an interest in one particular young man who had been involved with TARA but had left it. Molyneaux had then asked McGrath why he had departed. Molyneaux did not sue for defamation.


In her book, Lyra McKee also points out that Molyneaux had claimed that “not so loyal servants of the Crown” had been involved in the murder of Roy Bradford MP in 1981 before later backing down on the allegation. McKee wrote:

‘One day, I met with Jeffrey Donaldson, a former UUP stalwart who’d worked closely with Jim Molyneaux who had later moved to the Democratic Unionist Party and was now MP for Laggan Valley. He made an interesting claim.

‘He said senior members of the UUP had harboured suspicions about Bradford’s murder. “I worked with Enoch Powell as his Constituency Agent and later as Personal Adviser to the Party leader Jim Molyneaux,” he said. We were sitting in a coffee shop on the outskirts of Belfast City Centre. “Both of them felt that there were suspicious aspects to the circumstances of Robert’s death. Jim always felt strongly that Robert had been investigating something that he was about to go public with when he died. He thought it might have been something connected with the Royal Victoria Hospital. He just always had the feeling that Robert had been set up by someone, elsewhere. I’m not one for conspiracy theories but when it is people you respect like Enoch Powell and Jim Molyneaux who expressed such suspicions, then they cannot be lightly dismissed.” (66)

It is far more likely that Molyneaux was being coy in front of Donaldson and that the “not so loyal servants of the Crown” he suspected of having killed Bradford were members of MI5 in control of the IRA gang which carried out the actual assassination and had done so because of Kincora, not because of irregularities at the Royal Victoria Hospital. At the time of his assassination Bradford had been making inquiries into Kincora. (For more details about his inquiry, click on the Lyra McKee tab/button at the end of this story.)


In March of 2016 journalist Bimpe Archer of The Irish News published an exclusive interview with Christopher Luke. Luke had become Molyneaux’s boyfriend in his later life. Luke described how he had met the UUP politician in 1984 when he was 17 and the politician was 64 at a meeting of the Conservative Party’s  ‘Monday Club’  in London. Despite ‘the age gap, the pair bonded over their passionate belief in Northern Ireland’s immutable position within the UK, mutual hatred of Tory Europhile Edward Heath and admiration for controversial firebrand Enoch Powell’.

Luke described how the connection between them had been “instant”.

According to the report, ‘Mr Luke is openly gay, but, when asked about how intimate the two men became, said: “I don’t wish to talk about that”, but acknowledged “I had a very, very close relationship with Jimmy”, describing it as a biblical “David and Jonathan relationship”’.

Molyneaux spent an enormous amount of his time in London, first as an MP and then in the House of Lords. He kept a flat in South Kensington where, according to Luke, the pair would meet regularly. ‘The London flat was where we developed our own personal relationship beyond politics,’ he revealed.


The Belfast Telegraph later reported that: ‘It is also understood that Mr Luke has a side-line as the author of gay corporal punishment fiction, and writes under the name ‘Clansman Chris’. Luke did not deny the claim, ‘saying only that it was “a private matter”’.

Harvey Proctor, a friend of Molyneaux who liked to beat rent boys.

Harvey Proctor, the former Conservative MP and member of the Monday Club was  a friend of Molyneaux. Proctor would undoubtedly have enjoyed the work of ‘Clansman Chris’. In May 1987 Proctor pleaded guilty to four acts of gross indecency with two men and was fined a total of £1,450. The press reported how he liked to spank rent boys aged between 17 and 21. He also used a polaroid camera to take pictures of them.

Enoch Powell would have enjoyed the work too for he – Powell – was a violent abuser of the boys. Powell abused Richard Kerr sexually and by beating him with a belt and buckle.


As described earlier, the Anglo-Irish Agreement was signed at Hillsborough on 15 November, 1985. Earlier that month, Lobby Correspondents in London were given an unattributable briefing from Margaret Thatcher’s press office claiming she had ordered the Ministry of Defence to open a fresh inquiry into Kincora. This can only have had a chilling effect on the then Unionist leadership in Northern Ireland, especially Molyneaux.

Christopher Luke’s sudden arrival in Belfast after the Anglo-Irish Agreement was signed can only have unsettled Molyneaux’s nerves further. Luke was active in Conservative politics and had a keen interest in Northern Ireland. According to Bimpe Archer, after the signing of the Anglo-Irish Agreement, Luke  “immediately resigned membership of the Conservative Party” and flew to Belfast in a rage. Having taken a bus to the UUP’s HQ at Glengall Street, he met Molyneaux and his colleague Harold McCusker, also a Westminster MP. ‘Jimmy [Molyneaux] was totally surprised to see me and said “Chrissie, what brings you here?’”

Luke was taken inside the UUP HQ and McCusker contacted the Rev. Martin Smyth, who organised a place for him to stay with ‘party members of the Windsor branch’. Smith was Grand Master of the Orange Order, 1971-96, and one-time Vice President of the Monday Club. He was also a Westminster MP having succeeded to Robert Bradford’s seat in the 1982 by-election after the latter’s murder. After Molyneaux stood down as UUP leader in 1985, Smyth was defeated by David Trimble in the ensuing leadership election.

Ian Paisley faced a drubbing too if he was ever to be hauled before any sort of a tribunal. He would have had to explain under oath why he had done nothing about Kincora after his secretary, Valerie Shaw, had informed him about it in 1973. Moreover, Paisley had once been very close to McGrath and had officiated at the marriage of one of McGrath’s children.

Enoch Powell MP was vulnerable to political annihilation over his abuse of Richard Kerr and no doubt other boys MI5 knew about.

Suffice it to say, the threatened MoD inquiry never took place.

The Lobby briefing indicates that Thatcher was fully aware of what had taken place at Kincora and MI5’s deep knowledge of the Anglo-Irish Vice Ring of which so many senior Loyalist politicians were members.


Christopher Luke became a member of the Orange Order. The Belfast Telegraph revealed in 2016 that he was expelled from it ‘following what he at first described as a “personality clash”, but later admitted was sparked by his publication of the home address of David Trimble who had succeeded Molyneaux as Leader of the UUP.

Bimpe Archer also reported that the last time Christopher Luke ‘saw his beloved “Jimmy” it was heart breaking’ because Molyneaux then 94 didn’t recognise him and ‘tried to shove me off hugging and kissing him – again perhaps he thought the time wasn’t right’.  However, at a later stage of the visit to the nursing home where Molyneaux was living, recognition ‘came back to him’ and the pair were able to share a final moment of understanding. Molyneaux, died a few months later, on March 8, 2015.

Luke placed a memoriam notice in a Belfast newspaper in which he described himself as Molyneaux’s ‘close companion’ and paraphrased the Book of Samuel to say: ‘I grieve for you .. you were very dear to me. Your love for me was wonderful, more wonderful than that of women. I love you more today than I did yesterday, but less than I will tomorrow, my dear Jim, your eternal protégé Chrissie.’



A photo which Enoch Powell allowed Michael Cockerell to broadcast during his documentary about his career, Odd Man Out, to illustrate his dislike of getting his hair wet

In 2015, the late Enoch Powell MP, was named in a Church of England review into historical child sex abuse concerning the 1980s. One of its spokespersons told the press that: “The name Enoch Powell was passed to Operation Fernbridge on the instruction of Bishop Paul Butler”. The information originally came from a cleric who has counselled child abuse victims in the 1980s.

Powell’s sexual interest in younger men was a long-standing trait. In 1937, having graduated with a double first from Cambridge, Powell had become a classics professor at the University of Sydney. He was only 25 and held the post for two years during which he wrote to his parents describing his infatuation with his male students. He told them how he was repelled by his female students, while feeling “an instant and instinctive affection” for Australian males between the ages of 17 and 23. This, he added, might be “deplored, but it cannot be altered”, and therefore had to be “endured – and (alas!) camouflaged”. Somewhere along the line Powell developed an interest in much younger boys.

After serving as an intelligence officer during WW2, Powell went into politics and in 1950 became a Tory MP and later served in Cabinet. In 1966 he ran unsuccessfully for the leadership of the Conservative Party against Ted Heath, another paedophile with a taste for young boys. His career went into decline after his infamous 1968 ‘rivers of blood’ anti-immigration speech. Eventually, Powell relocated to NI where he became a UUP MP in 1974.

After he died in 1998, his friend Canon Eric James, a former chaplain at Trinity College, Cambridge, and Extra Preacher to the Queen, revealed that Powell had confided in him ten years earlier that he had engaged in a homosexual relationship as a young man. Powell gave him a copy of a collection of his poems called ‘First Poems’ (1937). He highlighted some verses where he had “tried to put into words what a homosexual relationship had meant to him”. It had been assumed by many that they had described Powell’s feelings for Barbara Kennedy whom he had taken on his first date with a woman to a music hall in 1948 when he was 35 or 36 years old. Canon James explained that Powell did not identify his male lover but said the relationship was “the most painful thing in my early life’. The individual in question was probably Edward Curtis, a fellow male undergraduate at Cambridge. The Canon revealed he had promised Powell he “would not disclose what he had said to me about the homosexual basis of certain of his poems until after his death. Then it would be a matter of literary history”.

One of the lines read as follows:

“I love the fire/ In youthful limbs that wakes desire…”.

Another of his poems leaves little to the imagination: It described how he, as an “unknowing boy” was “led to sin”.

‘I did not speak, but when I saw you turn

And cross your right leg on your left, and fold

Your hands around your knee, I felt a flow

Of white-hot lava seething up the old

Volcano shaft. That self-same attitude,

Though not of yours, it was which long ago

Fired me, an innocent, unknowing boy,

And led me on to sin and on to learn

and onwards to the very font of woe’


Richard Kerr was abused by Powell. He recalls how a man called ‘David’ and his accomplice came to take him away to be abused by Powell on a summer’s day in either 1973 or 1974 when Powell was 61 or 62. By this stage of his life, sexual abuse by adult males had become “normal” for him.

Kerr was taken to Barry’s Amusements in the seaside resort of Portrush, Co Antrim. It was opened in 1926 and became – and remains – the largest theme park in NI. Located in the centre of Portrush, it is a 50-mile drive from Belfast. Kerr was either 12 or 13 at the time of the trip. The group went unnoticed as they mingled with the crowds of children who were laughing and shouting all around them. He vividly recalls being taken on bumper cars. “Maybe I am just having a fun day today”, he allowed himself to think for a spell. However, the visit to the arcade was a cynical ploy. The children at Barry’s provided the perfect cover for what was about to happen: the handover to Powell. If the kidnappers had waited at a cross-roads or outside a hotel for such a high-profile politician, it might have attracted unwanted attention.

When Powell made his rendez-vous with the group, he was in the company of another two men. Powell spirited Kerr away on his own to a guest house near Portrush where he had booked a bedroom. Inside it, he sat him on a chair and then lifted him onto the bed and placed his head on the pillow. Next, he undid his shorts. After this he threw him on top of his chest and started to abuse him. Kerr wasn’t shocked at what was happening since he had been violated by countless men by this stage; nor was he unduly surprised when Powell began to beat him with a leather belt and buckle. The abuse involved a variety of other acts of degradation including oral sex and masturbation but no penetration. Powell smiled a lot during the encounter, he recalls.

Grinning paedophiles: Enoch Powell enjoying the company of fellow paedophiles Jimmy Saville and Ted Heath


Long before the Kincora scandal erupted, the Whip and Saddle Bar at the Europa Hotel had become notorious as a meeting place for older men who were sexually interested in younger men. The bar was the object of ribald jokes among the international array of journalists who stayed there, including some from the Republic. Joseph Mains, the Warden of Kincora, supplied Kerr to abusers at the hotel and, in 1977, asked his friend Harper Brown, the then manager of it, to arrange a job for Kerr as a bellhop. As it transpired, Kerr’s real function would be to provide sexual services to men who drank at the Whip and Saddle. Enoch Powell was one of them.

One night at around 10:45 pm, a man approached Kerr while he was behind the concierge’s desk. Powell was with a group of men inside the bar. The man who approached him was a friend of Powell. He “definitely did not have a Northern Ireland accident”, Kerr recalls. He told him that he had a ‘gentleman’ he wanted him to meet upstairs. “Can you go up to see him”, the man asked, but it was more an order than a request. He gave him the room number and told him to go up half an hour after the bar had closed. Meanwhile, Powell remained in the bar with his associates.

At the designated time, Kerr went upstairs to the room and found Powell waiting for him in it. He recognised him as the individual who had abused him in Portrush. He says he had the same distinctive accent and smiled a lot. On this occasion he wanted masturbation and oral sex.

Kerr recalls that after Powell had finished with him, he went into the bathroom to wash the towels that had been soiled “to hide evidence”. Powell stayed behind while Kerr returned to the bellhops’ station downstairs. Powell’s friend came up to him not long afterwards saying, “Here’s a tip for you”, and gave him a half crown.

Barry’s Amusements

Powell was playing a dangerous game. Homosexuality was outlawed in NI and many of his constituents would have condemned him for any hint of it. Only heterosexual sex between consenting adults was legal. Powell was acutely aware of these facts. In May 1965 he had co-sponsored an unsuccessful bill on homosexual law reform at Westminster. In 1967 he had voted for the Sexual Offences Act which had succeeded in decriminalising homosexuality but only in England and Wales. On 13 March 1982 he would give a speech in Ilford calling for the law to be reformed in NI (and allowing parents the right to forbid school-teachers to administer corporal punishment to their children, a mercy he had not afforded Kerr in Portrush when he had beaten him).

Kerr went to live in London in the early 1980s. One night while he was watching television he recognised on the screen Powell who was at a political rally with Ian Paisley.


As described earlier, in early November 1985, Lobby Correspondents in London received an unatributable briefing from Margaret Thatcher’s press office claiming she had ordered the Ministry of Defence to open a fresh inquiry into Kincora. This can only have had a chilling effect on the then Unionist leadership in NI including Powell.


By the early 1980s, Colin Wallace was beginning to reveal some of what he knew about Kincora to the public. As the decade proceeded, more information began to emerge including the fact MI5 had compiled information on the sex lives of MPs such as Cyril Smith, Ted Heath and William van Straubenzee.

On 29 October 1986 Powell wrote to Wallace’s solicitor, James Morgan-Harris, on headed House of Commons notepaper, with a request to see him. Wallace was still in prison at this time. Powell could have spoken to the solicitor on the phone if he had wanted to. Instead, he journeyed all the way to West Sussex a while later for a face-to-face meeting. At it, Powell sought general information about Wallace and his case. He appeared most interested in learning about Operation Clockwork Orange which had been run in various phases during the early and mid-1970s by both MI5 and MI6. Part of Clockwork Orange had concerned the gathering of information about the private sexual activities of MPs. Wallace was not released until 5 December 1986 after the meeting between Powell and Morgan-Harris.

Was Powell trying to find out what Wallace might have learnt about him and might yet pass to the press? As it transpired, Wallace new nothing about his private life.

Powell was defeated in the June 1987 British general election. He died in 1998.


Powell had bizarre views about women. When asked by broadcaster Michael Cockerell about his time as an undergraduate at Cambridge for a documentary about his life entitled Odd Man Out, he stated, “I had no social life as an undergraduate”. When asked about women, he responded, “They didn’t exist”. While he was aware of their presence, “I wondered what they were doing there because I didn’t think they would approach advanced learning in the same mood or manner as a man would”.

And the reason for this? “Because the analytical faculty is underdeveloped in women”.

Powell’s wife Pamela told Cockerell how hopeless he was at remembering women’s faces, even her own. He married her at the age of 39 and the couple went on to have two daughters. “We married. We had a three-week honeymoon and then within four weeks she found herself going to meet him in the Central Lobby of the House of Commons where a number of women had gathered and ‘watched him go all the way around wondering which one he had married and been on a honeymoon with”.

By 1968 Powell was making visits to Northern Ireland where he was active in the support of the Unionist cause. His interest was intense, so much so that by 1972 – if not long before – he was giving speeches at meetings of the British Army in England. Fred Holroyd, the military intelligence officer and whistleblower who worked for MI6 in NI, recalls being at one in England where Powell advocated taking a “robust” approach to defeating the “enemies” of the British Empire. Holroyd came across Powell again at the Seagoa Hotel in Portadown where he found him personally amiable but his wife to be openly racist. He claims she referred to black people as “n***ers”. Powell was elected as the Westminster MP for South Down in October 1974.

Powell had a number of female admirers including Margaret Thatcher who said of him, “Enoch was the best parliamentarian I ever knew”.


An MI6 witness at the Hart Inquiry admitted that it monitored the sex lives of important individuals. ‘Officer A’, was quoted as having acknowledged that since “homosexuality would make others vulnerable to blackmail it would be of interest” to it (paragraph 237 of Chapter 28).

Presumably, the London branch of the Anglo-Irish Vice Ring kept Powell supplied with boys while he was in England too. It is unclear how many victims he beat, abused and raped during his lifetime. It would be in the public interest to establish what is in the Church of England counselling notes referred to by Bishop Paul Butler.

Did MI6 keep a file on the sexual habits of Enoch Powell, Ted Heath, Greville Janner, James Molyneaus, Cyril Smith, Peter Morrison, Jeremy Thorpe, Knox Cunningham and others during those dark times? MI5 definitely did as is clear from Colin Wallace’s Clockwork Orange notes.



Witchell in the mid 1970s

Eric Witchell, a serial paedophile, was a key figure in the Anglo-Irish Vice Ring. He now lives in London and is in his early 70s, safe in the knowledge that a succession of senior MI5 figures have gone to extraordinary lengths to cover-up what he and his associates did in Belfast, London, Manchester, Liverpool and elsewhere as they – MI5 – benefited from the existence of the Anglo-Irish paedophile network of which he was a key member.

Witchell, who hailed from England, was born in 1948. He became a Franciscan at the age of 19. Before his appointment to Williamson House, he had been a housefather in an English boys school attached to the Franciscans. He became the Officer-in-Charge (OiC) of Williamson House in May of 1975 at the age of 27.

The small boys Witchell abused were abandoned, vulnerable and powerless waifs. A select few were later sent to Kincora Boys Home where they were used as bait in MI5 ‘honey trap’ blackmail operations.

Witchell betrayed the trust bestowed upon him by Belfast’s child welfare authorities but also by the Anglican Franciscan Order of which he was a member. He was, however, a godsend to MI5 and MI6.

The Williamson House scandal is worse than the outrage at Kincora insofar as younger children were abused at it.

Witchell’s sordid branch of the Anglo-Irish Vice Ring supplied very young children to VIPs including Enoch Powell MP.

Witchell did not appear before the Hart Inquiry. Had he done so – and told, or been made to tell, the truth – Judge Hart would have reached a wholly different conclusion to the one he published in his lamentable 2017 report.


Witchell secured the post at Williamson House despite the fact his tutor at the National Children’s Home Training College in England had advised the appointment panel of Belfast‘s Welfare Department that at “this stage I would have some doubt in commending him to be the Officer- in-Charge… I would commend him to you for employment, but I would not commend him to you for employment as Officer-in-Charge”. It was fortuitous for MI5 that Witchell became OiC despite this because he was the vilest sort of paedophile, someone who was prepared to farm out the children in his care to a wider network of child molesters.

This suited MI5 because it enabled them to manufacture blackmail opportunities and ensnare Loyalist politicians, paramilitaries and Orangemen and force them to do their bidding.

After Witchell became OiC at the home, he moved into an apartment in the attic. It had a TV, sofa, sleeping quarters and a drinks cabinet. This was where he abused the young boys. He would usher his chosen victim upstairs and lock the door behind them. Physically, he was tall, thin and imposing. He wore glasses and had black longish hair. He was an exceptionally cruel and violent man with an insatiable sexual appetite. His preference was for prepubescent boys but he assaulted teenage boys too. His taste ranged from masturbation to anal rape. At least three of his victims would never recover from the assaults he and his associates perpetrated, and committed suicide; another two attempted to kill themselves.

Officially, he held the post of OiC at Williamson House until 1 March 1980 but he actually left before then as the RUC and MI5 were losing control of the secrecy surrounding the scandal.


By the early 1970s MI5 had probably gained control over all of the key figures in the Anglo-Irish Vice Ring including Councillor Joshua (Joss) Cardwell, a Unionist politician and paedophile, who was also Chairman of Belfast Corporation Welfare Committee. The Committee was responsible for both Williamson House, Kincora and other homes in Belfast where sexual violence was commonplace.

Witchell was also close to Joe Mains and William McGrath at Kincora.

Another key figure who aided Cardwell and Mains in running the Ulster branch of the Anglo-Irish Vice Ring was the Town Solicitor, John A Young. He was involved in deliberately losing some of the complaints about abuse that were sent to his office in August of 1971.


In February 1990, Robin Bryans told this author that: “The Kincora thing will be covered up. I would love to go on talking if I thought it was going to come out, but it’s not, because I know how the Establishment works. Be careful of the word Kincora, because you are going to limit it. There were other homes involved. There were three homes. There was one for boys from 12 to 16, and then there was one for younger ones”.

Williamson House looks suspiciously like it was the ‘one for younger ones’.

Williamson House is now long gone. It was closed in October 1983 and knocked to the ground in the mid-1980s. It had consisted of two buildings, numbers 446 and 448 on the Antrim Road. It was originally opened by the Belfast Welfare Authority in 1957. Until 10 March 1976, it was run as two separate units. Thereafter the two houses were managed as a single home, catering for up to 18 boys and girls usually aged between 4 and 18. It was not unusual, however, for the older teenagers to leave before they reached 18.

Some of the boys went to Bawnmore where abuse also took place; some of the girls to boarding schools, one of which was located in Derry. Other unfortunates were consigned to the hell of Kincora where Witchell’s close friends and fellow paedophiles, Joe Mains and William McGrath, were in charge and abuse and bullying was incessant, violent and terrifying.


According to Bryans, children at a home in Portadown were also abused. The list of care homes in NI where it is known abuse took place includes:

  • Nazareth Lodge Children’s Home in South Belfast;
  •  Bawnmore Boys Home, Newtownabbey, which was opened by Belfast Welfare Authority;
  • Palmerstown Reception and Assessment Centre, Belfast;
  • De La Salle Boys’ Home, Rubane House Kircubbin, Co Down (where one of Jean McConville’s sons was abused after the IRA had murdered her);
  • Barnardo’s Sharonmore Project;
  • Manor House Home, Co Antrim.

As described earlier, Bryans also revealed that boys from Portora Royal, Northern IrelandI’s elite public school, located in Enniskillen, were abused by members of the Anglo-Irish Vice Ring. The Portora boys were in demand by abusers such as Mountbatten whose appetite extended to working class children too..


Richard Kerr was a resident at Williamson House where he was abused by Witchell and many others. Kerr entered the care of the Belfast Welfare Department when he was enrolled at Brefne Residential Nursery for a short while. He was transferred to Williamson House in 1969 and remained there until 1975 when he was 14 and was transferred to Kincora. His brother Alan and a sister also resided at Williamson House and other homes.

Richard Kerr reveals that the abuse at Williamson House had begun before Witchell’s appointment as OiC. This implies that the Anglo-Irish Vice Ring already had some sort of access to it, and Witchell’s appointment was designed to open the doors further.

Kerr recalls that as a very young child, perhaps when he was only 8 or 9, he was abused late one night in the dark by a man whose face he never saw. He slept in a room on the first floor with other small boys. His bed was closest to the door and next to a wall. The abuser appeared as if from nowhere and violated him before disappearing. The figure materialised out of the darkness again on a number of occasions, never once revealing his face. Kerr had a small teddy bear which he gripped and bit while he was being raped. During these assaults, his face was pressed up against the wall. The experience was not only excruciatingly painful but psychologically devastating.

The intruder may or may not have been Witchell who was a visitor at Williamson House before he became its OiC. Kerr’s belief, however, is that the faceless night-time intruder was not Witchell. He has been haunted by the experience ever since.


Witchell is the first individual Kerr can positively identify as one of his abusers. He has informed Village that before Witchell took up his post at Williamson House “he was visiting it and from my memory he was working part-time. He was living in Liverpool at a church but had his own place in Belfast that he would go to when he would visit Williamson House”.

When Witchell visited Belfast in the days before he became OiC, he stayed at a premises owned by the Anglican Franciscans. He may also have had access to a flat in the city.

There were plenty of opportunities to save Kerr and his fellow victims but none were availed of. In Kerr’s case, a gym master at his school once noticed that there was blood on his shorts and a bruise on his groin; yet even that didn’t bring his nightmare to an end.

“My school records from Mt. Vernon”, Kerr has told Village, “were destroyed because they contained information indicating that I was being abused at Williamson House. The staff at the school suspected I was being abused but when asked, I would not answer their questions because I was afraid of my abusers”.

On another occasion, a member of staff at Williamson House also noted bruising to his groin which had been inflicted by one of his rapists.

One of Kerr’s relative’s – still alive – can confirm that he sustained bruises at this time.

Kerr’s childhood was extinguished by the abuse that engulfed him and would drive him to attempt suicide on a number of occasions.

A very short and incomplete list of those Witchell abused includes Richard Kerr, his brother Alan Kerr, ‘Charles’ and three boys who went on to commit suicide. Village is not naming the boys who killed themselves lest it upset their families.


Kerr was taken out of Williamson House and supplied to paedophiles at various venues in NI and later, when a resident at Kincora, to some locations in the Republic. A few gave him cheap presents including ‘large pennies’ and chocolates. It was common for him to receive boxes of Black Magic. Another boy at the home ‘E’ was also taken out of it and delivered to child rapists. He later committed suicide. On one occasion both of these boys were taken away together on an appalling abuse marathon which lasted two or three days. A story was later concocted to cover their absence that they had run away from the home.

Kerr recalls that two men, one of whom used the name “David” took him out of Williamson House and ferried him to his abusers. They were in their late 20s or early 30s. Both had NI accents. They would usually arrive at about 2 o’clock and return him by 10 o’clock when the other children were asleep. They were very cautious about the manner in which they approached the home. As indicated earlier, Williamson House consisted of two buildings. There were two separate driveways that led up to them with an area of green grass in the middle. When the kidnappers came to remove their victims, they would proceed up the driveway on the right-hand side and park at the side of the house. This would conceal them from the rest of the complex. In this way they could spirit their victims away and return them without unduly alerting the rest of the staff who might otherwise have begun to ask awkward questions. It was they who ferried Kerr to Enoch Powell described in the chapter on Powell.



Another abuser of boys from Williamson House (and elsewhere) was Dr Morris Fraser, a high-profile child psychiatrist who published books and appeared on TV in the 1970s. He abused boys in Ireland, the UK and the US. Fraser, however, is one of a tiny number of the Belfast abusers who was convicted for his crimes, or at least a tiny fraction of them. He now lives in Holland, or did until recently.

Fraser playd a covert role in protecting the vice ring. When children who were being abused made complaints or began to behave in a troubled manner, they were sent to him. Instead of identifying that they were being abused, he would conceal what was going on. Fraser was the wrong man in the wrong place at the wrong time. Had the Terry, Hughes or Hart inquiries conducted their investigations properly, we might know how many of the victims of child abuse who visited Fraser were denied the appropriate intervention, and, worse again, how many went on to commit suicide.

Fraser even abused the children who attended him as patients. When Richard Kerr was about 10 in 1971 and a resident at Williamson House, he was taken to Fraser’s clinic at the Royal Victoria Hospital along with his sister. On a second visit, he was alone. “He asked me to stand up and take my shorts down. For some reason, within a minute, he had some sort of Polaroid camera. He started taking shots. He said not to worry – he’s a doctor. But I felt embarrassed”.

Fraser’s mistake was to abuse children outside of the North. Perhaps the NIO-MI5/6-RUC safety net in Belfast gave him a false confidence. He was arrested for child abuse in London in May 1972. However, his sentence was light: a three-year conditional discharge which let him resume his career uninterrupted.

He was arrested again in New York in May 1973 as part of an eight-man child abuse ring. He pleaded guilty to the abuse of three boys in February 1974 in Suffolk County, New York. Again, he was conditionally discharged and deported. Again, the high contracting parties from MI5 and their associates appear to have stepped in to save him. Fraser should have been, but was not, brought back before a UK court, having broken the terms of his May 1972 three-year conditional discharge.

Fraser may still have the photographs of the young Richard Kerr in his possession as part of a library of sick child pornograph a pervert like him drools over. His legacy will be that of a child molester who was part of a violent paedophile underworld that destroyed countless lives, some by suicide and the murder of 10-year -old Brian McDermott in 1973.

By 2016, Fraser’s profile was so high that even Judge Hart was unable to ignore his existence. Instead, Hart included what purported to be a commentary about Fraser in his risible 2017 report. It was based on various documentary sources and included a string of fundamental factual mistakes. Dr Niall Meehan of Griffith College has carried out a forensic dissection of Hart’s sloppy analysis of Fraser. He has pointed out that Hart, “ignored evidence that from 1971- 73 an accused and then convicted serial child-abuser named Dr Morris Fraser continued to work with vulnerable institutionalised children. The [Hart] Inquiry also refused to examine how and why police protected the internationally-known child psychiatrist from exposure and from professional censure, for a year after he was found guilty of abuse”.

Dr Meehan’s critique of Hart’s “error-strewn commentary” on Fraser can be read at:

Thus far, IICSA in London has displayed no interest in questioning him either despite the crimes he committed in the UK.



During the summer of 1977, Richard Kerr, a resident at Kincora Boys Home in Belfast, was summoned by the man in charge of his welfare, Joseph Mains. Mains, who ran Kincora, told Kerr that Joss Cardwell had called and wanted him – Kerr – and another Kincora resident, Steven Waring, to proceed down to Belfast Harbour.

Joss Cardwell was a paedophile as was Joe Mains. Cardwell was also Chairman of Belfast Corporation Welfare Committee and in overall charge of Kincora and other homes such as Williamson House in Belfast. He was also a key figure in the Anglo-Irish Vice Ring (A-IVR) which Village has been writing about for the last year. Many of the participants in the A-IVR are still alive and have never been brought to justice.

Kerr knew exactly what Cardwell’s ominous edict entailed for him: he would be going to England to be sexually abused yet again. On this trip, he would be delivered into the grubby hands of a TV star in London.

Kerr knew Caldwell as ‘Joseph’ Cardwell and – as Village reported last year – recalls how he wore a ‘funny’ hat and drove a blue minivan which he used to take boys out of Kincora. Some of these trips terminated at the Adelphi Hotel in Portrush where the boys were abused.


Stephen Waring and Richard Kerr boarded the ferry to Liverpool. In Liverpool they were met by Michael ‘A’. Kerr was familiar with him from Manchester where he had been abused at the Rembrandt Hotel. Michael ‘A’ was in the company of a man called Derek.

The group headed to a premises in Liverpool near Lime Street train station. By now it was well into the morning of the following day. The boys were ushered down a flight of steps into a basement with mattresses strewn across its floor. Approximately five others boys were being held. They were aged between 11 and 13. Kerr and Waring were kept with them for three or four hours.


Later that morning, Michael ‘A’ and Steven ‘J’ brought the two Kincora boys to the train station. The other – younger – boys did not travel with them.

Steven ‘J’ served the A-IVR in a number of ways, one of which was to take salacious photographs of the boys ensnared in the vice-ring. Stephen ‘J’ also knew Joe Mains and Eric Witchell who was the first member of the A-IVR to have abused Kerr – while he was only 8 at Williamson House. During the 1970s Witchell resided in both Liverpool and Belfast. Witchell was later put in charge of Williamson House where Kerr resided before being sent to Kincora in 1975.

Witchell and Cardwell supplied boys from Williamson House to abusers favoured by the A-IVR. Kerr was one of these boys. Village has the names of others. Some of them went on to commit suicide.

On this trip, Kerr and Waring reached Manchester with their two escorts, alighting and switching to another train. They were confined inside a first-class compartment on the final leg of the journey – which would take them to London – and were abused by Michael ‘A’ and Steven ‘J’ en route. The abuse was perpetrated in a clandestine manner and was manual.


After they reached London, the boys were separated and Kerr was brought to the Wimpy Bar in Piccadilly Circus. Piccadilly was notorious for the presence of so-called Dilly boys, unfortunate urchins who had been groomed, bullied and manipulated into becoming male prostitutes. Kerr was escorted to the upstairs floor of the Wimpy Bar and placed behind a table. There were two men inside the Wimpy Bar who were running the Dilly Boys at the time. Kerr recalls that one of them was the late Jack Murry, a well dressed Englishman who smoked cigars and wore glasses. He does not know who the second man was.

Later, Kerr was ordered to go back downstairs and delivered to a TV star who was waiting outside for him. The man , who was much taller than Kerr, beckoned him to follow and walked approximately two feet ahead of Kerr in case anyone saw them together.

Kerr and the TV star walked up to a very well-known street. The man opened a door on street level with a key. The door led immediately to a flight of stairs. He was brought upstairs. The man had a small room on the left-hand side of the stairs. It was sparsely furnished. Kerr was then abused in a degrading manner.

The adult gave Kerr £20 and he was then ushered downstairs, put back on the street and told to find his own way back to the Wimpy Bar.

What the adult did not realise was that Kerr was seething with resentment at the men who abused him and had perfected the practice of memorising detail about his abusers. He sometimes even managed to take photographs away with him as proof of their identity. Some of the photographs were of cars with their registration plates clearly visible and are now in the possession of Village. On this occasion, although the room was barely lived in, he managed to remove an item which he has described to Village.

Kerr later recognised the man from a guest appearance on the then hugely popular ‘Minder’ TV show, one of the actor’s numerous TV appearances in hugely successful BBC and ITV programmes, some of which were made for children.


The TV Star is alive and plying his trade as an actor. He has contributed to the activities of numerous charities including at least one involved with child welfare. He has stated that some rape victims are liars who are only after money.

It is not known if Michael ‘A’ and Stephen ‘J’ are still  alive.

Steven Waring committed suicide in November 1977, a few months after the trip to England described in this article. Waring jumped to his death from the Belfast-Liverpool Monarch Ferry. His body was never recovered. Despite the passage of 40 years, an inquest into his death has yet to be convened.

Chapters 1 – 3 can be accessed at:

Chapters 4 – 7 can be accessed at:

Chapters 8 – 10 can be accessed at:

Chapters 11 – 13 can be accessed at:

Chapters 14 – 18 can be accessed at:

Chapters 19 – 24 can be accessed at: