How appropriate that Gusty Spence, professional soldier, founder of the 60's UVF, and later a great peacemaker who became a main player in securing the peace, is to be laid to rest today, on ULSTER DAY!
Back in 1912, over 400,000 Ulster men and women (half the protestant population, equivalent to 30 million in English terms!) Ulster / British patriots signed the NATIONAL COVENANT (many in their own blood) vowing to defend Ulster and to keep her BRITISH, even if that meant taking on the British state in a full scale war of resistance.
Later on, Lord Carson, the leader of the unionists went on to form a citizen army, the UVF. This was a well trained and equipped peoples militia. The UVF managed to smuggle in over 30,000 Mauser rifles and 3.000.000 rounds of ammunition, much of which was hidden in Presbyterian churches across Ulster.
The British army high command in Curragh barracks also rebelled and refused to act against the Ulster militia. With Ireland set for all out war, the Great war started and the UVF were WILLINGLY transformed into the famous 36 Ulster division who went on to carve their name in glory and great sacrifice on the Somme, July 1st 1916 losing over 5000 by mid-day.
Ulster has never needed conscription and despite this has consistently supplied the highest number of soldiers per head than any other part of the UK.
Ulster IS British... Our grandfathers bought and paid for it in 1916 and our fathers paid again in 1939.
We defended her in 1969 and our loyal sons and daughters will defend her again if rebels, be they Irish or British threaten our sacred blood bought Motherland.