‘The day I was told I was to be murdered’ - Rev McCrea

FORMER Mid-Ulster MP William McCrea has opened up about how he diced death from the IRA, not once, but three times.

In a special interview with the Mid-Ulster Mail Rev McCrea revealed how one IRA man sent out to shoot him couldn’t pull the trigger - because the DUP politician had helped his parents.

In another lucky escape a bomb was diffused inside Dr McCrea’s Magherafelt home when his housekeeper opened a parcel, thought to contain biblical booklets, packed with explosives. The bomb had been concealed in a book, carved out to hold the deadly device.

He also spoke about how shortly before the IRA ceasefire, his young daughter unknowingly disturbed two gunmen armed with AK47s outside the family’s Highfield Road home.

Mr McCrea gave the frank, open and, at times, emotional interview with the Mid-Ulster Mail as part of our special series on former Mid-Ulster MPs ahead of Martin McGuinness officially stepping down from the role.

“I will never forget the day I was called in by the police to attend the station. When I drove to the station I went to the Chief Superintendent’s office,” recalled Rev McCrea.

“He sat me down and said, ‘Mr McCrea I have something to tell you. You are to be murdered this weekend’.”

“And I said ‘what?’ and I laughed, I suppose it was a nervous laugh. And he said to me, ‘Mr McCrea I wouldn’t laugh if I were you. Listen to what I am saying, you are to be murdered this weekend.’”

For the full story grab your copy of this week’s Mid-Ulster Mail.