Framing Mischief by a Law – a sermon from 1985

Since I again had no duties in Kilskeery Independent Christian School today I am sending out this recording of a message from 1985. I trust that it will be a blessing.

This is a message I preached in Kilskeery back on 30th June, 1985. It is hard to believe that it is 37 years ago!

It was a day or so after I had been arrested along with the late George Graham of Kilkeel, who was the local member of the Stormont Assembly back then. I mention Mrs Ethel Smyth in the message. She was a DUP councillor on the local Down District Council. Ethel passed away in August last year. She was a courageous Christian and unflinching in her stand against the enemies of our Province.

Firebrand DUP Down councillor Ethel Smyth remembered

I was later charged with disorderly conduct and Mr Graham with assault upon a policeman because the constable’s cap was knocked off as the arrest took place. We were later brought to court in Downpatrick and found guilty. The chief witness against me so contradicted himself that the magistrate told him to leave the witness box and I believed that the case against me would be dismissed. However, during a recess, a message came to me saying that if I did not change my plea to guilty the Prosecutor would demand the maximum penalty against Mr Graham which would mean 6 months imprisonment.

Click here to read the sermon notes.

I was deeply troubled by this for I believed myself innocent though my barrister said that to even delay at a police barricade when told to go away is technically a breach of the law. I was also troubled at the thought that if I persisted in my plea, I would be condemning Mr Graham to jail for 6 months.

In the end I changed my plea to guilty and was fined. I refused to pay the fine and was imprisoned for a week in Crumlin Road Jail, my fourth visit to that establishment since my first visit in 1966.

It brought home to me the opportunities Ulster has had, and turned down, of successfully resisting the Roman Catholic/Republican/IRA conspiracy that is presently reaching its end-game here in our land!

Rightly or wrongly, I cannot imagine in today’s atmosphere and outlook, such a message being preached!

I hope you enjoy the recording. It is not of the best quality. I had to remove some pauses, noisy or inaudible sections so it is a little shorter than the original message, though substantially it is what was said.  It is amongst the first of the recordings made in Kilskeery and the tape, a 60 minute tape, ran out just before the end so there is just a little missing.

Sincerely in Christ’s name,

Rev. Ivan Foster (Ret’d)