Five daughters of ex Irish rugby star Davy Tweed say he was a ‘predatory paedophile and violent thug’
The five daughters of Davy Tweed spoke out about the abuse they suffered (l-r) Jamiee-Lee, Catherine, Lorraine, Victoria, and Amanda
November 15 2021 06:40 AM
Five daughters of former Irish rugby international turned politician Davy Tweed have come together this week to smash what they say is the false narrative being spun around the memory of the man who they branded a “violent thug”.
In an interview with the Sunday World, five of Tweed’s daughters said they felt compelled to speak out about their father, who died in a road crash on October 28.
Tweed’s stepdaughter, Amanda Brown (41), said: “We wanted to set the record straight. This man was much more than a sporting hero and a loyal DUP and TUV politician. He was a predatory paedophile and a violent thug who smashed our mother’s face to a pulp.”
TUV leader Jim Allister was one of those who commented publicly saying the 61-year-old former TUV councillor was a “larger than life character”, who “was widely known across North Antrim and further afield”.
In a tweet he added: “Deeply saddened to learn of the death of former Ireland rugby star and Ballymena councillor Davy Tweed in a road traffic accident in north Antrim yesterday. Sincere sympathy to his grieving family and wide circle of friends.”
When contacted by the Sunday World and asked if he’d like to retract those remarks in light of recent revelations, Mr Allister responded, “you can say whatever you like about the dead – that’s the first thing – and of course the Sunday World is very good at that,” before hanging up the phone.
Amanda, Catherine and Vicky Tweed met with Sunday World reporter Nicola Tallant to produce a Crime World podcast about Tweed.
His youngest daughter Jaimee-Leigh Tweed (22) and Lorraine Tweed (36) have also gone public about the abuse they suffered growing up.
Amanda Brown wasn’t surprised that Mr Allister refused to withdraw or modify his remarks.
She said some people “appear to have a blind loyalty to Davy Tweed. But they are ignoring the reality. Davy Tweed was a paedophile and a violent bully”.
Tweed’s daughters – who range in age from 22 to 41 – decided to speak out to inform the public who may have believed Tweed was an upstanding member of the community.
Amanda Brown became Tweed’s stepdaughter when her mum Margaret married the former Ulster and Ireland rugby international in 1984.
But from around the age of eight, she was sexually abused by her stepfather who physically threatened her not to tell anyone.
Fighting back tears when talking to the Sunday World, Catherine (29) recalled the abuse and physical violence she endured as a child at the hands of her rugby star dad. She said: “It was horrendous.”
She also challenged those who praised him after his death to revisit the facts.
“Did they not know he was in court twice – for two separate trials – to answer serious sex abuse violence charges? Do they think we are making this up? Would we have allowed ourselves to stand in the spotlight if we weren’t telling the truth?”
Catherine continued: “I can see why people thought he was a great man.
“It was his charm and public persona which allowed him to get away with it for so long.
“But the aggression he showed on the pitch he also brought home to his family. All of us and our poor mum were subjected to his brutal violence and temper.
“Davy Tweed was a paedophile. People need to come to terms with that.”
Victoria Tweed (26) said she hoped that by speaking out it would encourage other victims of sex abuse to come forward.
“I know it’s unusual for so many victims to speak out at the same time. But as a family we stuck together and we all give each other strength when we needed it,” she said.
“We want anyone who is suffering to speak out.”
David Tweed was from a farming background outside the Co Antrim village of Dunloy.
After his Dunloy-based Orange Lodge was denied permission to walk through his village, Tweed became prominent in local unionist politics, first, under Ian Paisley’s DUP and later Jim Allister’s TUV, which he joined after Paisley Snr agreed to share power with Sinn Féin.
In 2009, a case of child sex abuse involving 10 charges collapsed.
But in 2012, he was convicted and handed an eight-year sentence for gross indecency, indecent assault and inciting gross indecency, spanning an eight-year period.
But four years later the conviction was quashed over issues surrounding the bad character clause in the judge’s summing up.
He was buried in Dunloy Presbyterian Churchyard two weeks ago.
North Antrim MP Ian Paisley and DUP MLA Mervyn Storey also paid tribute to the former rugby star, with Mr Paisley saying he was “shocked and saddened” to hear of the death.
A DUP spokesman for Mr Paisley and Mr Storey said they were aware of divisions of the Tweed family.
But they both maintain that in saying what they did, they were merely passing on condolences.