Threats Irish unionist Tristan Morrow who wants Republic to join UK told he'd be 'skinned alive'
19 year-old Tristan - dubbed the Ulster Jacob Rees-Mogg - was warned he'll be 'skinned alive' if he shows his face south of the border again
Irish unionist Tristan Morrow was warned he'll be 'skinned alive' if he shows his face south of the border again.
But the teenage politician - who is the driving force behind the revival of a pro-British party which went kaput over 100 years ago - is determined to fight on.
"Threats are part and parcel of political life here and I've no doubt I'll just have to learn to live with it," he said.
"I had been speaking on a political platform in Limerick where my party has strong support.
"Obviously the debate was later carried online and a man - who hadn't come to hear what I had to say - told me he 'skin me alive' if I showed my face there again," Tristan told the Sunday World.
Born in Kilkenny in the Republic, 19 year-old Tristan - dubbed the Ulster Jacob Rees-Mogg - now works on the family stud farm 170 miles away outside Ballymoney in Co Antrim, and he also attends a college in Northern Ireland where he studies English and maths.
And when he's not working or studying, Tristan spends his time trying to persuade others of the benefits of Irish unionism.
"I firmly believe a union with the United Kingdom - for the whole of Ireland - is the way forward," he said yesterday.
After studying local history in Co Antrim, Tristan developed a particular interest in the United Irishmen uprising of 1798.
But he is keen to bring his knowledge into the 21st century by reviving the brand of unionism which once saw the whole of Ireland united under the Crown.
And he's also not afraid to wear his heart on his sleeve. Because every day, he sports a small metal Irish unionist badge - made up of a union flag and a St Patrick's Cross - in his lapel.
"I'm proud of my political beliefs and I'm keen to let people know how I feel about them," he said.
Tristan maintains the Ballymoney area is rich in Irish history, and political discourse and debate were always part of local tradition.
"If you look back in the local papers, then it's obvious this town was a melting pot for ideas.
"I would like to revive that kind of debating arena, as it would give me a platform to express my views on Irish unionism," explained Tristan.
But curiously for a deeply committed unionist, Tristan was scathing about Sir Edward Carson, who helped bring about partition.
Viewed north of the border as the founding father of Ulster unionism, Carson is a hero to many in the unionist community.
"I believe Edward Carson was simply a carpet bagger who used Ulster unionism for his own ends," he said.
"He once referred to the Orange Order in Belfast as a bunch of rabble rousers. That's hardly going to win people over to your point of view.
"In many ways Carson's actions proved to be the death knell of unionism in Ireland, so we have given ourselves an uphill struggle to revive it today."
He added: "And remember, after partition, Carson ran away and left the place and he never came back until he was in his coffin."
A descendant of the famous 19th century landlord Arthur MacMurrough Kavana - known as 'the limbless politician' - Tristan hopes his bloodline will provide him with determination he'll need to win through.
"He managed to win against overwhelming odds and I hope his genes will help me do the same," said Tristan.
And he has a full programme of events to publicise what is says is growing support for his party.
"At the moment we have around 25 members spread with across Ireland. But we've only been going a short time, so we believe membership will continue to grow steadily.
"Our greatest support in around Limerick and we believe unionism has a firm base there. But we are also planning events in Leitrim and in east Donegal, where a number of local Orangemen have shown an interest.
"East Donegal had a strong unionist tradition before partition and we believe it can be revived once more under an Irish unionist banner," he said.
Tristan is also keen to build links with the Orange Order which is still a 32-county organisation.
He said: "The Orange Order is Dublin has made contact with us and it has invited us down for a chat, so that's encouraging.
"We have a party member in Clare who is an Orangemen, so we are very keen to build on these already existing links," he said.
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