An announcement that the Scottish Government is to give another half million pounds of taxpayers’ money to various “antisectarianism” groups drew a sharp response from the Grand Master. “What exactly is all this money achieving?” asked Bro McHarg. “They’ve already blown £13 Million over the last six years, much of it going to some very dubious groups and projects.” The policy has also been criticised by Catholic academic, Prof Tom Devine, who accused the Scottish Government of “keeping people in a job”.

“It’s interesting that when sectarianism was a virulent problem, nobody mentioned it” said Prof Devine. “Now when you can describe it as a process in decline then we have this array of public support for these (anti-sectarianism) charities.” Someone else who is critical of present government policy is Peter Kearney of the Scottish Catholic Media Office. “The question needs to be asked: are the programmes we are funding at the moment working?”

Nil by Mouth is the biggest beneficiary by far, depending upon Scottish Government funding for 70% of its income.