Citizen Tommy’s “Kirkcaldy Speech” is an online sensation

Tommy Sheridan (centre) in Kirkcaldy, with film-maker Colin McQuillen and event organiser Marie Penman
Tommy Sheridan (centre) in Kirkcaldy, with film-maker Colin McQuillen and event organiser Marie Penman

A speech on independence for Scotland, delivered by Tommy Sheridan in Kirkcaldy just a few weeks ago, has now been watched more than 100,000 times on YouTube.

The rousing talk, which lays out the reasons Mr Sheridan has for voting Yes in September, was given at an independence event held at St Bryce Kirk in January in front of an audience of about 320 people.

It was filmed in full by Glenrothes film-maker Colin McQuillen, who then uploaded the footage to YouTube. He was amazed by what happened next.

“I thought Tommy’s speech was incredible and deserved to be seen by as many people as possible, so I uploaded it the week after,” he said.

“Almost immediately, it went viral and was soon being watched thousands of times every day. It’s had an unbelievable effect, with loads of people commenting that it’s persuaded them to vote Yes in September.”

The St Bryce event was organised by local campaigner Marie Penman, who had heard Tommy Sheridan speak at an anti-bedroom tax meeting. She knew he was capable of delivering a powerful message to a live audience.

“I think Tommy is probably the most impressive public speaker I’ve ever listened to – he is inspiring and passionate and really speaks from the heart.

“I asked Colin to film the event and upload it afterwards but we were all surprised by the huge response it’s had.”

Mr Sheridan emailed the organisers a couple of weeks ago, stunned by the number of people who had seen the speech and contacted him, saying: “The success of the video is quite incredible. I’m so glad you guys had the vision and foresight to make it.

“Everyone is so positive about it and the feedback suggests we have won thousands to the Yes cause through it. Well done.”

Covering topics such as the welfare state, child poverty and nuclear weapons, the “Kirkcaldy Speech”, as it is now known, has become one of the most-watched speeches ever delivered on Scottish independence.

As a result of its success, Tommy Sheridan has been invited to speak at several other pro-independence events, including one at Methilhill Bowling Club on Wednesday April 2 at 7.00 p.m.