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Statement by Ian Paisley on the recalling of the Northern Ireland Assembly, (6 April 2006)

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Text: Ian Paisley ... Page compiled: Brendan Lynn

Statement by Ian Paisley, then leader of the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP), on the recalling of the Northern Ireland Assembly, (6 April 2006)


"It is interesting to note that the so-called foundation stone that in regard to the internal affairs of Northern Ireland, the Prime Minister, Government and Dail of the Irish Republic would have no say has been broken. We had a demonstration today in Armagh of the role that the Irish Republic fully and without reserve has been given. This part of the UK is not really a part of the UK but is a part of the UK where a foreign government has more say over Northern Ireland than the people of Northern Ireland. That they dictate to the people of Northern Ireland how they are going to be governed and the type of people whom they would like to push into government although Dublin are on the record as saying that they would not have them in the government of their country.

Sinn Fein/IRA terrorism and criminality is the block to the creation of government. By their continued pursuit of organised criminality republicans exclude themselves. The DUP will in no circumstances be in the business of putting terrorists and criminals into the government of Northern Ireland. Entrance to government cannot be dependent on a date but only when terror and crime carried out by those allied to a political party is gone forever.

Both governments and their security forces point the finger of blame at the IRA as being responsible for the Northern Bank robbery yet now, in spite of this, both governments are demanding that IRA/Sinn Fein is acceptable as far as they are concerned to be in the government of Northern Ireland even though they do not have the so-called clean bill of health they ought to have.

In any talks or negotiations our decisions will be based solely on our manifesto commitments and not on anyone’s definition of our mandate. The DUP will not be forced, rushed or bullied into accepting any level of IRA criminality. Currently there is no evidence that Sinn Fein/IRA will be any further advanced in giving up criminality in November.

Given the reality that there will be no Executive formed for the foreseeable future the best way forward is to get working in the Assembly. The DUP will be to the fore in representing the vast majority of unionists in the Province. They can be sure that we will be standing four square behind our commitment to ensure government is only open to those who are exclusively peaceful and democratic.

The Assembly needs to be recalled to let the elected representatives of Northern Ireland, after free, full and democratic debate, point the way forward for the people they speak for. Any attempt to gag the Assembly from having the exercise of full democratic debate and decisions is actually surrender to everything Sinn Fein/IRA has been fighting for. The Assembly must be given the power to discuss freely the total issues that are before the people.

We assure the people of Northern Ireland that the DUP will not falter from their responsibility at this crucial time and we call on all unionists to unite to put the southern government into their proper place as far as the internal affairs of Northern Ireland are concerned. All of our election commitments will be carried out faithfully and we will be at the Assembly fighting the battle for unionism."


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