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Statement by Ian Paisley, then Leader of the DUP, Westminster, 9 November 2004

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

Statement by Ian Paisley, then leader of the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP), at Westminster, in reply to a speech by Bertie Ahern, 9 November 2004


"It is outrageous that Bertie Ahern is now in the business of lecturing Unionists to admit Sinn Fein/IRA into the government of Northern Ireland at a time when his own party refuses to countenance Sinn Fein in power in the Republic. Mr Ahern would be better spending his time ensuring that Sinn Fein/IRA decommission all of its weapons in a way that satisfies everyone and brings to an end all of its activities.

His comments indicate bad faith to the democratic community in circumstances where the IMC have indicated that the IRA is still engaged in all of the activities that both Mr Ahern and Mr Blair believed were at an end in October of last year. It is time the Irish Government faced up to its responsibilities and stood shoulder to shoulder with those who are demanding an end to terrorist and criminal activity. Attempts by the Irish government to influence our requirements will fail. We are in the business of getting a fair deal for Northern Ireland but Mr Ahern and his officials had better realise that we will not be settling for any rag bag deal just because he says we are facing a deadline. Mr Ahern would be very unwise to be advocating Sinn Fein/IRA’s case for them.

The DUP will not be bullied and I will not be dictated to by those who would want us to settle for much less than our election commitments. The Irish Government must remember and realise that Unionists will not be lectured about the internal workings of Northern Ireland. These are not issues for Dublin. There is just two words for Mr Ahern – heal thyself!"


[The above statement was a response to a speech by Bertie Ahern, then Taoiseach, to the Philosophical Society, Trinity College Dublin, on 8 November 2004.]


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