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Speech by Ian Paisley at the Launch of the DUP's 2005 Election Manifesto, (21 April 2005)

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

Speech by Ian Paisley, then leader of the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP), at the Launch of the DUP's 2005 Election Manifesto, (21 April 2005)


"Ulster is on the eve of one of its most destiny-deciding elections. A sea change has taken place world-wide in the attitude against the IRA. The change is more than remarkable. Those who were once IRA / Sinn Fein apologists and defenders have now turned their backs on them. For the first time IRA / Sinn Fein has been totally wrong-footed.

Now it is up to the Ulster electorate to give its verdict.

The only way IRA / Sinn Fein can recover is to become the largest party in Northern Ireland. That is the issue of this election. It is not a battle between the two Unionist parties; it is a battle between victory and defeat for the IRA, and the salvation of the Union.

The only way that IRA / Sinn Fein can be defeated is for the DUP to be declared by the majority of voters, Ulsterís largest Party, and the authentic voice of Northern Ireland.

This opportunity will not return. Those unionists who are not prepared to put Northern Ireland first, but that declare that their first allies in Government are to be the ever-greener SDLP, must be forsaken to their United Irish nightmare, and Bertie Ahern must be told to keep his interfering hands off Ulsterís internal affairs. Ulster knows that except IRA / Sinn Fein is denied first place, its resurgence is inevitable.

I call on all Unionists at this election to come out in full force to the polls and give IRA / Sinn Fein the effective rebuff they need to destroy their murderous ploy. It is now or never for Ulster.

I thank the Ulster people for their ever-growing support, and I pledge myself and my party unwaveringly to see this vital matter of the survival of our Province through to final victory.

This can become Ulsterís finest hour. May God defend the right."


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