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Statement by Ian Paisley in advance of the visit to Northern Ireland by Tony Blair, (28 June 2006)

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

Statement by Ian Paisley, then leader of the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP), in advance of the visit to Northern Ireland by Tony Blair, then British Prime Minister, (28 June 2006)


"The Prime Minister has one question which he must answer, during his visit to Northern Ireland. It is simple and plain and deserves a simple and plain answer. Does he believe that IRA/Sinn Fein are now fit for government in Northern Ireland? Or does he still believe that they have got to meet the requirements which he himself set down for them. Which are:

  1. Total complete and verifiable decommission of all their arms.
  2. Total cessation from all their terrorist and criminal activity.
  3. Genuine support of the police and the courts as become lawful citizens.

Encourage their community to help the police in the fight against crime and terror.

As his Secretary of State has indicated that he feels that IRA/Sinn Fein is now fit for government what has the Prime Minister to say?

If he does not believe that the IRA is fit for government what is he prepared to demand of them at this time? Is he going to, in a clandestine manner bring them into government or is he going to stick to his original conditions, which he recorded in the House of Commons.

It is D-day for the Prime Minister and the majority of the Ulster people who are right-thinking and law abiding have a right to have an unambiguous answer. The IRA/Sinn Fein are loudly boosting that they will be in government on their own terms. The people of Ulster have given me a job to see this matter through to the end and I am determined to do so. There will be no quick fixes with IRA/Sinn Fein. There will be no compromise of our democratic position and there will be no surrender to terrorists from whatever side they come. Mr Blair, decision day has come. It is not the law abiding citizens of Northern Ireland who are in the dock, it is you who is in the dock and the Ulster people wait for a clear cut answer to the question that they are all asking. The Ulster people are not going to sell their British heritage and their democratic liberties. Ninety years ago they laid down their lives for democracy in all of their United Kingdom. Today the offspring of the Somme heros are as determined in their struggle as their forebearers.

Prime Minister their eyes are upon you. You can preserve their hard won heritage or you can betray it. But be well assured that whatever you do the Ulster people themselves, at the end of the chapter, will be found, enjoying their British liberties."


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