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Extracts of a Speech by Ian Paisley to DUP Annual Conference, 1999

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Text: Ian Paisley ... Page Compiled: Martin Melaugh

Text of extracts of a speech by Ian Paisley, then Leader of the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP), to the DUP's Annual Conference, 1999.

"A great sale is being conducted today in the Waterfront Hall. It is the sale of the second millennium and what a sale that is.

After historically stating that Sinn Fein/IRA must decommission, Mr Trimble has proposed compromise. He will give them until February to start their decommissioning and then he will come back to an adjourned meeting in the Waterfront Hall. He is going to let the fox into the hen coop and then he is going to come back and talk to the people after the crunching of the bodies.

There can be no compromise, Mr Trimble, on this issue. But I want to say to you, Mr Trimble, you still have to face the real opposition, of people whom you have by deceit and lying betrayed. Your sin is unpardonable and unforgiven and we can never accept any word from your mouth.

The Northern Ireland Assembly, with all the claims that are made for it by David Trimble, is not a proper and democratic Assembly.

The proposed order paper has been published by the Speaker-designate of that Assembly and the motion states that Mr Mallon never resigned, that he offered to resign and must now be reinstated by the Assembly. Mr Mallon did resign. When he walked out of the Assembly, his official car was taken from him. He lost his driver, he lost his car and he also lost his salary. The government regretted that they had to accept his resignation, but when I spoke to the deputy Speaker he said it was doubtful whether Mr Mallon had resigned, because he had to go back.

Through their own laws that they themselves concocted to get him there, that needed a majority of the majority and a majority of the minority must agree to his reappointment, but that is something that he would not get now.

So by a backdoor, in fact by the keyhole, they're now going to squeeze Mallon back into office. Not only should Mallon be out but under their own law, Trimble should be out. But the Secretary of State has only to draw his pen and Mallon is back and the Assembly has no say whatsoever in its own standing, and then we are told we are to respect democracy. But there is no democracy.

Now this salesman has come to the Waterfront Hall to sell the great birthright of democracy, the birthright of only those who are totally and absolutely committed and practise the principles of liberty and advocate alone the rule of law and eschew all violence should be admitted to government.

And I want to say today, we do not discuss or negotiate whether such people should be in government. There is no room for debate. There is no room for discussion. There is no room for argument. Democracy says no. Any government that discusses such a proposal has already sold out.

David Trimble is saying here is a way whereby we can get you Gerry Adams and Martin McGuinness into the government of Northern Ireland and the unionist leaders are telling the people of Northern Ireland that this is the way to save the Union. Mr Trimble, you can fool the unionist people some of the time but you're not going to fool them all the time. The leadership of unionism has forever passed from David Trimble, no matter what the vote is on the day.

Every vote cast today in the Waterfront Hall for Mr Trimble is a vote of shame. It is a vote of darkness, a vote that tramples on the graves of innocent victims and a vote that not only tramples on them but dances on their graves.

Let me say every hand that is raised for Trimble today and for his prophecy is a hand just as much the enemy of Ulster as a hand of the IRA.

After the result of the UUC vote became known, Dr Paisley again addressed the conference; the following are edited extracts:

First of all, Mr Trimble was defeated on the first issue. His proposal was to get approval to go into an executive with the IRA. Now because of the opposition that arose, Mr Trimble changed his mind. He couldn't put the first resolution to his delegates. If he had, it is now well known that he would have been defeated.

He proposed that they go ahead in a temporary way with having the executive set up - bringing in the IRA, giving them their kiss-in and their love-in.

And then he handed a letter to the president of the Unionist Council, which has not been made public. But it is said that if there is not decommissioning by February, then the council will return and they will give their final decision.

Then when he met the press, he wouldn't take any questions. But it was admitted by the party that of course the IRA-Sinn Fein were to jump together with him. He now admits he jumped first and he said "over to Mr Adams now".

Mr Adams has already spoken. He said this postponement is totally opposed to the agreement and they will give it no support whatever.

What we can say now is Mr Trimble's leadership is now in question. It is the leader's business to lead the party.

If I could only get 57 per cent of the delegates here today, I'd be man enough to go away. Of course, the trouble is that Mr Trimble is holding on to office for the spoils of office.

He has said in this letter that he is going to resign. How many have trusted Trimble and he never kept his word? Why should he keep it this time?

We have told the people in the elections that if we have the proportion we will take up those seats. We would not be sitting in any executive but we would stop the IRA from getting an extra member into the executive.

We are all ready for Monday, we are ready for the battle and I believe God will give us a victory. And I am content that the first great dent in the armour has been made."


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