Irish Republican News · August 3, 2005
[Irish Republican News]

[Irish Republican News]
IRISH REPUBLICAN NEWS: Paisley blasts British ‘surrender’
Paisley blasts British ‘surrender’

The Dublin and London governments have been threatened with the “righteous indigination of the unionist population” if efforts continue to restore a local power-sharing administration in the North of Ireland.

Hardline unionist leader Ian Paisley made the comments in the wake of the Provisional IRA declaring end to its armed campaign and the first steps of a demilitarisaton programme by the British government.

Sinn Féin is now seeking its first face-to-face talks with Paisley’s DUP party. However, recent peace moves appears only to have outraged unionist political leaders.

Dr Paisley is currently in London for talks with the British Secretary of State Peter Hain today and Prime Minister Tony Blair tomorrow.

He has called the reduction of the British military presence a “surrender” to the IRA and vowed to take unspecified “sanctions” against the British government.

Mr Paisley declared his party had a “veto” on the return of power-sharing in the North and added that the DUP would decide whether “when, if ever” it would set up a devolved administration in Belfast with Sinn Féin.

“The unionist people are not to be duped,” he said last night. “It will be my business and the business of my colleagues to lay it on the line to both the Secretary of State and the Prime Minister that there can be no place in any future government of Northern Ireland for IRA/Sinn Féin.

“As the representatives of the majority of the Ulster population, we will not be engaged in any negotiations with that aim.

“The aim of the Belfast Agreement to put terrorists into government will not take place and if the Government, allied with IRA/Sinn Féin and the Dublin Government, press forward with such measures, then they will have to face the righteous indignation of the unionist population.”

Ian Paisley has blamed the Ulster Unionists under former leader David Trimble, claiming the demilitarisation policy was drawn up when the UUP was the lead unionist party.

“Although the Secretary of State has confirmed that this is the outworking of an agreement entered into in April 2003 which was negotiated by the Ulster Unionist Party and Sinn Féin, he had a responsibility to consult with those who now represent unionism,” said Dr Paisley.

“This he has failed to do. The joint declaration negotiated by David Trimble and Reg Empey is now coming back to haunt the people of the province. This bilateral agreement between the government and the IRA will have serious consequences for the political process.

“The government needs to learn that they are no longer dealing with David Trimble and Reg Empey,” he added. “The era of pushover unionism is over.”

Ulster Unionist leader Reg Empey has called for a pan-unionist front to fight the measure. “Despite all these attacks on the UUP, this issue is so important that I am prepared to co- operate with like-minded unionists to seek to fight this irresponsible decision,” he said.

Echoing a policy call made earlier yesterday by renegade UUP member David Burnside, he continued: “This would be a better use of our time and energy than an endless blame game between unionist parties that will only allow the government and republicans to get on with dismantling the defences of our country.”

Sinn Féin welcomed the start of the operation to scale down security across the North.

Sinn Féin chief negotiator Martin McGuinness said: “I think we’ll have a fair idea by Christmas how things are shaping up. I think until then we will see the spotlight turning on the Democratic Unionist Party, who really do need to respond to this by adding their own momentum.”

POPE STATEMENT

Meanwhile, Pope Benedict XVI has welcomed last Thursday’s IRA statement, saying it brought “satisfaction and hope” not only to the island of Ireland but to the whole international community.

In an address to crowds at his summer residence Castelgandolfo, near Rome, he described the statement as “fine news that contrasts with the painful events that we witness daily in many parts of the world”.

The Pope was speaking during his weekly appearance following the Angelus. “I encourage everyone, without exception, to follow the path set out with courage, and to take further measures to reinforce mutual trust, promote reconciliation and consolidate negotiations for a just and lasting peace,” the Pope said.

He said he was echoing a call by the late Pope John Paul II on his visit to Ireland in 1979 to “distance oneself from the paths of violence and return to the road to peace”.

NY STATEMENT

A joint statement issued by New York state comptroller Alan Hevesi and New York city comptroller William Thompson said the IRA’s decision would open up opportunities for economic growth.

Mr Hevesi and Mr Thompson separately manage two of the largest private pension funds in the United States.

“The IRA’s decision to give up armed struggle against Britain and pursue the reunification of Ireland by purely peaceful means is a welcome and extremely significant, historic step,” their statement said.

“The end of violence and the surety of peace in Northern Ireland will dramatically improve the lives of all residents.

“It will also greatly improve the investment climate in Northern Ireland by creating a more stable, long-term environment in which businesses can operate.

“It certainly will raise the comfort level of investors in the United States and Europe, allowing for the forging of exciting new business opportunities.”

© 2005 Irish Republican News