Irish Republican News · October 8, 2010
[Irish Republican News]

[Irish Republican News]
Cameron defiant on union

British Prime Minister David Cameron has expressed his determination to sustain British rule in the Six Counties despite the Real IRA attack in Derry on Tuesday.

He acknowledged that the threat from republican dissidents was increasing following this week’s attack, but he insisted that “our people” would be protected by “every means possible”.

Speaking to the Conservative Party conference in Birmingham, Mr Cameron gave an unusually high place to the conflict in Ireland - which has not been mentioned at all in speeches by his predecessor, Labour’s Gordon Brown.

“Tony Blair, Gordon Brown and John Major before them worked hard to bring peace to Northern Ireland. I will continue their work. As the threat of dissident republican terrorists intensifies, I want to make it clear that I will protect our people with every means possible,” he said.

Repeating his colonialist credentials, Mr Cameron said: “I want to make something else clear - when I say I am prime minister of the United Kingdom I really mean it. England, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland.

“We’re weaker apart, stronger together, and together is how we must remain.”

On Bloody Sunday, the Conservative leader said he was right to apologise for the massacre of fourteen civil rights demonstrators in 1972.

Britain’s “reputation is not just about might”, he said, “it’s about doing what is right. When this country has got it wrong, we’ll admit it”.

Newly elected Ulster Unionist leader Tom Elliott, who attended two days of the Conservative conference, welcomed the speech, saying Mr Cameron had made clear his “commitment to the union”.

“Today’s speech was hugely positive and reaffirmed the prime minister’s commitment to Northern Ireland’s place in the United Kingdom. We can have no doubt that David Cameron envisages a strong United Kingdom, with Northern Ireland at its heart, and that is very welcome.”

Sinn Fein’s Martin McGuinness, who spoke on the fringes of the conference, said he was attending as “a very proud Irish republican” who was dedicated to using exclusively peaceful means.

It was the first time a member of the Sinn Fein leadership has attended the event, which was famously attacked by the IRA in 1984.

The Six-County Deputy First Minister said he was working to “bring about all-Ireland solutions to our problems.

“I believe in working for Irish unity. I am here about jobs and investment and protecting the most disadvantaged in our society,” he said.

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