Speech by Ian Paisley to DUP Annual Conference, 1993
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Text of a speech by Ian Paisley, then Leader of the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP), to the DUP's Annual Conference, in 1993.
"When I was a boy and watched the Orange men march past on the 12th of July I was impressed by banner which portrayed a Biblical scene - the Incident of Ruth the Moabitess and her faithful pledge to her distressed mother-in-law Naomi. It was entitled "The Pledge of Loyal Ulster".
Over and over again Ulster paid the price of the redeeming of that pledge. In 1641 they redeemed it in rivers of blood in that murderous scheme to exterminate Protestants forever, from Northern Ireland. Like France, Ulster had its dark St. Bartholomew massacre.
In 1688-1690 they redeemed it again by their sacrifices in the defence of the Maiden City and by their courage, valour and unflinching dedication saved not only themselves but the whole of the United Kingdom.
In World War One they redeemed it so magnificently on the poppied fields of Flanders. At the Somme they became a spectacle to Almighty God, to angels, devils and all mankind by a crimsoned heroism unsurpassed and unsurpassable.
In World War Two when the world was darkened by the hell of Nazism and when the Irish Republic acted the part of a hyena to the Fascist wild beast happy and ready to pick the bones of its victims, Ulster again with great honour redeemed her pledge. So much so that Winston Churchill, the British Bull Dog and at one time no friend of Ulster, paid the following most eloquent and glowing tribute.
And what of the many years of carnage where the pan-nationalist front in all its many forms and differing incarnations wrought havoc amongst us.
We only need to enter Ulster's cemeteries and graveyards and there the many grave stones, the milestones of Ulster's pilgrimage of blood demonstrate that Ulster still redeems her pledge. Ulster Protestants have been slandered throughout the world. They have been vilified by the tongues of the uncircumcised Philistines. They have been used by those who needed them most and then cast aside when their days of usefulness have ended. Their deepest wounds have been inflicted upon them in the house of their friends. Yet fearless and loyal they have kept on their way resolved to do and die for the cause of God and Ulster.
In their dark hour of trial it as their own Unionist leaders who like Brutus of old struck the fatal blow. Lundy is the Ulster synonym for Judas and the Lundy brats have been plentiful in Ulster's history.
The names of these Iscariots have been buried in the ignominy of their own self-dug graves of shame but Ulster men and women true to their pledge have survived and today they ride again against their ancient foes.
I must tell John Major and Patrick Mayhew and the British Government that Ulster men and women will never surrender to the IRA the murderers of their kith and kin.
For your dirty deals behind our backs. Enter into cahoots with Taoiseach, Tanaiste, Cardinal and every other offspring of the IRA Republican beast.
Sell out loyal Ulster to those who have already committed genocide amongst us. Destroy our democracy. Dislodge the Union. Forswear your Privy Councillors oaths. Turn your back on your friends. Embrace our enemies. Enter into the assembly of the wicked. Stain your hands in the congregation of the murders. But remember.
That Almighty God of justice still rules. That truth can never yield the throne. That the lie is bound to perish. That wickedness cannot prosper. And in the end righteousness shall Shine as long as sun and moon endureth. I have gone into the House of God. I have seen the end of the green Republican plant. That great song book of the Church Militant the Psalter has the answer.
The gravity of the situation in Northern Ireland dare not be underestimated at this time. Those who would do so are deliberately blinding themselves to the truth. The darkest facts stare us all in the face. We are facing a campaign that arrogates to itself the sign of peace in the names of two persons, the SDLP leader and the leader of the IRA/Sinn Fein Gerry Adams. Those who long and sigh for peace are told that the proposals are a recipe for "peace in a week" and "peace's best chance for 25 years". The Cardinal of the Roman Catholic Church has given his blessing and approval. Mr. Mandela has been given details of the so-called peace plan. The Kennedy lobby in the United States has been made privy to it, as have the Dublin Government; and the army council of the IRA is aware of the details. The people of Northern Ireland however, whose safety, wellbeing and destiny are at stake, are not to be given the details. Rather, if they do not support wholeheartedly that which they do not know about, they will be, and have been castigated for throwing away the best chance of peace since the IRA commenced its hostilities. Mr. Hume come clean, stop your concealment. Lay your so-called peace proposals face up on the table: Or is it you love darkness rather than light because your deeds are evil.
True peace cannot come through concealment, a hidden agenda or the buy-off of the men of blood. If anyone else tried a con trick such as the Adams/Hume proposals on the public, he would be laughed out of court. Those whose destiny is at stake have a right to know what that planned destiny is to be, especially when its authors are both dedicated to the utter destruction of Northern Ireland within the United Kingdom. Moreover IRA/Sinn Fein is dedicated to the genocide of the Protestant population of Northern Ireland.
Now the Reynolds/Major proposal is that, as soon as the IRA announce the end of violence, it will immediately have the right to the conference table to help decide the future of our part of the United Kingdom. Such a proposal is anathema to the vast majority of the people of Northern Ireland. Those with blood on their hands and the guilt of years of devilish carnage have no right to be at the negotiating table, no matter what their religion may be or what votes have been cast for them at any ballot box. The conference table is for ever blocked to those hellish murderers. Martin Smyth's welcome to the Reynolds/Major plan was a sell out of colossal dimension. It was the boost which Hume needed and its timing was most advantageous to the enemies of Ulster.
In his embassy in London last weekend, Albert Reynolds' cry that there could be no settlement without the IRA is in reality a plea to strengthen his hand by having his allies with him in the negotiations. Anything to weaken the unionist position - even bloodthirsty murderers - is welcomed by Mr. Reynolds in his campaign for the destination of the Union.
There are two matters of which you should all be aware, and I draw your attention to them. The first is the recent visit to Washington of the Dublin Foreign Affairs Minister, Mr. Dick Spring, and the important speech that he made during that visit. I hear people on all sides saying what a gracious, understanding, conciliatory man he is, fully sympathetic to the Unionist position and most anxious to be helpful. He certainly did not have even a tiny vestige of those characteristics in Washington. He must have jettisoned them in the ocean on the way over there because, in that speech, he appeared in his true colours.
I look in vain through the speech for any condemnation of the Irish Republican Army and its activities. Instead I find an indictment of the Unionist population. “No democracy" is Mr. Spring's thrust when he talks about Northern Ireland. He told his American audience: "an internal approach to Northern Ireland is unlikely to work, and warned the Unionists that their future depended on what he called "the growing nationalist community."
In other words, "We are breeding faster than you, so you had better cut your losses before we take you over. You had better make a deal now."
Mr. Spring went on to claim that his country was "a country in transition", moving towards "perspectives of a modern, self-confident and pluralist society". However, that self-confident pluralist society is encumbered with notions of political and territorial expansion an irredentist stand because it seeks to annex part of the island of Ireland which does not belong to it, never has belonged to it and never will. Articles 2 and 3 of the Irish Constitution rob all the people of the island of Ireland of any notion of plurality, or even of accommodation.
Bearing in mind the society that Mr. Spring was addressing, he told his audience that he was dedicated to preserving their "cultural heritage" - that is, of course, the Gaelic Roman Catholic ethos. Mr. Spring went on to claim that the problem of Northern Ireland was about "the unresolved legacy of Anglo-Irish history".
To Mr. Spring, the territorial question is unresolved. I have heard that idea continually from the hon. Member for Foyle. They both conveniently forget the truth of the matter. In the 1920s, the Irish leaders resolved the territorial question by signing the 1921 treaty and later the 1925 tripartite accord, which accepted the recognised boundaries and had them ratified in the three Parliaments - the Dail Eireann, the Stormont Parliament and the United Kingdom Parliament. The document was then registered with the League of Nations as a record of international boundaries. Nothing could be clearer than that.
The South, under the bloodthirsty leadership of Mr. De Valera. then plummeted into a bitter civil war. We often hear from republicans about the treatment meted out to Irish people by the United Kingdom, but we are apt to forget that the bloodiest deeds ever carried out in Ireland took place when Irishman fought Irishman in the civil war, led by De Valera. De Valera was however defeated, and the settlement was established and stood.
However, when De Valera won power in the Irish Republic, he tore up the agreement and introduced the 1937 Constitution, as a result of which we have the problem of the territorial claim in Articles 2 and 3 - the claim that Dublin, rather than the United Kingdom, is really the possessor of Northern Ireland, and that even the laws of the Republic had power over that part of the island, which Dublin neither owned nor controlled.
Mr. Spring forgets all that. He went on to say the nationalist community had "little sense of ownership of the structures set over them". That is an amazing statement. Unionists must rightly ask what those structures are. There are no Northern Ireland political institutions over the community in Northern Ireland, whether Protestant, Unionist, Roman Catholic or nationalist. Of course, the structures are joint Anglo Irish structures, not only owned by the nationalists but controlled by Dublin. Yet Mr. Spring told his American audience that all those evil people in Northern Ireland set over his people institutions that they did not own. He said of the nationalists: "there is no prospect that they will ever redefine themselves as British to conform with the official doctrine of their state."
So much for the nationalists. But what about the majority, the Unionists? Are they to be forced into a position with which they will not conform? Mr. Spring's answer to that question is yes. In his madness and bigotry he indicts the Unionist people as being responsible for the Irish civil war.
That is the man who is supposed to be conciliatory, the man with such a great understanding of the Unionist position. He then declared that our Union flag, our symbol of identity, must be changed - the cross of St. Patrick and all. In all Mr. Spring's speech, there is no indictment of the Irish Republican Army, no catalogue of the dreadful crimes that it has committed. But he did say this: "violence is not a problem which can be solved by security means." Reynolds is at the same game, "The British army cannot defeat the IRA."
Are we to take it from that that he considers concessions to the men of violence to be the only way forward? The answer is "Yes” and that is what Dublin advocates "Surrender to the IRA on the Adams/Hume terms!"
So much for Mr. Spring who, I am told, held out his hand in the Senate of the South this week and said that he wanted friendship with the Unionist people. That is not what he said when he was in Washington a few days ago. Some friendship!
The second matter of which the House should be aware concerns the confidential document leaked in the Irish Press. There was a furore in Dublin when it was leaked, and great denials. But in the Dail Eireann yesterday, the truth came out in the wash. Mr. Reynolds admitted that the document was absolutely authentic, and had set negotiations back by being leaked in a terrible manner. If he could find out who had leaked it, heads would roll, he said. At first the document was denied but now, on the floor of the Dail, it is admitted to be authentic. The Garda Commissioner has been called in to find a stolen document which at first had its authenticity denied.
The document is amazing. Anybody who expected any Unionist who believes in Northern Ireland as part of the United Kingdom whether that person were a Roman Catholic or a Protestant - to find anything acceptable in the document would be out of his senses. The document tells us that British and Irish officials were instructed at the Anglo Irish intergovernmental conference on 10th September to use their best endeavours to draft the paper, and it says that the liaison group met and had discussions.
Who is the liaison group? I learned from the Secretary of State in Downing Street yesterday that the liaison group consisted of a number of civil servants from the Foreign Office, from the Dublin Government and from the Northern Ireland Office. The document was born out of those discussions and represents a hidden agenda' which is why the people of Northern Ireland are so angry about it. It states: "It is accepted on both sides" - that is, by the British and Irish Governments - "that this joint paper and the discussions related to it will not be the subject of discussion, still less negotiations, with the Northern Ireland parties unless both Governments agree beforehand whether and how this should be done."
That means that what is being planned for the people that I represent in the House of Commons will not be known without the consent and support of Dublin. That alone damns the document for ever in the minds of all right thinking people in Northern Ireland. What do they take the long-suffering, law-abiding people of our Province for? They have suffered. carnage for years, and have given their young men to fight against the terrorists and buried them in their graveyards whom the IRA have murdered. To think that those people should be disfranchised because the Dublin Government say so. How can there be any settlement on such a basis?
The document proposes that the intergovernmental conference on the Anglo Irish Agreement will serve as the embryo of a united Ireland Parliament that could interfere in any other structures that might be established in Northern Ireland. It will have supreme authority to interfere in those matters.
Moreover the United Kingdom Government must in reality forswear the Union. It is common knowledge that my colleagues and I visited Downing Street this week and had long discussion with the Prime Minister about these matters, which cause us all so great a concern. When we raised the question of the leaked document, I noted the Prime Minister's remarks. I asked the right hon. Gentleman's permission to use that record, and he said that I certainly could - so I am not breaking any confidence. He said: "If this paper had been presented to me, I would have booted it out over the roof tops."
I welcome that statement but it leaves many questions unanswered. Who were the officials that discussed and agreed to that paper? How often does the liaison committee meet? Who agreed that the paper should state that no one in Northern Ireland should ever hear anything about it until the Dublin Government or the British Government mutually consented? The people of Northern Ireland are asking themselves those questions tonight.
While I welcome the Prime Minister's comments, but this is not the last of the papers. Another will soon appear from the same source, and it will have the same thrust - and that will be repeated over and over again. Unless the Government have the guts and the resolution to stand up to the Irish authorities on Articles 2 and 3 - which Dublin is fighting so desperately to save and for which they are making all sorts of apologies - and have them removed, there will be no solid basis for peace.
Instead of peace breaking out there is preparation for war. I say to the Government that the sooner that situation is dealt with, the better for us all. There is only one way. Establish that the Union is not negotiable, that Dublin cannot have any say in Northern Ireland's internal arrangements, and that there can be no advance whatsoever by the Dublin Government towards achieving the objective of Articles 2 and 3 - which is a constitutional imperative laid on every Irish Minister according to the Supreme Court in Dublin. What is more the consent of the people of Northern Ireland alone must be sought for any structures which would be set up for the future governance of Northern Ireland.
We have put our positive proposals on the table. They offer a way of breaking the political logjam. They are simple, practical and positive. They are based on democratic principles and can be put into operation immediately. The underlying principle is power back to the people of Northern Ireland who have to live in this Province and who must have the final say in how their destiny is going to be shaped. I fought long and hard and won the battle that Dublin could have no say in the internal affairs of Northern Ireland. Hence in Strand 1 of the previous Talks Dublin was not permitted at the table.
That principle cannot be surrendered. To surrender it would be to surrender all. Weakness here would prepare the way for eventual surrendered to Dublin. On that there can be no giving in. It is the principle which is under vicious attack by Gerry Adams, John Hume, Albert Reynolds and all Ulster's enemies. It is here that successive British Governments have proved to be weak and successive Secretaries of State have been prepared to sell us. Is it any wonder that the SDLP viciously attacked our document? Is it any wonder that the Alliance Party, whose Leader Mr. Reynolds claims went away satisfied from Dublin after an hour's talk with him, is it any wonder he attacked it? It is too Unionist a document for them. Is it any wonder that Ken Maginness, the originator of a united Ireland Parliament in embryo in his presentation paper on the last day of the Talks, also found our paper too Unionist and slandered a Northern Ireland Assembly as a sectarian parochial council. However, the Belfast Telegraph admitted that a mandate would be forthcoming for such a proposal from a large majority of the Ulster electorate while the News Letter praised the proposal as a positive contribution to a certain future where democracy could prevail.
The announcement by James Molyneaux that he is now urgently seeking an Assembly for Northern Ireland is welcome news. I believe the gap between the Unionists has been narrowed by this gesture and that the Unionist Party leadership has subdued the loudmouths in his Party.
When our Party released our proposals - "Breaking The Logjam" - Mr. Maginness, David Trimble and Jim Wilson, all rounded on our proposals. But, of course, the paranoid reaction highlights the misjudgement of the mood of the Ulster people which those people made. Mr. Maginness has been out of touch with Unionist thinking for so long. He is on record as stating that the Hume/Adams proposal is "much ado about nothing” when, in reality, it is the greatest threat to the Union since the Home Rule crisis.
Now that James Molyneaux has endorsed the "Assembly" proposals he has marginalised those who are out of touch with traditional unionist values. A local internal solution is the only way forward for our country. We must be makers of our destiny.
An outline of our proposals is contained in simple presentation form in the current issue of the Protestant Telegraph. Let's give it the widest possible circulation. Unlike our opponents we have our document face upward on the table. Boldly, openly and honestly we say "Here we stand."
The British Government are going to get nowhere with Gerry Adams, John Hume, Albert Reynolds or Dick Spring. For them all it is a united Ireland or nothing. Tear away the blarney and the same republican heart is revealed. Northern Ireland must be destroyed and by stages swallowed up in an all Ireland republic. All the pleas of Albert Reynolds, all the platitudes of Adams and Hume, all the overtures of Dick Spring do not deceive the ordinary Ulsterman. They see through the hypocrisy, the lying, the blarney and the doublespeak. They have seen 80% of the Protestant population eliminated in the Irish Republic and they are well aware the same fate awaits them if they allow themselves to be cajoled into a country which refuses to enter the 20th Century even although that century is about to end.
Our message is loud and clear. We believe in civil and religious liberty for all men. We want every Ulster man and woman, boy and girl, to enjoy the fullest possible freedom in a democratic society. While claiming civil and religious liberty for ourselves we deny it to no one else. All men equal under the law, all men equally subject to the law, is the principle upon which this Party was founded and that principle can be the regeneration of our society. We invite all those who respect it to join with us in an elected forum of the Ulster people where we can all openly and above board, with no concealed so-called peace proposals, or no hidden agenda, strive together to restore once again peace, tranquillity and freedom from fear to our people.
I cannot offer you an easy way but obstacles are made to be overcome. The hill, though steep, is before us to be climbed. The way, though long and arduous, has an inviting and encouraging goal. We owe it to our history. We owe it to our families. We owe it to our future, to engage with all our soul, with all our might and with all our courage to help bring our Province that day that every right thinking person longs for – the day when liberty is proclaimed throughout the land.
With God's help it can be done."
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