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Speech to DUP Annual Conference by Party Leader Rev. Ian Paisley, 28 November 1998

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Page Compiled: Fionnuala McKenna

Edited version of the speech by the Rev Ian Paisley, leader of the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP), to the Party's annual conference in Omagh, 28 November 1998.

"The worst and most loathsome person in society is the traitor - the Judas, the Iscariot. Who dares to excuse and whitewash treachery but he who is a party to that treachery?

Who dares to sustain the treachery but he who has helped the traitor to bring it about and remains to see the vile deed through, eager to enjoy the pay-off?

Of him who professes to be a dedicated ally but who goes over to the enemy because of personal advantages, no words in any language are adequate to describe.

He is a liar, a cheat, a hypocrite, a knave, a thief, a loathsome reptile which needs to be scotched. I will let the people of Ulster detect for themselves the traitor and then pass their own verdict. I will but level the charges. I will make no attempt in any way to use any coating of eloquence to make these charges stick. This past week was, according to London and Dublin, a great historic week for us all.

Tony Blair, to the echoes of the rafters of Leinster House, announced as the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom (the words Great Britain and Northern Ireland carefully dropped by the agreement of Downing Street), declared that Northern Ireland's legal position within the United Kingdom was gone. He announced that under the agreement the basis of Ulster's constitution in the United Kingdom, the 1920 Act, was repealed.

No wonder Dublin rejoiced. They could hardly believe it! Under the agreement they had destroyed Ulster's foundation, but to have a British Prime Minister, who was even prepared to have the name of his country diminished by its ancient foes, come and announce this was surely the icing on the cake. What he could also have done is tell the rest of the truth, that the Act of Union of 1800 and all the laws binding Northern Ireland to the United Kingdom had been superseded by the Belfast Agreement of treachery.

But had not Mr Trimble backed the destruction of the 1920 Act and the superseding of the Act of Union? With Trimble's blessing, what did Blair care for the consequences to the unionists of Northern Ireland? The sop that Ahern will not suppress the debate on joining the Commonwealth is set forth by Official Unionists, especially one Dermott Nesbitt of South Down, as a great gain, a constitutional victory of immeasurable consequences.

Think of it! The Republic will not suppress discussion about joining the Commonwealth - the sop the Official Unionists are prepared to accept after they supported the total destruction of the Union.

This week the figures on violence committed by those supposed to be on ceasefire were published. Shocking new figures they were! FAIT, Families Against Intimidation and Terror, revealed that since the signing of the agreement there were 421 recorded terrorist incidents.

Republican terrorists, in November alone, drove into exile nine people, intimidated 67 and carried out two shootings and seven beatings. Loyalists were involved in exiling 11 people, intimidating 48 and carrying out five shootings and seven beatings. This makes an alarming total of 20 people exiled, 115 people intimidated, seven shot and 14 beaten and that only for this as yet unfinished month of November.

This is not peace, Mr Blair.

In his speech Mr Blair added a further insult to injury to the unionists when he picked out two men as worthy of praise. Here are his words:

"Daniel O'Connell, who fought against injustice, to extend the franchise restricted by religious prejudice."

"Charles Stewart Parnell, whose statue stands in the House of Commons and whose political skills and commitment to social injustice made such an impact in that House."

It is interesting to note those whom he selected for praise. He did not select honourable men - one unionist and one nationalist. After all he could have praised Carson, a native of Dublin, who wanted to keep the entire Union of Britain and Ireland. No - instead he chose to select the most loathsome and despicable of Irish nationalists.

Let us look at those whom the Prime Minister elevated. Daniel O'Connell, a man who married his cousin and was rightly accused of all kinds of sexual deviancy. No surprise that the Prime Minister, with a Cabinet of many self-confessed homosexuals and partnerships without marriage, would find a place for him.

O'Connell was the self-styled "great repealer" of the Union. Thank God he failed then. He was repulsed by Henry Cooke and today we invoke the same spirit of the true loyalist people of Ulster to repulse the modern-day repealers of the Union.

These men whom Blair admires were revolutionaries. He may as well have congratulated Gerry Adams and Martin McGuinness because they are from the same filthy nest of murderous Irish nationalism. O'Connell gloried in revolution.

What about Parnell? Oh, our enemies will say `sure he was a Protestant'. Aye, a turncoat is always the worst!

These are the men Blair favours: perverts, provocateurs and perjurers. People who oppose the police. Like Dr Cooke of old we must repulse Blair the modern repealer and the self-confessed emancipator. His talk about the Union cannot be trusted. He is no unionist. He is the greatest aider and abetter of its destruction that Dublin and the IRA have ever had.

Mr Blair could not have got so far without the compliance and support of Mr Trimble. No wonder Gerry Adams said `Well done David!' Time and time again David Trimble has reneged on his promises and capitulated to the sell-out of our province.

Today Orangemen cannot walk their traditional routes to their place of worship or return in peace. Today the national flag is insulted. Today the Queen is reduced to the same level as the President of the Irish Republic.

Today the worst murdering scoundrels ever put behind bars are being set free. Today those scoundrels are being paid compensation by the Government. Today those they have maimed for life, the injured and bereaved, have to suffer in silence, a deaf ear having been turned to their cries for help. Today Protestants are being discriminated against in the workplace. Today those who should be in the front line defending the Union are in cahoots with the enemy and surrendering in an unholy partnership the very principles that they swore to uphold. Today is the eve of the abolishing of the RUC.

This is Trimble's legacy to our province. The Ulster Unionist people themselves must make their own judgments and pass their own verdicts. The facts stare them in the face and those facts need no arguing."

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