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Representing Victims of Terrorism in South Armagh
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11.05.07
Paisley at the Boyne

With each day that passes Ian Paisley devises a yet more disgusting way of insulting the unionist people of Northern Ireland. Many wonder are such stunts calculated to offend or are they the delusional acts of an old man? As he appears to have embraced the All-Ireland nature of the Belfast Agreement it is perhaps fitting that as many photo calls are held South of the Border as there are in Northern Ireland.

Victims are wondering today just how many insults Ian Paisley intends to deliver to the memory of their loved ones. Sickening spectacle after spectacle of Paisley cavorting with Bertie Ahern has offended and saddened many true Ulstermen and women. He almost tripped over himself to grab the hand of the Irish Premier in an almost theatrical stunt. Now warm handshakes with the man who symbolises a state that has been the sworn enemy of Northern Ireland for decades have been replaced by days out. In his blind dash for office and personal emolument he strips himself of every traditional unionist principle and tradition. He stands naked of all honour as he stammers to pronounce peace. His latest visit once more debases the heritage of the unionist people.

For someone who has built his career and reputation on a robust defense of Ulster it is sad to see him try and crawl under the blanket of Irishness. The Boyne site once a symbol of the victory of democracy over tyranny and oppression, and the event that guaranteed the place and very existence of the Protestant community of Ireland has been used to promote an entirely different agenda. Just as Paisley’s meeting with Adams attempted to sweep away the evil legacy of Sinn Fein/IRA so his meeting with Ahern tires to ignore and expunge the years of onslaught against Ulster by the Irish Republic.

For many years we have been asking for a meeting at which we would raise the issue of the Irish state’s involvement in the Troubles. For over three decades they have been part of the problem constitutionally they inspired the violence of the PIRA by virtue of their Articles 2&3; they created and armed that group and supplied money and munitions to continue the violence on the streets of Northern Ireland. Throughout the Troubles they refused to extradite terrorists and created a safe haven in the south which along with a failure to secure the border led to frequent murderous incursions.

These are the issues that still need to be addressed and if they were not on the agenda then the DUP are failing their people. They may be difficult truths now that the politicians have made their deal but truths they are. If our political leaders drop these issues and demands they are betraying our trust and need to be challenged. For over thirty years we have been let down by that state and their acts of commission and omission cannot be simply forgotten. We are glad that Dr Paisley uses plain speech when he talks to Mr Ahern, sadly he appears not to give victims the same respect. We will however remind him of the conversations he had with us in recent times and the clear deviation from the promises he made.

 



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