The Ulster Declaration: Reynolds optimistic over loyalist ceasefire: The Dail
Thursday 16 December 1993
Mr Reynolds, addressing the Dail last night on his return from the London summit, said the loyalists claimed their violence was reactive. 'I am informed on reliable authority that their violence would cease soon after a cessation of republican violence.'
In a scathing attack on the Democratic Unionist Party leadership, Mr Reynolds said even the loyalist paramilitaries disliked Mr Paisley's attempts to use them as a political lever. 'I deplore the tendency on the part of some politicians to exploit the threat of a loyalist backlash, in a way that is often, I am informed, disapproved of by the same loyalist paramilitaries themselves.'
The Taoiseach said the declaration would help create a level political playing field, leaving no excuse for violence. He reiterated that Dublin had 'no interest in creating by force a united but unstable Ireland'. He promised Unionists that 'unless and until we can persuade a majority of the people of Northern Ireland to join with us, there will not be a united Ireland. We have no ambitions to take over the territory of Northern Ireland, but ignoring its people.' He ended by appealing directly to the Provisional IRA to respond to the expressed wishes of the electorate and stop its campaign. 'Let us be prepared to bring everyone who has been excluded in from the cold.' He added: 'There is no Unionist veto, only the consent of a majority.'
Earlier, on arriving at Dublin airport, Mr Reynolds said the proposed forum for peace and reconciliation could emerge only if the violence was first brought to a close: 'That (the forum) would be predicated on a ceasefire.'
The Protestant Church of Ireland Primate, Archbishop Robin Eames, gave strong backing to the document, saying it showed courage. 'This is a realistic approach by the two prime ministers. I know there are parts of it people won't be happy with, but we're dealing with a very complex situation. If there's going to be a settlement someone has got to recognise that on all sides people are not going to get everything they want,' he said.
The declaration was welcomed by John Bruton, leader of the main Dail Opposition party, Fine Gael. He cautioned, however, against using the excuse of waiting for an overall political settlement to delay action on constitutional reforms in the Republic 'into the indeterminate future'.
- 2 Why this father didn’t hide his daughter’s heroin overdose in her obituary
- 3 Company breaks open Apple Watch to discover what it says is 'planned obsolescence'
- 5 The most powerful passports in the world
Nepal earthquake in pictures: Photos show devastation caused by 7.8 magnitude earthquake
Smartphones are making children borderline autistic, says psychiatrist
Nepal earthquake: The race is on to help thousands trapped under rubble around Kathmandu, while remote villages face a long wait for help
Royal baby: Live updates as superbug closes ward at St Mary's Hospital where Duchess of Cambridge is due to give birth
Teaching profession headed for crisis as numbers continue to drop and working lives become 'unbearable'
General Election 2015: Chuka Umunna on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband
The sickening truth about food banks that the Tories don't want you to know
Migrant boat disaster: Ukip candidate mocks victims in sickening Twitter post
Nigel Farage wants the BBC to stop making programmes like Doctor Who, Strictly Come Dancing, and Top Gear
Global warming: Scientists say temperatures could rise by 6C by 2100 and call for action ahead of UN meeting in Paris
Rupert Murdoch berated Sun journalists for not doing enough to attack Ed Miliband and stop him winning the general election
£26000 - £28000 per annum + benefits : Ashdown Group: Senior Accounts Assistan...
£24000 - £26000 per annum + benefits : Ashdown Group: A highly successful, glo...
£22000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company is part of a Group...
£16000 - £18000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Are you a a young, dynamic pers...