DAVID WALTON, in attempting to deny that Northern Ireland is a legitimate entity, ignores the will of the Irish people as expressed in last year's referenda. The endorsement by the people of both Irish states of the Good Friday Agreement was an explicit recognition of Northern Ireland's legitimate right to exist for so long as its people so wish. Even Sinn Fein has now endorsed the principle of consent.
The further claim that the Unionists' argument is founded on religious bigotry is outrageous. On the contrary, Unionism seeks the consolidation of a pluralist society in Northern Ireland through membership of a multicultural United Kingdom. Hence David Trimble's desire that the Northern Ireland Assembly be a "pluralist parliament for a pluralist people".