Robinson slams direct rule call

Published Saturday, 12 April 2014
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DUP leader Peter Robinson has told his party's spring conference that the on-the-run scheme is the "starkest example of the price the last Government was prepared to pay to placate republicans".

Robinson slams direct rule call
Peter Robinson speaking at the DUP Spring conference. (© Presseye)

Mr Robinson referred the OTR letters as an example of the "price unionism and Northern Ireland as a whole would pay if we were simply to allow Stormont to collapse".

The First Minister threatened to resign from his post over the revelation that almost 200 fugitive IRA suspects were sent letters from the government telling them they could return to Northern Ireland without prosecution.

It led to a political crisis and fears the Stormont institutions could collapse - however those concerns receded after Prime Minister David Cameron announced a judge-led inquiry into the letters.

"It was bad enough to see the concessions that were given as part of the Belfast agreement, but this invisible scheme, to use the words of Gerry Adams, went far beyond that," Mr Robinson told those attending the event in Newcastle.

"I am hopeful that the work of the inquiries that have been set up will get to the truth but let's be clear, I will not rest and this party will not rest until we do get the truth."

Mr Robinson added: "Whatever the criticisms and complaints about the status quo - from those who want to tear Stormont down, end devolution and return Northern Ireland to Direct Rule from Westminster with Dublin input - it would be political and economic madness to take such a route."

He added that it was an "absolute outrage that some unionists argue that the best solution to all of this is to hand back the levers of power to those who behaved in this way".

"They may now attempt to disguise their true intentions by railing against Stormont, but they know - even if they studiously avoid telling you - that if they were to succeed in wrecking the present process, the only alternative is to hand power over to London leaving Dublin once more calling the shots.

"This is not conjecture it's the bitter lesson of history and the legacy we lived through and faced down when we became the leaders of unionism. Unionists were side-lined and without power. Dublin acted on behalf of nationalists and London was, at best, neutral."

© UTV News
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17 Comments
realistic in plane earth wrote (127 days ago):
@David in Belfast - you seem to (think) you know the future - any chance of this week's lotto numbers? :)
Gordon in Coleraine wrote (127 days ago):
A united Ireland is little more than a pipe dream in this economic climate. The Republic can't afford us and won't be able or willing to take on the financial burden which is a united island for some time. The only way forward for those who want this dream is stability and outside investment into Northern Ireland. The DR's are destroying any hope there once was by upsetting the balance and the Flag Protesters are bad for business, with news broadcasts of rioting beamed all over the world. Britain won't let us go without a fight because that would leave them sitting at the top table with a black eye, and they have pumped to much money into devolution to go backwards and admit defeat. Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dumb with their Cheshire cat smiles it will be for a few years yet, aren't we lucky.
Dee in Newtownabbey wrote (127 days ago):
Robinson is a menace to society. Only a week or so ago he was advocating a return to partial direct rule in his petulant threat to SF of 'nuclear options' should the Shinners not support welfare reform. This man does more u-turns than a Divis joyrider. You couldn't make it up. And if you did nobody would believe you. Welcome to the politics of retrograde unionism.
thompson in Derry in Derry wrote (127 days ago):
@David in Belfast, sir I believe that you have a very limited political outlook which has more to do with the times of Brookeborough and Craig than it does with modern N. Ireland.
martin in belfast wrote (128 days ago):
One of his party called for direct rule on certain issues lest than a week ago. To say the DUP are confussed is an understatement
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