Belfast Telegraph

Paisley in fresh attack on parties
DUP leader in New Year message

By Noel McAdam
30 December 2004

DUP leader Ian Paisley today pointed the finger at republicans over the Northern Bank heist - and warned Northern Ireland faces "no easy road" in the New Year.

The Northern Bank robbery "should awaken us to the sort of Ulster the republican terrorists have planned for us," Mr Paisley warned.

He castigated the Government for helping to create a climate in which criminals can thrive - and denounced the dispatch of two policemen on foot to the robbery scene as a disgrace.

In his New Year message, Mr Paisley said: "The failure of the Government and the police to stop lesser robbers has in fact only encouraged the robbing of the Northern Bank in a record act of thievery."

The "cement of true democracy" had been rejected by the British and Irish governments "and their capitulation to the IRA/ Sinn Fein terrorists is now bringing forth a terrible harvest."

The "capitulating" to terrorism had created problems which were "becoming more and more serious as each day passes.

"Sending two policemen to the scene on foot when the alarm was raised is disgraceful. No wonder our Province is in such a state.

"The increasing incendiary attacks on business premises is also alarming, together with the deluge of other criminal acts, including robberies and rapes of the elderly and attacks on children."

With negotiations aimed at a restoration of devolved government in abeyance, Mr Paisley said he believed a fair deal could be won.

"There is no easy road for this Province in the New Year. It is only with dedication, determination and democratic means that a fair deal can be won for all the people of this Province," he said.

The anti-Agreement party leader also rounded on what he termed the "so-called peace parties" for refusing to acknowledge the ballot box.

"Sinn Fein, together with the official unionists and the SDLP, refuse to accept the change in voting by the majority of unionists ... Elections are only to be heeded when they give the answer these parties want."

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