15 April 2006

'Negative' Paisley slammed

Belfast Telegraph

By Alf McCeary
15 April 2006

The Church of Ireland Gazette has criticised DUP leader the Rev Ian Paisley for his negativity about the statement issued by London and Dublin last week on the Assembly.

The periodical says in its latest edition that the Assembly stalemate could not have been allowed to continue, and that both the Irish and British governments were right to set the November deadline.

The Gazette added: "It is a pity, however, that the Rev Ian Paisley chose so swiftly to be so negative about the inter-governmental statement.

"While the DUP might, after considered reflection, have come to the same conclusion, at least the party could have set an example by stopping to think about how to make the most of the political opportunity."

The Gazette also claimed that "Dr Paisley's criticism of the Republic of Ireland's role in the evolving of the political future in Northern Ireland was unhelpful. The tragedy is that Northern Ireland's politicians have not yet come to an agreement on how they can actually sit down together in devolved government."

The paper added that the Irish government and "not least Mr Ahern himself, had expended " very great energy in contributing to the peace process."

The paper warned that the greatest responsibility for progress "now rests with the republican movement. The continued existence of the IRA is an impediment to a happily shared future for Northern Ireland, and its members and friends must know what now has to be done."

Last week Primate Robin Eames warned against a "knee-jerk" reaction to the inter-Governmental statement and asked people to take time to consider it.

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