DCSIMG

Paisley on Sinn Fein deal and Iris Robinson affair

Ian Paisley and Martin McGuinness, pictured in 2007, as First and deputy First Minister of Northern Ireland.

Ian Paisley and Martin McGuinness, pictured in 2007, as First and deputy First Minister of Northern Ireland.

As part of the interviews – which were conducted over late 2012 and early 2013 and involved 40 hours of filming at the Paisley home – Dr Paisley said at one point that he wanted to read a statement about ‘the deal’ he struck with Sinn Fein to enter government together.

Explaining why he wanted to make the statement, Dr Paisley said: “I think that having listened to the various definitions of ‘the deal’ made by others, it’s time that I had the opportunity just to say exactly what this deal was about.”

Reading from his statement, the former First Minister said: “They did deal with their weapons and they did accept the principle of consent.

“I needed republicans to accept the PSNI and the rule of law in  Northern Ireland. I was told this never could happen and my response was that unless it did, we would never be able to move forward.”

With great conviction and enunciating every word, he said: “It did happen” and went on: “I had to put my best foot forward. I had to put a smile on my face and do what I was elected to do: give leadership.”

Elsewhere in the programme, there is yet more evidence of the huge rift which now exists between the Paisley and Robinson families.

Dismissing allegations of “sleaze” against her son Ian Paisley Jnr over his links to the developer Seymour Sweeney and stressing that he had been cleared of wrongdoing, Baroness Paisley said that there had been no sleaze in the Paisley household but, in a very clear reference to Iris Robinson’s affair, there was sleaze in the Robinson household.

 

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