Republicans must “get real” in 2014 if Northern Ireland is to build on the successes of last year, a leading DUP member has said.
Gregory Campbell highlighted the G8 summit and the UK City of Culture as some of the major events that helped showcase the Province, but said there was a “lack of will by republicans to face fundamental issues” when it came to resolving problems.
The East Londonderry MP said: “Their starting point is out of line with the reality and then, when the end result does not work out quite as people had hoped, they cannot accept that they started from the wrong premise.”
Mr Campbell said the unionist community needed to understand that nationalist grievances were deeply felt – even if they did not agree with that assessment – but added: “The SDLP and SF need to understand that each time they step up demands in almost every sphere of political life here in Northern Ireland they do so from a completely inaccurate sense of disadvantage, in order to try and gain advantage.
“An even handed, fair and equitable society in Northern Ireland is what virtually everyone wants, part of the problem is that republicans think they have to make gains to get it. The reality is light years away from that.”