DUP chairman: Situation now as serious as 1974 strike or Anglo-Irish crisis

The DUP chairman says that the current crisis is on a par with the Ulster Workers’ Council strike and the days of the Anglo-Irish Agreement.

Saturday, 10th April 2021, 8:00 am

Lord Morrow, who first took elected office in 1973 as a Fermanagh councillor, said the authorities have shown “total and absolute capitulation to the demands of militant republicanism” – and wondered “how much further” such capitulation could go.

A former Stormont minister who has been party chairman for 20 years, Lord Morrow was asked how the present drama rates against major loyalist upheavals of the past.

Compared with the workers’ council strike and Anglo-Irish deal, today’s crisis is “of equal seriousness” he said.

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The 1974 strike brought much of the Province to a standstill in protest against the Sunningdale Agreement, whilst mass loyalist street protests contributed to the scrapping of the 1985 Anglo-Irish Treaty.

“Government has looked at the situation and said: Which would we rather annoy, which would we rather not annoy,” said Lord Morrow.

“They’ve concluded they don’t want to annoy republicans – everybody else seems to be expendable.

“Issues have been simmering for quite a while, and there was always going to be that one thing that pushed it over.”

The thing in question was the message that Sinn Fein are “untouchable” – which added to existing anger over the Irish Sea Border (he said Irish foreign minister Simon Coveney in particular needs to take a “vow of silence” on the subject).

He also endorsed calls for a halt to protests out of respect for the Royals, saying it is a proper way to “show respect” following Prince Philip’s death.

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