Paisley's challenge as prospective First Minister?

The prospect of the DUP finally meeting with the Catholic Archbishop of Armagh, Sean Brady. It’s been a bit of a pot boiler over the last few days, but this Irish News editorial argues that if it includes the party leader, Ian Paisley, it would represent a cultural change that appears to have already been in train within the party for some time now:

Some observers regard all this as a fantasy, but there have been at least some firm signs that Mr Paisley is coming to terms with the responsibilities which accompany his status as the overall leader of unionism. Establishing a working relationship with Dr Brady would be an another important step in the right direction and developments in this regard will be eagerly awaited.

  • Billy Pilgrim

    I seem to recall Trimble, Taylor and others leading an Ulster Unionist delegation up to Ara Coeli some time around 1997 to meet the Archbishop – in what was widely interpreted at the time as a preparing of the ground for meetings with Sinn Fein. Sure enough a few months later the UU ditched their policy of “not talking to terrorists” and began the negotiations that led to the GFA.

    Eight years on and it’s groundhog day?

    (I’d love to be a fly on the wall at the meeting: the politics would be as dry as a slice of Ryvita but I’m sure they could have a fascinating theological discussion over tea and scones. Ara Coeli is no more than a few hundred yards from the old house on the Loughgall Road where Paisley was born, so maybe he might feel at home…)

  • Davros

    what does Ara Coeli mean ?

  • Billy Pilgrim

    Ara Coeli is the official residence of the Archbishop of Armagh. It’s on the apex of Sandy Hill, right beside St Patrick’s cathedral and St Pat’s GS. Lovely pad it is too. Very stately. High ceilings, long hallways decorated with lots of artwork, big old libary and reception rooms. He’ll do his best, but even Paisley couldn’t fail to be impressed.

  • maca

    “How come it’s not ‘Aras’ as in Aras an Uachtarain ?”

    I think it’s Latin.
    Ara coeli = altar of heaven

  • Billy Pilgrim

    Come on Carrington. Don’t be so lacking in the courage of your convictions. If you’re going to pursue the line that Catholicism, Catholic church leaders and indeed Catholics are “rotten on the inside” then just come out and say it.

    And if you’re feeling generous, you might even offer a few rudimentary reasons why you believe this to be the case.

    Davros – Maca got in before me. Cheers Maca.

  • Jo

    …and me, but all removed now.

    Carrington’s mask slipped there, I think, folks.

  • canwebanulstermanplease

    have i missed something here?

  • Billy Pilgrim


    “have i missed something here?”

    Quite a bit missing here actually, including a previous post about things being missing.

  • Mick

    Bad day for trolls – and blogging. I’ve spent more time pulling things off the site than adding them. I’m sorry if the rush I cut something vital.

    But at the same time, if we can’t keep the ball not man culture – however valuble these conversations are we’ll simply have to close shop.


  • pete

    Surely setting up a government with murderers would be preferable to condemning many to an ETERNITY in hell by selling out on PROTESTANTISM when talking to the ANTI- CHRIST’S representatives.

  • pete

    This is what we are up against on the unionist side, once you factor in the Republican hardline it is a difficult square to circle.

    Good Luck to the leaders.


  • Colm

    and vice versa pete

  • martin

    jeff and ian junior be not bold

    your second in command peter be bought and sold