The drip feed isn’t over

Suzanne Breen in the Tribune has more allegations about Iris’s private life.

After Friday, although they kick the Robinsons when they could hardly be further cast down, I regret to say these claims although unsubstantiated are in the public interest. And with her reputation in tatters they are most unlikely to be challenged in court.

David Trimble who is taking his revenge cold is surely right about the unforgiving nature of her fall. Meanwhile Sammy Wilson, the nearest the DUP has to an independent voice, is the sole senior figure to defy the party purdah and come out in valiant support of Peter.

Alas, his own credibility is not always secure. Surely the rumour mill is imploding, when it’s suggested that Nigel may decline the job and Sammy might step up.

Like thousands of others I enjoy Sammy without always taking him seriously and I’m the proud owner of a Rhonda Paisley primitive. But as Jeeves would say to Bertie, there must be some mistake. From the Indy, November 2005 :

When Wilson was Lord Mayor of Belfast in 1986 she accompanied him to official engagements after he separated from his wife. Councillor Rhonda Paisley positively glowed accompanying Sammy and his mayoral chain.

The duo led the barracking of Sinn Fein councillors at stormy council sessions in the 1980s, with Ms Paisley sounding a trumpet every time the republicans tried to speak.

A portrait of her and Mr Wilson in their robes of office now hangs in the City Hall. In 1986 their official Christmas card was emblazoned with the phrase “Belfast Says Noel”.

Speculation about marriage was rife, but the Free Presbyterian Church founded by her father frowned upon remarrying a divorcee.

Sammy Wilson was said to be the love of her life, but after they had split up pictures of him frolicking naked with a woman were published. Rhonda Paisley was said to be mortified.

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  • Alias

    It is these further revelations of affairs that will likely undo Mr Robinson. Being married to the Whore of Babylon won’t go down well with Mr Paisley’s former fan base.

    It’s obviously too late to try to put clear water between him and Iris since he has already issued a statement saying that he and Iris intend to work things out (or giving that impression) when he should really have issued a statement announcing a seperation. Changing tact now would be the type of cynical action that would quickly finish him off.

    If he was in Dublin, all this would enhance his reputation but up in the bible belt…

  • Cynic2

    Leader of what is the issue.

    These allegations must leave the DUP dangerously unstable. The religious right and anti- agreement wing may well split off. Above all, many middle and moderate DUPers may simply not be prepared to vote for the party if Peter still leads with the fringe defecting to the TUV. Even if they simply don’t vote the party faces a terrible prospect – being the second largest party after SF. I don’t believe that any Unionist leader could take the Deputy First Minister post and survive politically.

    All this demands a radical change in Unionism. The malaise in the DUP is now so deep (and deepening every day that Robinson stays) that immediate strong leadership and radical solutions are needed. People need to think outside the box and consider if its time to put past personal issues to one side, reallign unionist politics as a whole and re-energise the whole political process.

  • Peter Robinson is probably the only person (after Paisley) who could have cut a deal with SF over police and justice, which although unpalatable on many levels was surely in the best interests of Northern Ireland. I believe Northern Ireland is now inevitably looking at a very dangerous period ahead with a real possibility of a slide back into violence.

    Iris Robinson’s sexual behaviour is a private matter (irrespective of her double standards) and there has undoubtedly been both a sexist element to the condemnation and an element of political opportunism as per the remarks by Trimble who appears to be suggesting that Peter should have allowed his wife to stay in the party even after clear evidence of financial wrongdoing. Iris had to go because she broke the law, Peter has not broken any laws and should not be forced out becuase of mock-victorian outrage and tabloid gossip.

  • Scaramoosh

    Alias

    You are almost right; if it was Dublin, they would set up a tribunal, he would carry on in his job, and the tribunal would never manage to get around to publish its results.

    The DUP is and was Paisley’s party and devolution was Paisley’s legacy. The DUP swept to power, not because they won over the majority of the Unionists; but rather because a significant number of Unionists simply stayed at home.

    With Paisley gone and now Robinson, his long time henchman on the way out, the party is finished.

    Dodds, who is a very clever man, is likely to turn down the job, as he will know that it is a poisoned chalice (see Brown and Blair and Bertie and the fool who took over from him).

  • percy

    arlene foster .. only move.. forced ( chess )

  • fin

    Her ‘DUP’ affair was “witnessed by security force members voluntarily guarding the Robinsons’ house after the RUC officially withdrew their protection over Peter Robinson’s loyalist invasion into Clontibret.”

    Hello, were these people in uniform and/or armed?

    I never heard of that before? its not normal, is it even legal?

    That would also have been when he was launching ‘Ulster Resistance’ and running around in combats and a red beret

  • Rory Carr

    “Iris Robinson’s sexual behaviour is a private matter…”

    Not any longer it’s not, Moderate Unionist. Perhaps it ought to have been but it is much too late for that now. Besides which, do please remember that it was her husband who, presumably with her knowledge and agreement, first alerted the world to Mrs Robinson’s extra-marital dalliance with a deceased former lover’s 19 year old son whom she had promised on his deathbed to look after. Additionally we were led to believe that the affair with the young man was a singular mistake brought about by Mrs Robinson’s depression and one that she deeply regretted and for which she had sought (and received) the forgiveness of God.

    You cannot really expect the public to now simply ignore it all and pretend that the many affairs of Iris are none of their affair. For one hanging about around this site and attending to radio and television bulletins to keep up with the latest on this has made me fall behind in many domestic responsibilities and put a strain on my own relationship with Herself.

    She’s even now threatening to divorce me if I don’t get off the computer…

    (…if she actually follows through I will be eternally grateful to Iris for being the catalyst to the breaking of my chains)

  • Pigeon Toes

    Rory,

    Would you have to cite Iris in the divorce papers?

  • 0b101010

    The DUP is full of chancers that’ll clamor for power, it’s practically their modus operandi, but you’ll notice that local politicians of all stripes aren’t sticking the boot in too hard this time. Not too many with the brass neck to play Snow White and not too many eager to place themselves under the same Spotlight.

    Iris Robinson’s sexual behaviour is a private matter (irrespective of her double standards) and there has undoubtedly been both a sexist element to the condemnation and an element of political opportunism as per the remarks by Trimble who appears to be suggesting that Peter should have allowed his wife to stay in the party even after clear evidence of financial wrongdoing. Iris had to go because she broke the law, Peter has not broken any laws and should not be forced out becuase of mock-victorian outrage and tabloid gossip.

    It wasn’t a tabloid honey-pot that put Iris into bed with that wee lad, and it wasn’t her political rivals that led her to pocket undeclared money from property developers. Point the finger everywhere you want, but Iris was the architect of her own downfall.

    I don’t know how you can be so confident in declaring that Peter hasn’t broken any laws, given what we know so far; let’s allow due process decide that one.

    As First Minister of Northern Ireland, he has an obligation to put the interests of the people and country above all else. Legalities aside, if he fails to do this, then he doesn’t deserve the position.

  • innutclem

    There are so many possible scenarios to be played out over the next few months it is mouthwatering for those of us who are naive enough to think that it will simply be political cut and thrust. There is danger here, danger that collapsing political institutions will condemn our society to more of the same nightmare we thought we had wakened from.
    Still one interesting and lighter thought would be if in any future assembly Sinn Fein become the largest party and by some freak of nature we get to the point of having Martin McG as First Minister he should declare an end to partition in the first sentence of his acceptance speech!

  • Mrazik

    Surely the rumour mill is imploding, when it’s suggested that Nigel may decline the job and Sammy might step up.

    Brian Walker @ 07:44 PM

    Given that Ian Junior left the ministerial stage as a result of links to a property developer, and the Robinson saga has thrown up similar links (with a potential money trail), Sammy couldn’t possibly be a credible candidate under the circumstances: http://www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk/news/local-national/sammy-wilson-in-bid-to-influence-135-planning-cases-14240132.html

  • John O’Connell

    Peter Robinson’s position has to be untenable.

    Imagine the scenario of him meeting dignatories from around the world with his wife at his side, or even worse, not at his side. We’d be a laughing stock.

    Personally, I don’t mind it, but I dare say that there are a few around who will.

  • These are indeed dangerous times for Unionists. I have no sympathy for greedy politicians who think they are above the law and worse take to their sick bed when reality catches up with them.

    I am not sure becoming leader of Stormont is any good for Sinn Fein either. It is not their goal, and accepting such a poisoned chalice may well be the worst thing they could do. Martin McGuinness has shone amongst such dross, but he would be seriously exposed and even isolated if he took the position.

  • West Sider

    Interesting article in the Sunday Tribune. Suzanne adored the DUP when they were anti-GFA. Then despised them as these articles make clear.

    She’s got Willie Frazer and the dissidents on side, so all is not lost.

    I hear homes and planning is the next toxic revelation for the DUPES, just before they shatter and unionism pushes the panic button.

  • Rory,

    “Besides which, do please remember that it was her husband who, presumably with her knowledge and agreement, first alerted the world to Mrs Robinson’s extra-marital dalliance with a deceased former lover’s 19 year old son whom she had promised on his deathbed to look after”

    There was a TV program about to be broadcast otherwise I dont think Peter would have divulged that information.

    A wife’s sexual interest is in no way a reflection of a husband’s abiltiy to do his job (or vice versa), although undoubtedly salacious reading for many there must be quite a few women (perhaps Herself as well) who would, or perhaps have, seized on such an opportunity as presented itself to Iris.

    Whatever happened to the idea of consenting adults?

  • 0b101010

    “I don’t know how you can be so confident in declaring that Peter hasn’t broken any laws”

    We have no evidence of law breaking.

  • Moderate Unionist

    “We have no evidence of law breaking”

    You were more definite before:

    “… Peter has not broken any laws…”

  • RepublicanStones

    Whatabout bringing back Saturday Live on RTE and get Rhonda Paisley to interview Iris Peter and Kirk, we could have music from Poots and a piano !

  • cut the bull

    I stated in an earlier thread if Sammy Wilson is even considered as the next leader of the DUP. The party will have committed suicide.
    Sam’s views are out of this world as in losing touch with all sense of reality.

  • Cut the bull. Totally agree, this sorry mess leaves the DUP bereft of possible leaders.

    What I find strange is that so many people put so much faith in the Robinsons, long before Ian Paisley retired PR was touted as the next leader and yet the truth about the family must have been known to many. This is the scandal they couldnt dodge, not the first scandal.

  • Mark McGregor

    Nolan is saying Iris has been sectioned.

  • cut the bull

    it may timr for the party to do the unthinkable and maybe choose a woman Arlene Foster looks like a strong candudate.

  • Mark McGregor and Cut the Bull. If it is true that Iris Robinson has been sectioned (as opposed to checking herself into some fancy popstar clinic) then I am indeed sorry for her in this crisis she has bought upon herself. The pain is always worse when its self inflicted.

    You may be right, Arlene Foster presents well and has been putting herself forward quite a bit recently.

  • cut the bull

    Nolan is saying Iris has been sectioned.

    It maybe the best thing for her and I dont mean that in any satirical manner whatsoever.

  • cut the bull

    The problem with the DUP like other parties is thats its a party in which talent is kept on a leash.
    Sycophantical behaviour of its members leads to a self neutering process in which they are constantly looking up to supposed leaders.

  • Comrade Stalin

    Is it pedantic of me to point out that Nolan didn’t say that she was “sectioned” ?

  • Stephen Blacker

    Is it necessary to say any more about the personal life of this very sick lady. The damage is done and she is all but gone. Okay, the financial aspects need to be addressed but is there anything to gain by intruding into the private life anymore. The point has been made.

  • Rubicon

    Spot on Comrade!

    It might help to state exactly what Nolan reported, “Found out in last few seconds. Iris Robinson receiving acute phyciatric treatment in a Belfast hospital”.

  • 0b101010

    Nolan is saying Iris has been sectioned.

    Well, I see Nolan says she is “receiving acute phyciatric treatment in a Belfast hospital” but that’s not quite the same as being sectioned. It’s not something we’re likely to know for sure without an official confirmation, either.

    One related question arising from the mental health issue is when exactly Peter, as First Minister and leader of his party, first suspected her illness may impede her ability to continue in her many duties as party officer, councillor, MLA and MP.

  • Comrade Stalin

    Gonzo pointed out on another thread that this has been confirmed by a short DUP press release.

  • Tiny

    The Rev Ian Paisley is “beyond fury” following revelations about the behaviour of Peter….

    What about Paisley’s own conduct, the book the ‘Fall of the house of Paisley’ makes some extremely serious allegations, the issue of the Ballymena office rental arrangements for one certainly worse than what is known about Peter Robinson as yet, has big Ian issued writs?