DUP founding member Wallace Thompson – ‘we are Irishmen and it’s nonsense to believe we’re not…’

In the Beltel Sam McBride interviews Wallace Thompson. From the article:

He’s a Paisleyite, a founding member of the DUP, a former special adviser to Nigel Dodds, and a leading evangelical Protestant, but Wallace Thompson now believes a form of Irish unity is inevitable — and he’s willing to consider it.

Thompson has had many lives. As well as having been at the heart of unionist politics and fundamentalist Christianity, he is a respected figure in the Independent Orange Order and a former NIO civil servant who drafted a key speech for the Queen.

In 2019, after Boris Johnson betrayed the DUP, Thompson said it was “almost enough to make me question the value of the Union”. I remember being astonished by the raw honesty of those words.

“That was from the heart. We were like the unwanted child in the house,” he says starkly.

“If anything, my view since then has been [strengthened]; I do wonder at the future of the Union and I think we need to waken up and recognise that. The emperor has no clothes.”

Yet he also says: “I was born an Irishman. And people in my community again say ‘oh no, no, no, we aren’t Irish’ – but we are Irishmen and it’s nonsense to believe we’re not. We need to rediscover some of that Irishness. We’ve washed our hands of it completely. A hundred years ago, our forefathers were happy to be Irish and to be seen to be Irish.”

The full interview is well worth a read.

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