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1995 - Mr Major’s Comments on his Northern Ireland Visit

Below is the text of Mr Major’s comments on his visit to Northern Ireland, made on 3rd May 1995.


QUESTION:

[Mr Major was asked about his visit to Northern Ireland]

PRIME MINISTER:

I look forward to meeting Families Against Intimidation and church leaders, trade union leaders. I hope to speak at the CBI at lunchtime and I have a series of other engagements. The principal reason I’m here is that I don’t think you can keep wholly up to date with what’s happening here in Northern Ireland without coming here regularly and I want to take the opportunity of coming here, listen to what people have to say, talk to them about some of the problems that we have faced, some of the opportunities that lie ahead and form my own judgements about how we proceed. So that is the principal purpose of me being here.

[Mr Major was asked his comments on Ian Paisley’s suggestion that the Prime Minister’s visit was a publicity stunt]

PRIME MINISTER:

These things are arranged a long time ago. Ian says all sorts of strange things from time to time. I have been coming back to Northern Ireland on a regular basis. I set out for you a few moments ago why I’m here. I’m here to talk to people; I’m here to listen to people. If I were concerned in stunts like that, no doubt I would be somewhere out in the midst of the local government elections visiting somewhere there. I’m here because I’m keen to see this peace process move forward.