The Twelfth - Hillsborough and Holywood Jul 14 2003
LAGAN Valley MP Jeffrey Donaldson has warned party leader David Trimble the party could ''implode'' if he continued to pursue a '' vendetta'' against his critics.
Mr Donldson said the actions of party officers to pursue disciplinary action against himself and two other MPs could result in an '' irreconcilable split'' in the party.
''David Trimble has refused to reject the Joint Declaration. In so doing, he has split his party down the middle and is now embarked on a vendetta against those who oppose his high-risk policy,'' Mr Donaldson told Orangemen at Hillsborough.
''Once again he refuses to listen to our advice or to properly address our concerns - concerns we know are shared by a vast majority of unionists.
''There is now a real danger that unless David Trimble revises his position and draws back from the brink, that the Ulster Unionist Party will implode and lose its position as the majority voice in unionism''.
He said the exclusion of dissenting voices would result in a deepening crisis within the party and electoral demise.
''If David Trimble in insists on pursuing a course of action that will result in three of his MPs being thrown out of the party becausr of their principled stand, then the inevitable consequence of such action will be a formal and irreconcilable split in the party. I do not wish to see that happen, nor do the clear majority of party members.
''There is a group of people in the centre of the party who share my concerns about the Joint Declaration, but who to date have supported David Trimble's position. I now make a direct appeal to those influential members to act now before it too late. I cannot believe that these senior figures share David Trimble's view that the only way to resolve our problems is through the exclusion of the dissenting voices".
Mr Donaldson added: ''The broad church concept of the Ulster Unionist Party must be maintained action taken to address rather than punish us for articulating them. As Lord Kilclooney (John Taylor) has said, a narrow majority cannot impose its will on a strong minority. There has to be a consensus on the way forward and none exists at present,'' said the MP.
''No one can afford to sit on the fence when it comes to the integrity of the clarity and its future prospects. Failure to act now will have dire consequences. If David Trimble is not prepared to draw back from the deeply damaging course he is embarked on, then others must act and work with us to resolve the problems that confront us.
''In recent weeks, I have been told that no man is bigger than the party, well the moment of truth has come anbd the challenge is there. Are we going to allow one man to take us down a road that the majority of unionists have no desire to travel? That way leads to political demise.
''It is time for Ulster Unionism to respond to the cry from ordinary unionists for greater unity and stronger policies. Only when we achieve this, can we hope to address and resolve the wider political issues and reach ageement with nationalists for an end to paramilitarism, and political instability. This is indeed defining moment for unionism.''
HOLYWOOD Ulster Unionist leader David Trimble paraded with his Bangor Abbey LOL No 726 on the Twelfth morning in Bangor, but he did not attend the North Down demonstration in Holywood.
The Upper Bann MP remains a full-paid up member of LOL No 726.
Fifty lodges from the four North Down districts - Bangor, Upper Ards, Holywood and Newtownards - were headed by 40 bands, with the two-mile parade from Redburn Square to the demonstration field at Ballymenoch Park.
The parade was led by the Ballykeel Conservative Flute Band from Holywood, in whose ranks Linfield manager David Jeffrey plays a flute.
Scottish lodge members were in the ranks and the Newtownards District, the largest contingent, had a number of Lambeg drumming parties.
The religious service at the field was conducted by local Orange chaplains.
An Orange float in Hillsborough
Some marchers dressed in period costume especially for the Hillsborough parade
Jeffrey Donaldson speaks at the Hillsborough Parade
Getting into the swing of things in Holywood
Dressed for the big day in Holywood
Ballyfrenis Accordian Band takes a break in Holywood
The Twelfth - Hillsborough and Holywood
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