Lord Trimble: Those who believe Northern Ireland can be separated from the UK are daft
Former Ulster Unionist leader Lord Trimble has claimed that those who believe Northern Ireland can be separated from the United Kingdom are"daft"
He also warned about what he perceived to be change in the approach of the Government in Dublin since Enda Kenny's departure as Taoiseach and the appointment of Leo Varadkar.
RTE's Today with Sean O'Rourke asked David Trimble to elaborate on previously made remarks on paramilitaries becoming active again because of the 'silly things the Irish government are saying'.
"The thought that they can separate Northern Ireland from the rest of the United Kingdom, that is what some people are talking about. By saying that somehow, we're going to keep Northern Ireland within Europe, while the rest of the United Kingdom goes off. Now that is really daft, it factually ignores the basic principles laid down in the agreement," Lord Trimble said.
He added that he did not think the change in approach by the Government in Dublin since the arrival of Leo Varadkar in the office of anTaoiseach had been a change for the better.
"I think I've said enough," he said.
Lord Trimble won the Nobel Peace Prize for his role in sealing the landmark 1998 Good Friday Agreement and paramilitary arms were later decommissioned during his tenure as UUP chief.
He was first minister of Northern Ireland from 1998 to 2002 when the institutions were suspended following a police raid on Sinn Fein's Stormont offices.
The UUP was eventually eclipsed by its staunch opponents the Democratic Unionists as the majority voice of unionism and he stood down as leader in 2005 after being ousted as Upper Bann MP.
Lord Trimble said the credit for saving lives 20 years ago lay with "the people of Northern Ireland generally who made it clear to paramilitaries that they did not want that to continue."
He said The Good Friday Agreement represented a good deal for nationalists and unionists.