From the archives - November 1980 -‘Extraordinary triangle’ bar to settlement

Unionism today was an “extraordinary triangle” of prejudice, fear and despair, and sheer selfishness, said Mr John Hume, in his first speech as party leader to the SDLP annual conference at Newcastle. And Mr Hume said that that triangle was the “only significant obstacle to an agreed political solution in the North.”

Mr Hume told the delegates that at present the North could not have a future because there were too many people who were not prepared to face the harsh readjustments which facing reality demanded.

But the SDLP leader, while attacking the total unreality of the present unionist position, nevertheless offered unionists a positive role in a new Ireland agreed by the Irish and British Governments.