Israeli ambassador claimed former DUP leader Paisley contacted him “to obtain arms,” declassified files reveal

Posted By: December 29, 2017

Irish News. Belfast. Friday, December 29, 2017

The Israeli ambassador to the UK claimed former DUP leader Ian Paisley contacted him “to obtain arms”, declassified state papers reveal.[The documents are  from the late 1980s and early 1990s

The claim, which prompted surprise from the Irish government, is contained among hundreds of previously confidential files published in Dublin and Belfast today.

The claim that Mr. Paisley – who died in 2014 – asked the ambassador about arms is included in files released by the National Archives of Ireland.

In June 1985, Noel Dorr – Ireland’s ambassador in London – wrote to his boss in Dublin about the conversation he had at a function.

“I expressed surprise at this since I thought it unlikely that Paisley would leave himself open on something like this,” Mr. Dorr wrote.

The Israeli ambassador, Yahuda Avner, said Mr. Paisley was talking about “border protection”.

“I said I presumed that the emphasis was on surveillance equipment rather than on arms but the ambassador did not elaborate further on the detail of the request,” Mr. Dorr said.

“I would assume that ‘border protection’. The ambassador possibly interpreted this general phrase as referring to weapons rather than technology.”

The ambassador told Mr. Paisley that “these things” could only be dealt with between governments.