Northern Irish politician Reverend Ian Paisley dies aged 88
Saturday, September 13, 2014
Paisley's wife Eileen released a statement saying: "My beloved husband, Ian, entered his eternal rest this morning. Although ours is the grand hope of reunion, naturally as a family we are heartbroken. We loved him and he adored us, and our earthly lives are forever changed."
Paisley helped form thein the early 1950s, later going into politics under the banner of the (DUP). Paisley's fiery preaching was uncompromising and fundamentalist: he was once expelled from the for calling Pope the "anti-christ". When Northern Ireland was debating the decriminalisation of , Paisley led a campaign opposing the change titled " ". Politically, Paisley became known as "Dr No" for his attitude towards compromise with .
This firebrand rhetoric calmed with the successful negotiation of a peace process and with Paisley entering into shared governance with. McGuinness paid tribute to Paisley via : "Very sad to learn that Ian Paisley has died. My deepest sympathy to his wife Eileen & family. Once political opponents – I have lost a friend." McGuinness also said of Paisley: "I want to pay tribute to and comment on the work he did in the latter days of his political life in building agreement and leading unionism into a new accommodation with republicans and nationalists."
Prime Minister described Paisley as "one of the most forceful and instantly recognisable characters in British politics for nearly half a century" and noted that Paisley's willingness to enter into shared governance with republicans "required great courage and leadership, for which everyone in these islands should be grateful". The current First Minister said Paisley "was the founding father of the new Northern Ireland".
Former UK Prime Ministersaid Paisley "began as the militant" but "ended as the peacemaker". The former Irish said of Paisley: "In my younger days I found him a very difficult character but we ended up very good friends. He was a valuable character in the peace process."
- Henry McDonald. "Ian Paisley, DUP firebrand turned peacemaker, dies aged 88" — , September 12, 2014
- Henry McDonald. "Ian Paisley, the Dr No of Ulster politics, dies aged 88" — , September 12, 2014
- David Blevins. "Preacher Turned Politician Was Rarely Silent" — , September 12, 2014
- Tom Whitehead and Edward Malnick. "Former DUP leader Ian Paisley dies aged 88" — , September 12, 2014