John Hume: Death of Ian Paisley marks ‘end of an era

John Hume.
John Hume.

Former SDLP leader John Hume has said the death of Ian Paisley “marks the end of an era”.

Nobel Laureate John Hume said: “I knew Ian Paisley well throughout our many years in politics and we enjoyed a close working relationship in the European Parliament. During this time, Mr Paisley was a larger than life character in Irish politics and a dominant voice within unionism.

“While he was not always constructive and often politically challenging he could, on a personal level, be very charming.

“His overstated outbursts often overshadowed the understated constituency work he carried out for the people of North Antrim - who he represented as an MP and an MLA – and the tireless efforts he made on behalf of Northern Ireland as a member of the European Parliament.

“However, history will record his political career as a journey – one which took him from the politics of division to a place where he accepted agreement as a solution, the need for power sharing and respect for diversity – but history will also ask if he should have reached this point sooner.

“Mr Paisley’s passing marks the end of an era. To Eileen and the extended family, Pat and I wish to express our sincere condolences at this very sad time.”