Lord Bannside: Ian Paisley dies at 88

Rev Ian Paisley and Peter Robinson at a press conference with their 'Ulster Says No' poster.  Pacemaker Press Intl. 19/11/85
Rev Ian Paisley and Peter Robinson at a press conference with their 'Ulster Says No' poster. Pacemaker Press Intl. 19/11/85

Former First Minister of Northern Ireland and leader of the DUP, Ian Paisley has died aged 88.

Born on April 6, 1926 he was also founder of the Free Presbyterian Church.

Initial reaction has come from Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness who against all percieved political odds formed a power sharing arrangement with Mr Paisley following the restoration of devolution at Stormont.

Expressing his “deep regret and sadness” at the death of Ian Paisley, Mr McGuinness said: “ “I learned with deep regret and sadness of the death of former First Minister the Rev. Dr. Ian Paisley.

“Over a number of decades we were political opponents and held very different views on many, many issues but the one thing we were absolutely united on was the principle that our people were better able to govern themselves than any British government.

“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.

“In the brief period that we worked together in the Office of the First and Deputy First Minister I developed a close working relationship with him which developed into a friendship, which despite our many differences lasted beyond his term in office.

“I want to send my sincere sympathy to his wife, Eileen, his children and extended family.”