Death of Lord Bannside: Former mayor’s tribute to Ian Paisley

Maurice Devenney.
Maurice Devenney.

DUP Derry City Councillor Maurice Devenney has paid tribute to his late colleague, Ian Paisley, saying he had a profound impact on Northern Ireland throughout his lifetime.

“On behalf of the DUP in Londonderry I would like to pass on my condolences and sympathy to the Paisley family,” said Mr Devenney.

“He will be sadly missed by all those who knew him, loved him and enjoyed his company throughout the years,” he added.

Mr Devenney said he transformed politics in Northern Ireland.

“It was a momentous career, when you look at it from his early days when he was a preacher, his leadership through the Troubles, to where we are now, he made a huge impact,” said the local councillor.

The iconic leader who set up the DUP in 1971 with local lawyer Desmond Boal, was no stranger to the North West, having regularly paid visits to the DUP offices in the city and in Limavady, when he was still in good health.

“He would often have visited the DUP office here ,” said Mr Devenney. “He was no stranger.”

He added: “When you look at the decades in which he played such an important role, from, as I said, his days as a preacher onwards, I think, whether you agreed with him or not, nobody could argue that he didn’t make his mark on politics here.”

Mr Devenney said he’s sure Dr Paisley will be looking down on us wishing Northern Ireland and its people success, something he said he worked for during his career.