Love him or loath him, you can’t dispute one of the biggest political forces in Irish politics was former leader of the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) Dr Ian Paisley.
He famously said:
No, No No!
Paisley was a firebrand fundamentalist Protestant preacher, he has a huge presence; he has passed away at the age of 88.
The former leader of the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) Dr Ian Paisley was known for his opposition to compromise with the IRA for decades in Northern Ireland
My people will have a view of him from seeing him on television but I would like to relate a story told to me by someone I know.
His mother was Catholic and needed help, so Dr Ian Paisley was her MP, although there was the great divide in Irish politics, he told that Dr Ian Paisley was simply wonderful in how helped his mother.
Nothing was too much!
People have different sides to them; it seems the public image of a firebrand was different than the private image of the caring MP.
Paisley became a peacemaker when he entered government with Sinn Fein at Stormont as first minister following a landmark deal.
There were problems of course but Ireland and its people wanted an end to bloodshed. The will of people was too strong to ignore.
Mrs Paisley released a statement, which read:
“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. According to Ian’s wishes his funeral will be private and attended only by the immediate family, as will be his burial. As a family we appreciate that there will be an expectation by those who admired him to express their gratitude for his life and their sorrow at his passing. To that end we will in due course publish details of a public memorial service which, will be scheduled later in the year. There will be no further comment or statements made by me or the family at this time.”
Any loss is keenly felt in a family, but I suspect although the family will get their wish for a private funeral, there will be many people who he served as an MP who will want to line the streets regardless of their religion.
There aren’t too many people in politics that make such an impression on the National scene; Dr Ian Paisley was one of them.
I relate the story of my colleague’s mother because it changed my view of the man, perhaps it make help change yours.
The Campaign for Human Rights at Glasgow University