Ian Paisley called for a new era of sharing and reconciliation in an emotional farewell at his final sitting of the power-sharing Assembly he helped to create.
“We are facing hard financial times ahead, difficult decisions will have to be taken as the Assembly sits in this place. We share this province and have to make a shared future in it,” he told a hushed Stormont in a special address as departing ‘Father of the House’.
Dr Paisley, now Lord Bannside, will continue his political career in the House of Lords.
He was praised by Peter Robinson, his successor as DUP leader and First Minister, on his “distinguished career”.
Martin McGuinness, who served as Deputy First Minister alongside him, also described Dr Paisley as a friend and praised his courage.
However, it was noticeable that Dr Paisley did not return the compliments.