Belfast Telegraph

Friday 19 December 2014

Ian Paisley health scare as former DUP leader has pacemaker fitted

Former DUP leader Ian Paisley
Former DUP leader Ian Paisley
Lord Bannside: Ian Paisley
Ian Paisley
A painting of Ian Paisley and Gerry Adams which was auctioned off to help the people of Haiti
Auction: Rev Ian Paisley's Spitting Image puppet
The Reverend Ian Paisley joined a protest in Edinburgh against the visit of Pope Benedict XVI
The Reverend Ian Paisley (right) joins a protest in Edinburgh against the visit of Pope Benedict XVI who arrived in the city earlier in the day for a four day visit to the United Kingdom
The Reverend Ian Paisley speaks to the press outside the Magdalen Chapel, Edinburgh, after protesting against the visit of Pope Benedict XVI who arrived in the city earlier in the day for a four day visit to the United Kingdom
The Reverend Ian Paisley speaks to the press outside the Magdalen Chapel, Edinburgh, after protesting against the visit of Pope Benedict XVI who arrived in the city earlier in the day for a four day visit to the United Kingdom
The Reverend Ian Paisley joins a protest in Edinburgh against the visit of Pope Benedict XVI who arrived in the city earlier in the day for a four day visit to the United Kingdom
The Reverend Ian Paisley joins a protest in Edinburgh against the visit of Pope Benedict XVI who arrived in the city earlier in the day for a four day visit to the United Kingdom
Keith Drury's painting of former First Minister Ian Paisley and deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness
Ian Paisley Jnr, left, has followed his father, right, into the Commons
Ian Paisley and Martin McGuinness after being sworn in as ministers of the Northern Ireland Assembley, Stormont. May 8, 2007.
Ian Paisley and Peter Robinson are taken away by police in Armagh after protesting a vist by Charles Haughey in 1980
Ian Paisley, Peter Robinson and Nigel Dodds with DUP Candidates for Belfast Council Elections. 24/4/89
Ian Paisley aged 12
A crowd of students pictured at a meeting with Ian Paisley (centre) near Belfast City Hall. 9/10/1968.
Unionist protests at visit to Belfast of Charles Haughey, former Taoiseach. Pictured Rev Ian Paisley. 11/4/1990.
Ian Paisley confronts an RUC officer when refused access to Duke Street where the Civil Rights parade went on. 10/10/1988
First protest march to Belfast city centre. A crowd pictured at a meeting with Ian Paisley at Shaftesbury Square, Belfast. 9/10/1968.
First protest march to Belfast city centre. A crowd of students pictured at a meeting with Ian Paisley near Belfast City Hall. Pictured is Ciaran McKeown(with beard). 9/10/1968.
15/08/1971 of The Reverend Ian Paisley during a press conference in Stormont, Northern Ireland.
Ian Paisley pictured on his weding day to wife Eileen
Former Northern Ireland First Minister Ian Paisley holding his first great grandchild Caleb Cassells
The Reverend Ian Paisley speaking at a ceremony held at Stormont to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the death of Edward Carson. October 1985
Northern Ireland First Minister Ian Paisley, right, and Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness in New York after they rang the opening bell, Wednesday Dec. 5, 2007
Ian Paisley addresses a 12,000 strong crowd at the 40th anniversary of the Free Presbyterian church in the Kings Hall. 1999
The Rev Ian Paisley plays the flute at the independents Orange parade in Portglenone.2008
Ian Paisley and Peter Robinson being arrested in Armagh.1980
Ian Paisley DUP electioneering for Europe in Portadown. 11/6/84
Ian Paisley gets a kiss for luck from his wife Eileen at the 2007 Stormont Assembly Election count
Northern Ireland First Minister Ian Paisley attends the opening of the New Victoria Shopping complex in Belfast, Northern Ireland, Wednesday, March 5, 2008.
Ian Paisley at DUP HQ in 1985. The party leader held a sledge hammer to depict his 'smash Sinn Fein' message
Former DUP leader Ian Paisley reacts to questioning from the media outside Castle Buildings
Hundreds of thousands of Unionists crowded Belfast City Centre in a huge "Ulster Says No" rally against power sharing after a call by the Rev Ian Paisley and other Unionist leaders of the time. Picture by Photopress
First Minister Dr Ian Paisley and Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness take a break during the opening
Kyle with his father Ian Paisley
Ian Paisley

Former First Minister Ian Paisley has been fitted with a pacemaker after taking ill while working in the House of Lords.

The health scare for the ex-DUP leader and his family happened last week, and Lord Bannside was yesterday already back at work.

Lord Bannside was taken to St Thomas’ Hospital, which sits directly opposite the Houses of Parliament across the River Thames, after feeling unwell on Wednesday afternoon.

Doctors carried out a series of tests before diagnosing a heart condition and he was taken into theatre for an operation to fit a pacemaker, which will regulate his heartbeat.

The 84-year-old was discharged from hospital on Friday and flew home to spend the weekend recovering in the care of his family.

But yesterday, the former First Minister was back at his desk in Westminster preparing for what could be a demanding week ahead with the Lords expected to sit through the night tonight as the deadlock over voting reform continues.

His wife, Baroness Paisley, last night paid tribute to the House of Commons medical team and doctors and staff at St Thomas’.

“He didn’t feel well in the afternoon at a meeting of cross-benchers in the Lords so we came down and got some help,” she told the Belfast Telegraph.

“It was totally unexpected because he had been well and addressed a big meeting in London the previous evening largely made up of ex-pats from Northern Ireland.

“The Parliamentary paramedical team and the staff at St Thomas’ Hospital were absolutely wonderful. They did a very quick job and we could not praise them highly enough. He is doing fine.”

Former Stormont junior minister Ian Paisley jnr, who replaced his father as MP for North Antrim, said: “He was discharged early on Friday and came home at the weekend but he is back at his desk today. He is feeling well and is doing fine.”

It is now almost six years since the couple’s other son, Rev Kyle Paisley, revealed his father had almost died from an undisclosed illness. He told his congregation at Lowestoft in Suffolk that Mr Paisley “... was at death's door and it was a very trying and testing time.

“I believe that he was saved because people prayed for him. He still has God's work to do and is looking 10 years younger.”

COMMENT RULES: Comments that are judged to be defamatory, abusive or in bad taste are not acceptable and contributors who consistently fall below certain criteria will be permanently blacklisted. The moderator will not enter into debate with individual contributors and the moderator’s decision is final. It is Belfast Telegraph policy to close comments on court cases, tribunals and active legal investigations. We may also close comments on articles which are being targeted for abuse. Problems with commenting? customercare@belfasttelegraph.co.uk

Nightlife Galleries

More

Latest News

Latest Sport

Latest Showbiz