Belfast Telegraph

Saturday 25 October 2014

Paisley: From a firebrand unionist to sharing with SF

Ian Paisley and Peter Robinson are taken away by police in Armagh after protesting a vist by Charles Haughey in 1980
Democratic Unionist Party leader Ian Paisley and Sinn Fein President Gerry Adams speak to the media during a press conference at the Stormont Assembly building in Belfast
Ian Paisley at DUP HQ in 1985. The party leader held a sledge hammer to depict his 'smash Sinn Fein' message

1969: Rev Ian Paisley was jailed for organising an illegal counter-demonstration against Northern Ireland Civil Rights Association march in Armagh.

1970: In the UK general election he was elected MP for the North Antrim constituency which he has retained since then and is now the longest-serving MP from Northern Ireland.

1971: Rev Paisley and Desmond Boal established the most successful of his political movements, the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP), which replaced his Protestant Unionist Party.

January 22, 1974: Rev Paisley and several loyalist colleagues were removed from the chamber at Stormont after they refused to give up the front bench seats to the new Executive members and had mounted a noisy protest.

February 1974: he increased his North Antrim majority in the general election from under 3,000 in 1970 to some 27,000.

1979: Rev Paisley was elected one of Northern Ireland's three MEPs at the first elections to the European Parliament. He topped the poll.

July 1979: Rev Paisley attacked any notion that Pope John Paul II should enter Northern Ireland during the upcoming Papal visit.

1981: Rev Paisley was suspended from the Commons for five days for calling Secretary of State Humphrey Atkins a liar during a discussion about the murder of former Stormont speaker Sir Norman Stronge and his son.

1981: The roaring denunciation of the 1985 Anglo-Irish Agreement — in which Rev Paisley booms “Never, never, never, never...” — has become one of the most famous speeches of his political career.

October 1988: Rev Paisley was ejected from the European Parliament when he interrupted an address by Pope John Paul II.

1989: European election, Rev Paisley maintained his poll topping position.

April 1998: Rev Paisley denounced the Good Friday Agreement as treacherous.

1999: he caused outrage by using parliamentary privilege to name people he alleged were behind the Kingsmill massacre.

2004: At the age of 78, Rev Paisley retired from his European Parliament seat at the elections and was succeeded by the DUP’s Jim Allister.

2005: At the general election he won 25,156 votes, giving him a majority of nearly 18,000. In the same year he was made a Privy Councillor.

May 8, 2007: aged 81, Rev Paisley was sworn in as First Minister alongside Sinn Fein’s Martin McGuinness as Deputy First Minister.

March 4, 2008: Rev Ian Paisley announced he planned to stand down as First Minister and leader of the DUP in May.

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