Tight security surrounded the visit by outgoing DUP leader Ian Paisley to Cobh, Co Cork, yesterday ahead of his address to the 50th annual dinner of the area Chamber of Commerce.
At a short press conference last night, Mr Paisley dismissed suggestions that he had mellowed in recent years.
However, he admitted he was in a "positive place" in his life and proud of being part of a group who had brought peace to Northern Ireland.
The 82-year-old recalled his first trip to Cork 60 years ago when he toured Ireland with a friend.
He said that he expects his successor, Peter Robinson, will have a harmonious relationship with Taoiseach-in-waiting Brian Cowen.
Mr Paisley will stand down next month.
Meanwhile, he said that he plans to write a book when he retires but concedes that he may not publish it until after his death because it might be controversial.
Dissident republican groups expressed anger at the local chamber's decision to invite the DUP leader.