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Ian Paisley: Champion of farmers and rural concerns

Away from the corridors of power, Ian Paisley put party politics aside when it came to addressing the concerns of his constituents.

In his mainly rural North Antrim constituency he had considerable success in gaining access to electricity and phone lines for people in many of the more remote areas.

He was also heavily involved in the battle to bring electricity to Rathlin Island.

Mr Paisley was particularly active in supporting the Northern Ireland agricultural sector for whom his decision not to stand for election again has been described as a “sad day”.

Graham Furey, President of the Ulster Farmers’ Union, said he hoped Dr Paisley’s successor will campaign as vigorously on behalf of farmers.

He also threw his weight behind the Just Say No To Lignite campaign, opening doors to the powers that be for its members.

Its chairman Robert Richmond said: “He gave us his wholehearted backing and came out all guns blazing. He pulled politicians from across the wider political spectrum with him.”

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