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Ian Paisley death: David Cameron leads tributes to Northern Ireland's former First Minister

Published 13/09/2014

Enthronement of Archbishop John Armstrong at Armagh. Ian Paisley arrested outside Cathedral for trying to break through a police cordon. Paisley, Peter Robinson and Jonhy McQuade as well as DUP supporters were arrested. They were held in custody for just one hour. Paisley etc. were there to protest at the presence of Premier Charles Haughey from the south who they claimed was willingly harbouring wanted terrorists. Pacemaker Press Intl. 7th May 1980.4/3/08 The DUP leader has announced that he will step down as First Minister and and leader of the Democratic Unionist Party in May.316/80/BW
Enthronement of Archbishop John Armstrong at Armagh. Ian Paisley arrested outside Cathedral for trying to break through a police cordon. Paisley, Peter Robinson and Jonhy McQuade as well as DUP supporters were arrested. They were held in custody for just one hour. Paisley etc. were there to protest at the presence of Premier Charles Haughey from the south who they claimed was willingly harbouring wanted terrorists. Pacemaker Press Intl. 7th May 1980.4/3/08 The DUP leader has announced that he will step down as First Minister and and leader of the Democratic Unionist Party in May.316/80/BW
PACEMAKER PRESS INTL. BELFAST. Funeral of Kenneth Campbell who was shot dead at the Finaghy Health Centre with Robert Bradford MP. Ian Paisley is pictured crying. 17/11/81.1120/81/bw
Ian Paisley and his wife Eileen on wedding their day.
Ian Paisley, Peter Robinson and Nigel Dodds with DUP Candidates for Belfast Council Elections. 24/4/89
PACEMAKER PRESS INTL. BELFAST. The early years of the life of the Rev Ian Paisley. 13/8/86.1197/86/bw
Ian Paisley and Peter Robinson are taken away by police in Armagh after protesting a vist by Charles Haughey in 1980
REVEREND IAN PAISLEY MP.Ian Paisley confronts an RUC officer when refused access to Duke Street where the Civil Rights parade went on. 10/10/1988
PACEMAKER BELFAST. Copy pics from the book about the early years of the life of Ian Paisley. 13/8/86.1197/86/bw14/11/2011 The Rev Ian Paisley has announced his retirement from preaching after 60 years. Mr Paisley who is 85 started way back in 1946
Pacemaker Belfast ArchiveRev Ian Paisley preaches to the 12,000 strong congregation at the Kings Hall in Belfast on the 40th anniversary of the free Presbyterian Church.24-3-199114/11/2011 The Rev Ian Paisley has announced his retirement from preaching after 60 years. Mr Paisley who is 85 started way back in 1946
REVEREND IAN PAISLEY MP.DUP leader Reverend Ian Paisley features on a DUP campaign to 'Smash Sinn Fein and Reject Republicanism'.
The funeral of procession of former DUP leader Ian Paisley. Pic Pacemaker
The Reverend Ian Paisley, a militant Protestant leader, singing during a demonstration outside Canterbury Cathedral against the first Roman Catholic Mass to be held there for 400 years. (Photo by Keystone/Getty Images)
Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness signs a book of condolence at in the Great Hall at Parliament Buildings, Stormont, Belfast, in memory of former DUP leader and First Minister Rev Ian Paisley.
General view of a portrait of Rev Ian Paisley in the Great Hall at Parliament Buildings, Stormont, Belfast, in memory of former DUP leader and First Minister Rev Ian Paisley. Pic Kelvin Boyes
Gerry Adams signs a book of condolence for Ian Paisley. Pic Jonathan Porter
Deputy Speaker Mitchel McLaughlin signs a book of condolence at in the Great Hall at Parliament Buildings, Stormont, Belfast. Pic Kelvin Boyes
PACEMAKER BELFAST 15/04/98 Rev Ian Paisley pictured on his weding day to wife Eileen Date unknown
Rev Ian Paisley After Formation of Defence Corp. Paisley with copy of morning's Newsletter which announces that he had unveiled a new Defence Corp following a late night gathering of loyalists. Pacemaker Press Intl. 6th Feb. 1981.120/81/BW
PACEMAKER ARCHIVE 1978 REF 174/78Rev Ian paisley protesting in Carrick at the fact that the BBC were filming Its a Knockout on a Sunday23/4/78
PACEMAKER BELFAST. Ian Paisley and Jim Molyneaux sign away their seats in Westminster during Loyalist Rally. 23/11/85.1224/85/bw
PACEMAKER PRESS INTL. BELFAST. End of the Carson Trial Phase 11. Stormont Rally. Ian Paisley, Peter Robinson. 28/3/81.270/81/c
Pacemaker Belfast ArchiveIan Paisley in the Pacemaker Studio.June 1991514-91-BWC
Pacamaker Archive BelfastRev Ian Paisley Wedding Day28-02-1991168-91-BW
Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness signs a book of condolence at in the Great Hall at Parliament Buildings, Stormont, Belfast. Pic Kelvin Boyes
PACEMAKER BELFAST. THe third Force in Newtownards on Loyalist Day of Action. Third force men marched into Newtownards led by Ian Paisley. 23/11/81.1082/81/bw
Peter Robinson signs a book of condolence at in the Great Hall at Parliament Buildings, Stormont, Belfast. Pic Kelvin Boyes
PACEMAKER BELFAST. The third Force in Newtownards on Loyalist Day of Action. Third force men marched into Newtownards led by Ian Paisley. 23/11/81.1082/81/bw
PACEMAKER PRESS INTL. BELFAST. Ian Paisley and DUP sign Ulsters Declaration. 9/2/81.123/81/c
SDLP leader Alasdair McDonnell signs a book of condolence at in the Great Hall at Parliament Buildings, Stormont, Belfast. Pic Kelvin Boyes
Ian Paisley:Democratic Unionist Party (DUP), with wife Eileen.
Jim Allister signs a book of condolence at in the Great Hall at Parliament Buildings, Stormont, Belfast. Pic Kelvin Boyes
PACEMAKER BELFAST JUNE 1987 JHIAN PAISLEY CANVASSING IN BALLYMONEY FOR FORTHCOMING GENERAL ELECTION.2/3/2010 Rev Ian Paisley has today announced that he will not stand at the next generay election after 40 years as an MP. His son Ian junior is expected to fight for the seat against the TUV leader Jim Allister..
Rev Ian Paisley and his Afgan Dog Jason pictured out for a walk along Cyprus Ave. Belfast prior to the assembly elections. Pacemaker Press Intl. 19/10/821047/82/BW
IAN PAISLEY:DEMOCRAIIC UNIONIST PARTY (DUP) LEADER, WITH PARTY SENIORS, NIGEL DODDS, IRIS AND PETER ROBINSON.
Ian Paisley:Democratic Unionist Party (DUP), SPEAKS AT A PROTEST RALLY AT CARRICKFERGUS CASTLE. 10/9/1971.
MERLYN REES.Former Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, Labour MP, Baron Merlyn-Rees. Pictured with DUP leader Ian Paisley.
Ian Paisley:Democratic Unionist Party (DUP),during his victory rally through Larne. 9/7/1970
Ian Paisley:Democratic Unionist Party (DUP),with fellow DUP MP's John McQuade ans Peter Robinson, wave to the crowd at Stormont gates. 23/11/1981
Rev Ian Paisley: DUP Leader. June 1966.The Reverend Ian Paisley and his supporters, who held a protest march to the Assembly Hall, Belfast..
Rev Ian Paisley, Party Leader of the Democratic Unionist Party grabs Ulster television interviewer Ivan Little during a TV interview at the North Antrim count at Ballymoney in the Northern Ireland election, November 27 2003. The Ulster Unionist and Democratic Unionist are running neck-and-neck in a tight Northern Ireland Assembly Election contest, an Exit poll has claimed today. See PA story ULSTER Elections. PA Photo: Michael Cooper.
DUP Protesters outside Belfast City Hall on arrival of Dublin Councillors to Belfast. Ian Paisley, Peter Robinson and Rev William McCrea with supporters. Also DUP protesters try to prevent Lord Mayor John Carson reaching Central Station to meet Dubliners. Pacemaker Press Intl. 3rd March 1981193/81/BW
REVEREND IAN PAISLEY MP.Ian Paisley, out looking for votes for the European Elections, stops to look at this little Shetland Pony at the Ballyclare May Fair. 22/5/1984.
PACEMAKER PRESS INTL. BELFAST. Rev Ian Paisley announcing European Manefests at Party Headquarters. He is pictured with Peter Robinson. 23/5/79105/79/bw
Ian Pailsey aged 8
Pictured in Crossgar on 17th March 1951 at the opening of the first Free Presbyterian Church of Ulster are L to R: Jack Gibson, George Hutton, Cecil Harvey, Rev Dr Ian Paisley, William Emerson, Rev George Stears (Minister Pro tem), James Morrison, George K Gibson, William Miscampbell and Hugh James Adams.
Pacemaker Belfast ArchiveIan Paisley in the Pacemaker Studio.June 1991514-91-BWC
Ian Paisley at an Ulster Says No rally in Ballymoney 1986
CIVIL RIGHTS PROTEST: PEOPLE'S DEMOCRACY. First protest march to Belfast city centre. A crowd of students pictured at a meeting with Ian Paisley (centre) near Belfast City Hall. 9/10/1968.
DEMOCRATIC UNIONIST PARTY (DUP)/DELEGATION AFTER MEETING WITH CHIEF CONSTABLE, FROM LEFT, REV. WILLIAM McCREA, REV. IVAN FOSTER, JIM McALLISTER, REV. IAN PAISLEY AND PETER ROBINSON. 1/2/1984
Ian Paisley pictured with wife Eileen and family in 1989
Ian Paisley has died at the age of 88
Government of Northern Ireland. United Ulster Unionist Coalition. (March 1974) Ulster loyalist MPs met at Stormont to agree their policy. From left are Mr. Carson, Mr. Kilfedder, Mr. Dunlop, the Rev. Ian Paisley, Mr. west, the Rev. Robert Bradford, Mr. Craig, Mr. Ross, Mr. Molyneaux, Mr. McCusker. Capt. Orr was in London.
Ian Paisley:Democratic Unionist Party (DUP),ENJOYS A JOKE WITH MAJOR RONALD BUNTING DURING A PRESS CONFERENCE AT ELECTION HEADQUARTERS IN BELFAST. ON THE LEFT IS COUNCILLOR WILLIAM SPENCE. 27/2/1969
Rev Ian Paisley ... family holds vigil for ailing patriarch
Former First Minister Mr Paisley continues to be treated in intensive care for suspected heart failure
27/1/12 PACEMAKER BELFAST. The Rev. Ian Paisley waves to the almost three thousand strong congregation at the Special Farewell Service in his honour after 65 years of Ministry at the Martyrs Memorial Church, on the Ravenhill Road, Belfast. Picture CHARLES MCQUILLAN/PACEMAKER
27/1/12 PACEMAKER BELFAST. The Rev. Ian Paisley poses with his wife Baroness Paisley and their children and grandchildren before the Special Farewell Service in his honour after 65 years of Ministry at the Martyrs Memorial Church, on the Ravenhill Road, Belfast. Picture CHARLES MCQUILLAN/PACEMAKER
27/1/12 PACEMAKER BELFAST. The Rev. Ian Paisley has his waistcoat buttoned up by his wife Baroness Paisley before the Special Farewell Service in his honour after 65 years of Ministry at the Martyrs Memorial Church, on the Ravenhill Road, Belfast. Picture CHARLES MCQUILLAN/PACEMAKER
27/1/12 PACEMAKER BELFAST. The Rev. Ian Paisley hangs up his hat and coat as he arrives for the Special Farewell Service in his honour after 65 years of Ministry at the Martyrs Memorial Church, on the Ravenhill Road, Belfast. Picture CHARLES MCQUILLAN/PACEMAKER
PACEMAKER BELFAST Ian Paisley, David Trimble at the bottom of the Garvaghy road after the 1995 parade was allowed to pass down the road.4/3/08 The DUP leader has announced that he will step down as First Minister and and leader of the Democratic Unionist Party in May.
PACEMAKER, BELFAST, 10/12/2004: A delighted Reverend Ian Paisley during the ceremony where he was created a Freeman of the Borough of Ballymena in the town tonight.PICTURE BY STEPHEN DAVISON
Ian Paisley takes his seat in the House of Lords...Ian Paisley, the former Northern Ireland first minister, took his seat in the House of Lords today as Lord Bannside. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Monday July 05, 2010. Lord Bannside was one of 56 new peers announced on one day by Downing Street and today he was introduced to the upper chamber along with two Labour peers, Jeannie Drake and Maeve Sherlock. See PA story LORDS Paisley. Photo credit should read: PA Wire...A
First Minister Dr Ian Paisley and deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness after they rang the opening bell ay Nasdaq,Times Square ,New York
PACEMAKER BELFAST 4/5/2007Rev Ian Paisley pictured at his Home in East Belfast.
PACEMAKER BELFAST JUNE 1987 JHIAN PAISLEY CANVASSING IN BALLYMONEY FOR FORTHCOMING GENERAL ELECTION.604/87/BW/C
Ian Paisley chats to his congregation after delivering his final sermon yesterday from the pulpit of Martyrsí Memorial on the Ravenhill Road for the last time
PAISLEY GREAT GRANDFATHERDr Ian Paisley MP Former Northern Ireland First Minister pictured with his first Great Grandchild Caleb Cassells (3 months). Caleb is the son of Ian Paisley's first Grandchild Lydia who is married to Stephen Cassells. He and his wife Baroness Paisley have 5 children and 10 Grandchildren.Photo John Harrison
STANDALONEHandout photo of First Minister for Northern Ireland Ian Paisley with his daughter Rhonda at the opening of her new art exhibition at the Emer Gallery, Antrim Road, Belfast.: Sunday May 4 2008.
DUP leader Ian Paisley pictured with his wife Eileen on his return from a short stay in hospital. He is now enjoying his summer break before returning to Political work in the Autumn.
20/5/2011 Pacemaker Belfast. Former First Minister Ian Paisley salutes members of the Royal Irish Rangers this evening as they were welcomed home by thousands in Ballymena town centre after their tour of Afghanistan. Picture Charles McQuillan/Pacemaker.
©Press Eye Ltd Northern Ireland - 7th February 2012 Mandatory Credit - Photo-Jonathan Porter/Presseye. Former First Minister of Northern Ireland and leader of the DUP Ian Paisley is admitted to hospital. 85-year-old Lord Bannside was admitted to the Ulster Hospital in Dundonald after taking ill on Sunday. Ian Paisley Jnr pictured leaving the Ulster Hospital in east Belfast.
Ian Paisley and his wife Baroness Eileen Paisley chatting to Pat Kenny on the Late Late Show.KOBPIX NO FEE
Handout photo of Senator Hilary Clinton with First Minister Northern Ireland Ian Paisley and Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness at the Willard Hotel ,Washington DC. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Friday December 7, 2007. Photo credit should read: John Harrison/PA Wire
Pacemaker Press Belfast 07-02-2012: Ian Paisley Jr pictured leaving Dundonald hospital.The former first minister and DUP leader Ian Paisley has spent the night at his hospital bedside.Lord Bannside, who is 85, was taken ill on Sunday. He is being treated in the intensive care unit of the Ulster Hospital in Dundonald.Picture By: Pacemaker.
eader of the DUP , Rev Dr Ian Paisley as he goes on the campaign trail through the streets of Belfast City. Picture Mark Pearce/Pacemaker 2/3/2010
Lord and Lady Paisley celebrate at their east Belfast home
27/1/12 PACEMAKER BELFAST. The Rev. Ian Paisley poses with his wife Baroness Paisley and their children and grandchildren before the Special Farewell Service in his honour after 65 years of Ministry at the Martyrs Memorial Church, on the Ravenhill Road, Belfast. Picture CHARLES MCQUILLAN/PACEMAKER
27/1/12 PACEMAKER BELFAST. A reserved seat indeed for the Rev. Ian Paisley among the almost three thousand strong congregation at the Special Farewell Service in his honour after 65 years of Ministry at the Martyrs Memorial Church, on the Ravenhill Road, Belfast. Picture CHARLES MCQUILLAN/PACEMAKER
27/1/12 PACEMAKER BELFAST. The Rev. Ian Paisley waves to the almost three thousand strong congregation at the Special Farewell Service in his honour after 65 years of Ministry at the Martyrs Memorial Church, on the Ravenhill Road, Belfast. Picture CHARLES MCQUILLAN/PACEMAKER
Ian Paisley D1.jpg
PACEMAKER BELFAST 15/04/98 IAN PAISLEY AS A 12 YEAR OLD BOY
A young Ian Paisley aged just eight years old.
Outgoing Free Presbyterian Moderator Rev Ian Paisley and the Rev Ron Johnston incoming Moderator.
Ian Paisley (right), the former Northern Ireland first minister, with his son Ian Paisley Jnr (left) after his father took his seat in the House of Lords today as Lord Bannside. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Monday July 05, 2010. Lord Bannside was one of 56 new peers announced on one day by Downing Street and today he was introduced to the upper chamber along with two Labour peers, Jeannie Drake and Maeve Sherlock. See PA story LORDS Paisley. Photo credit should read: Stefan Rousseau/PA Wire
(from video) of UUP leader David Trimble and DUP leader Ian Paisley walk hand in hand in the centre of Portadown celebrating the fact that Orangemen were allowed to walk the Nationalist Garvaghy Road.
PACEMAKER BELFAST. Ulsters Day of action-Belfast City Hall. Huge Crowds took the advide of Ian Paisley and other Unionists to take the afternoon off work and show their feelings to the Government that they were against any Dublin relationships developing, fearing that any concessions would only lead to a United Ireland. 23/11/81.4/3/08 The DUP leader has announced that he will step down as First Minister and and leader of the Democratic Unionist Party in May.
Democratic Unionist Party leader The Reverend Ian Paisley (left) and Sinn Fein President Gerry Adams speak to the media during a press conference at the Stormont Assembly building in Belfast. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Monday March 26, 2007. Rev Paisley and Mr Adams are to hold their first-ever face-to-face talks in a last-ditch bid to rescue devolution in Northern Ireland.
THIS could be the biggest political development of 2004 as Gerry Adams, complete with pint of Guinness, comes face-to-face with Ian Paisley. Or could it be a new united unionist front with Dr Paisley finally making peace with David Trimble in a show of solidarity that also includes Bob McCartney, Peter Robinson and David Ervine? Not in the real world of course - but definitely inside the head of impressionist Sean Crummy who is set to bring his hilarious Folks on the Hill radio show to television.
Belfast Telegraph. Page One. Final 2/3/2010Ian Paisley
Belfast Telegraph. Page One. 30/11/1968. "8,000 Marchers halted near Paisley crowd"
Pacemaker Belfast. 12/7/08. The Rev Ian Paisley with the white horse of 'King Billy' in the field at the independents Orange parade in Portglenone this afternoon. Picture Charles McQuillan/Pacemaker
Ian Paisley leader of the Democratic Unionist Party,with wife Eileen, relaxes at home with a cup of tea, after his anti agreement party, out polled ,David Trimbles Ulster Unionist Party,Friday 28th November 2003,in the Nortern Ireland Assembley electionsl.PA:Paul Faith
27/1/12 PACEMAKER BELFAST. The Rev. Ian Paisley poses with fellow clergy before the Special Farewell Service in his honour after 65 years of Ministry at the Martyrs Memorial Church, on the Ravenhill Road, Belfast. Picture CHARLES MCQUILLAN/PACEMAKER
PACEMAKER PRESS INTL. BELFAST. End of the Carson Trial Phase 11. Ian Paisley at Stormont Rally. 283/81.270/81/c
PACEMAKER BELFAST ARCHIVE 9124 MARCH 1991REV IAN PAISLEY PREACHING TO 12000 STRONG CONGREGATION ON 40TH ANNIVERSARY OF FREE PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH14/11/2011 The Rev Ian Paisley has announced his retirement from preaching after 60 years. Mr Paisley who is 85 started way back in 1946
Ian Paisley:DUP Leader. Wearing that beret.
30/4/2010. PACEMAKER BELFAST. WHILST THE ELECTION RACE RAGES ON THE FORMER MP AND FIRST MINISTER IAN PAISLEY STOOD AT CITY HALL BELFAST THIS AFTERNOON IN, A FAMILIAR SPOT WHERE HE HAS STOOD MANY TIMES BEFORE WITH A BIBLE IN HIS HAND AS HE PREACHED AND SANG WITH HIS GOSPEL GROUP. PICTURE CHARLES MCQUILLAN/PACEMAKER.
30/4/2010. PACEMAKER BELFAST. WHILST THE ELECTION RACE RAGES ON THE FORMER MP AND FIRST MINISTER IAN PAISLEY STOOD AT CITY HALL BELFAST THIS AFTERNOON IN, A FAMILIAR SPOT WHERE HE HAS STOOD MANY TIMES BEFORE BUT TODAY WITH A BIBLE IN HIS HAND AS HE PREACHED AND SANG WITH HIS GOSPEL GROUP. PICTURE CHARLES MCQUILLAN/PACEMAKER.14/11/2011 The Rev Ian Paisley has announced his retirement from preaching after 60 years. Mr Paisley who is 85 started way back in 1946
PACEMAKER BELFAST November 1985Ian Paisley and Jim Molyneaux address the 250,000 crowd at the Anti Anglo Irish rally in Belfast in 1985 where he made in infamous Never Never Never speach...
Old school pics -Ian Paisley
Ian Paisley bowed out of Stormont with a rousing speech
Former DUP leader Ian Paisley
Lord Bannside: Ian Paisley
Ian Paisley pictured on his weding day to wife Eileen
Former Northern Ireland First Minister Ian Paisley holding his first great grandchild Caleb Cassells
Ian Paisley DUP electioneering for Europe in Portadown. 11/6/84
Ian Paisley and Martin McGuinness were branded the 'chuckle brothers'
15/08/1971 of The Reverend Ian Paisley during a press conference in Stormont, Northern Ireland.
November 1985 - Ian Paisley and Jim Molyneaux address the 250,000 crowd at the Anti Anglo Irish rally in Belfast
The Reverend Ian Paisley speaking at a ceremony held at Stormont to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the death of Edward Carson. October 1985
A crowd of students pictured at a meeting with Ian Paisley (centre) near Belfast City Hall. 9/10/1968.
Ian Paisley addresses a 12,000 strong crowd at the 40th anniversary of the Free Presbyterian church in the Kings Hall. 1999
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 being arrested in Armagh.1980
95. Newly appointed First Minister Dr Ian Paisley, left, presents a 300 year-old musket to Irish Prime Minister Bertie Ahern at the Battle of the Boyne site, Drogheda, Ireland, Friday, May, 11, 2007. The pair visited the site of the famous Battle of the Boyne 1690 between the Protestant King William of Orange and the Catholic King James's army.
Ian Paisley
The Queen greeted by First Minister Ian Paisley in east Belfast
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.
First protest march to Belfast city centre. A crowd pictured at a meeting with Ian Paisley at Shaftesbury Square, Belfast. 9/10/1968.
Ian Paisley confronts an RUC officer when refused access to Duke Street where the Civil Rights parade went on. 10/10/1988

Prime Minister David Cameron has paid tribute to the courage of Ian Paisley in entering government with Sinn Fein.

He led plaudits paid by statesmen, colleagues and friends of the late political colossus.

Mr Cameron said: "Of course, Ian Paisley was a controversial figure for large parts of his career. Yet the contribution he made in his later years to political stability in Northern Ireland was huge.

"In particular, his decision to take his party into government with Sinn Fein in 2007 required great courage and leadership, for which everyone in these islands should be grateful."

Mr Cameron's predecessors, Tony Blair and John Major, and Northern Ireland First Minister Peter Robinson lauded an implacable opponent of compromise who became a peacemaker.

Mr Blair, who presided over the restoration of devolved government in Northern Ireland through the Good Friday Agreement in 1998, said: "Ian was a man of deep convictions. The convictions never changed. But his appreciation of the possibilities of peace, gradually and with much soul searching, did. He began as the militant. He ended as the peacemaker."

Sir John Major voiced his "great admiration and respect" for the former DUP leader, who was a fierce opponent of the Downing Street Declaration which the former prime minister signed in the early stages of the peace process in 1993.

He said: "Ian Paisley was a man of public passion and huge personal charm, who cared deeply for the community he served.

"From a position where he was suspicious of every movement towards peace, he came to embrace it, and served as the first First Minister of Northern Ireland. It was a remarkable journey by a remarkable man, for whom I had great admiration and respect."

Mr Robinson said the former leader inspired the DUP.

Ian Paisley before an election
Ian Paisley before an election
Ian Paisley at an Ulster Says No rally in Ballymoney 1986

He told BBC Radio 4's World at One: "He was a colossus in Unionism and made such a massive contribution, particularly to the process in which we are presently involved."

Mr Cameron said he saw Dr Paisley most in the House of Commons, where his great oratory stood out.

"He had a deserved reputation as one of the most hard working and effective MPs.

"Ian Paisley will be remembered by many as the 'big man' of Northern Ireland politics. He will be greatly missed."

His wife, Baroness Eileen Paisley, said: "My beloved husband, Ian, entered his eternal rest this morning.

"Although ours is the grand hope of reunion, naturally as a family we are heartbroken.

Lord and Lady Paisley celebrate at their east Belfast home
Lord and Lady Paisley celebrate at their east Belfast home
Eileen Paisley fixes her husband Ian Paisley's tie at the Seven Towers Leisure Centre in Ballymena, Co Antrim, Thursday March 8, 2007
Ian Paisley with his wife Eileen
Family ties: Ian Paisley kisses his wife Eileen whom he proposed to on their third date when she was just 17
Ian and Eileen Paisley on their wedding day

"We loved him and he adored us, and our earthly lives are forever changed."

Former IRA commander Martin McGuinness expressed regret and sadness.

"Over a number of decades we were political opponents and held very different views on many, many issues, but the one thing we were absolutely united on was the principle that our people were better able to govern themselves than any British government.

PACEMAKER BELFAST JUNE 1987 JHIAN PAISLEY CANVASSING IN BALLYMONEY FOR FORTHCOMING GENERAL ELECTION.2/3/2010 Rev Ian Paisley has today announced that he will not stand at the next generay election after 40 years as an MP. His son Ian junior is expected to fight for the seat against the TUV leader Jim Allister..
PACEMAKER BELFAST JUNE 1987 JHIAN PAISLEY CANVASSING IN BALLYMONEY FOR FORTHCOMING GENERAL ELECTION.2/3/2010 Rev Ian Paisley has today announced that he will not stand at the next generay election after 40 years as an MP. His son Ian junior is expected to fight for the seat against the TUV leader Jim Allister..
PACEMAKER BELFAST Ian Paisley, David Trimble at the bottom of the Garvaghy road after the 1995 parade was allowed to pass down the road.4/3/08 The DUP leader has announced that he will step down as First Minister and and leader of the Democratic Unionist Party in May.

"I want to pay tribute to and comment on the work he did in the latter days of his political life in building agreement and leading unionism into a new accommodation with republicans and nationalists."

Mr Blair said over time he got to know Dr Paisley well.

"He could be an uncompromising even intransigent opponent. But he was also someone who loved Northern Ireland and its people. He led them but he also followed them. When they said to him peace was thinkable, he made it possible.

Ian Paisley 1926-2014
Ian Paisley 1926-2014
eader of the DUP , Rev Dr Ian Paisley as he goes on the campaign trail through the streets of Belfast City. Picture Mark Pearce/Pacemaker 2/3/2010
Dr Ian Paisley pictured in 2008
Ian Paisley with Bertie Ahern

"His religious beliefs were profound and genuine. He talked to me often about the need for forgiveness and I am sure part of what made him finally take the road to peace was his capacity, driven by his Christian belief, to contemplate and then work for reconciliation.

"I don't suppose 40 years ago he would ever have thought that politically his life then would end as it does now. But I know he and Eileen would be very proud of his huge contribution to a peaceful future for Northern Ireland."

Mr Robinson added: "He was more than a significant figure. Ian was a founder and inspiration behind the existence of the party. He led it through difficult times where the Unionist community in Northern Ireland was under attack from terrorism and felt that their constitutional position was imperilled, right through from those dark days to the relative peace and security that we have at the present time.

A laughing Ian Paisley with schoolchildren in 1999
A laughing Ian Paisley with schoolchildren in 1999

"He was instrumentally involved and a key figure in terms of entering into the agreements that made it all possible."

Northern Ireland Secretary Theresa Villiers said for more than five decades he was a dominant figure in Northern Ireland politics through his booming oratory and enormous personality.

"He was unswerving in his commitment to Northern Ireland's position within the United Kingdom. Yet he was, by his own admission, first and foremost a preacher.

Controversial figure: ultimately, Paisley was squeezed towards compromise by British policy
Controversial figure: ultimately, Paisley was squeezed towards compromise by British policy

"It is undoubtedly the case that he was often controversial in pursuing his goals. For now, however, it is right that we focus on the contribution he made to the Northern Ireland peace process, particularly in taking his party into government in 2007.

"From his election in 1970 through his elevation to the Lords in 2010, Ian Paisley was a formidable parliamentarian. He was also a tireless and highly effective MP on behalf of all his constituents. Ian Paisley had a deep reverence for Parliament and its traditions. Parliament has lost one of it great characters."

Former prime minister Gordon Brown said few have had as massive an influence on the recent politics of the United Kingdom as Ian Paisley.

Ian Paisley struck up a good working relationship with Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness
Ian Paisley struck up a good working relationship with Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness

"His support for the peace process was vital in moving it forward. He will be remembered as a powerful preacher, a moral campaigner and a popular orator who combined humour and passion."

Irish premier Enda Kenny said Dr Paisley was by any measure a major figure in the history of Ireland and Britain.

"I had the pleasure of meeting and talking to him in recent years, and I know that he treasured the peace and friendship that he had lived to see, and helped to build, between our traditions.

"His devotion to his faith and to the unionist people of Northern Ireland was deep and unshakeable."

Sinn Fein president Gerry Adams, a TD in the Irish parliament, said he was deeply shocked and saddened at Dr Paisley's death.

"There will be plenty of time for political analysis but at this point I wish to extend my deepest sympathies to Ian's wife Eileen and to the Paisley family at this very sad time," he added.

Former Irish taoiseach Bertie Ahern said: "Ian was a big man. He had a big heart.

"In my younger days I found him a very difficult character but we ended up very good friends. He was a valuable character in the peace process."

Mr Ahern said Dr Paisley's latter years saw him pay a big price politically and personally, in friendships and in his vocation to the Free Presbyterian Church, after some of his associates of the previous 40 or 50 years deserted him.

"I grew to admire him. The more I got to know him, the more I grew to like him," he told RTE Radio.

Former Northern Ireland secretary Peter Hain said: "Ian Paisley was the big man of Northern Ireland politics. The historic 2007 peace settlement bringing bitter lifetime enemies to govern jointly could never have happened without him.

"I worked very closely with him and came to like and respect him, his wife Eileen, his MP son Ian and his wider close-knit family to whom I extend my sympathies."

Former nationalist SDLP leader Mark Durkan told BBC Radio 4's World at One: "He went from vicious rhetoric during the '70s to playing a virtuous role.

"The fact is that even though he absolutely opposed the Good Friday Agreement and all the agreements attempted before that, he ended up helping to seal the settled process that we now have, accepting power-sharing, North-South institutions and all the rest of it, and working in a good spirit."

Mr Durkan, who served as Stormont deputy first minister from 2001 to 2002, said Mr Paisley would be remembered as "someone who opposed initiative after initiative, who brought down various Unionist leaders and contributed to many lost years and lost opportunities, only in the end to accept things that he had always opposed, but actually to work within them with some grace".

Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby expressed his condolences to the family.

"He was a passionate advocate for his community, a parliamentarian who made his presence felt in our national life and a man of deep faith.

"History will remember him for many things but above all for having the courage, when he judged the moment to be right, of taking the difficult but vital steps towards reconciliation."

Labour leader Ed Miliband said he was a towering figure.

"His decision to take the DUP into a power-sharing partnership with Sinn Fein was the ultimate act of political courage and reconciliation.

"His willingness to work positively with Martin McGuinness was a key element in ensuring continued peace and stability in Northern Ireland."

Scotland's First Minister, Alex Salmond, said: "Ian Paisley was a major figure in the politics of these islands who I first got to know at Westminster as a warm, personable fellow MP, despite the obvious differences in our political outlook.

"He and I became First Ministers in the same month and it was a matter of considerable pride that my first speech outside Scotland in that role was at the Assembly in Belfast, where I was warmly welcomed by Dr Paisley, by the Deputy First Minister and other ministers in the power-sharing Executive.

"His long political journey to become Northern Ireland's First Minister, ultimately sitting down with his long-time opponents and playing a critical role in promoting reconciliation across communities, is well-documented and will leave a precious and enduring legacy.

"His passing will be mourned across Northern Ireland, as it will be in Scotland and further afield. I send my condolences to his wife Eileen and to his wider family and friends."

President of Ireland Michael D Higgins described Mr Paisley as a man of deep convictions.

"Irrespective of one's political perspective, Dr Paisley was undoubtedly a man of immense influence on the contemporary history of this island," the president said.

"His early career was characterised by an uncompromising position of a constitutional kind. However, his embracing of the change necessary to achieve a discourse that might lead to peace was of immense significance, as was his commitment to building relationships in support of that peace."

European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso said he was saddened.

"Throughout his career as a domestic and European parliamentarian, as well as in his ministry, he held strong views and expressed them with passion.

"In 2007 as First Minister of Northern Ireland he led a historic power-sharing partnership which set the province on a historical path to a lasting peace.

"When I visited Northern Ireland in May that year, I saw for myself Ian's personal drive, energy and commitment to peace and stability.

"I am pleased that the European Commission has been able to actively contribute to supporting Northern Ireland in this process through the work of the PEACE programme and the Task Force for Northern Ireland."

Mr Barroso added: "I would like to convey my condolences to Ian's family at this saddest of times."

Further reading

Catholic bishop Noel Treanor pays tribute

Ian Paisley a "beloved husband"  

McGuinness praise for Paisley role

Paisley death 'end of an era': Hume

From fire and brimstone to a peace once thought impossible

Ian Paisley: Journey from firebrand to peacemaker and bridge builder

Obituary: Ian Paisley, the colossus of Northern Ireland politics who changed the course of history

Old school pictures: Ian Paisley - the towering figure of Northern Ireland politics

Divisive 'Dr No' turned peacemaker

Ian Paisley: From 'the scarlet woman of Rome' to 'the devil's buttermilk' - big Ian's notable quotes

Death felt keenly in Ballymena

He was one of Northern Ireland's best-known political figures, but it will be in the Bible-belt town of Ballymena, in Co Antrim where Ian Paisley's death will be felt the most.

News of his death spread quickly throughout the close-knit mainly Protestant market town about 25 miles north of Belfast where the firebrand preacher was consistently returned as an MP for almost 40 years.

Doreen Mairs, 71, a semi-retired supermarket worker from Ballymena, said his death had taken her by surprise.

"I was shocked to hear about it, although I did know he had been ill," she said. "I am not into politics but I know he certainly had his views.

"I have to say I was surprised when he went into government at Stormont in the way it is. But, I suppose he had his reasons."

Although he was a divisive force on constitutional issues even Mr Paisley's critics admit that he fought diligently for local constituents.

Billy Workman, 62, a retired factory worker from the Harryville area of Ballymena, said: "It is a very sad day. I saw Ian Paisley as one of Northern Ireland's great statesmen and in my view he will be remembered as being a great democrat. He was a very honourable man who stood up for what was right.

"I know he had his critics but he should be remembered for all the work that he has done - especially for this town."

Ian Paisley was not born in Ballymena but is widely regarded as one of its most famous sons. In 2004 Ballymena Borough Council conferred on him its highest honour, making him a freeman of the town.

Retired accountant William Agnew. 62, described the former DUP leader and preacher as an astute politician who would be best remembered for his hard-line stance against the Sunningdale Agreement during the 1970s.

He said: "He was a bit of a trouble maker in the early days and I think he'll be best remembered for his part in the Ulster Workers' Strike.

"His death was not unexpected because we knew he had been ill."

But not everyone was mourning him.

One woman, who declined to be named, describing herself as a Catholic from Harryville, claimed Mr Paisley had helped prolong the Troubles.

She said: "I think this country could have been sorted out a lot sooner if Ian Paisley had not been involved,

"And I believe he only became First Minister because he was in the last throes of his political life."

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