Belfast Telegraph

What they said: Stormont eulogies for a charismatic First Minister

By Noel McAdam

"Ulster will never see the like of him again. He was an exceptional human being.

"He had a loyal heart, a fidelity to freedom, a passion for democracy and a love for public service. In the storm he was oak and granite, and in the sunshine he radiated passion and commitment."

First Minister Peter Robinson

"We genuinely grew to like each other and, in doing so, we confounded the world. I believe that the peace process has lost a great friend, and I have lost a friend. I think that Ian Paisley, whatever about his past, did a magnificent service for our young people and for the future. For that, I am proud to be associated with him."

Deputy Frirst Minister Martin McGuinness

"I could never, and would never, agree with much of Ian Paisley's politics... but I have to pay tribute to him as a committed constituency representative and dedicated public servant."

SDLP leader Alasdair McDonnell

"Baroness Paisley was married to him for longer than many Members in the Chamber have been alive.

"This week, Eileen Paisley finds herself in a position that she has not been in since 1956: not having a husband to turn to for comfort and for companionship."

Ulster Unionist leader Mike Nesbitt

"I remember a conversation in the period that led up to the St Andrews Agreement... from which it was clear that he wanted to see change happen, and that he wanted to be part of something positive. He sought to bring his party around to that view."

Alliance leader David Ford

"It is, of course, an abiding regret that, after his decades of principled stand, his legacy... is terrorists in government and a system that is not fit for purpose. None of that would have been possible without Ian Paisley."

TUV leader Jim Allister

It is incumbent on all those who rise to pay tribute to him today... to do everything in their power to make these institutions work for peace in Northern Ireland."

Green Party leader Steven Agnew

"Ultimately, he chose what he thought was good for the people and best for the country, and it is in that context that I pay tribute to him.

So, I say respectfully: thanks, "Doc".

David McNarry, Ukip

"The mark of a man – a big man – is the ability to change your mind, and we witness today the passing of a great man and a big man."

NI21 leader basil McCrea

"I am doubtful whether there was anyone who had a greater love for his country than Ian Paisley. He was a colossus on the political landscape."

Lord Morrow, DUP chairman

"From the first day that he came out in support of power-sharing, he did not resile from it. He was not in it half-heartedly. He did not jump in and out of it. He was involved in all aspects."

Caitriona Ruane, Sinn Fein

"He often joked that he had a day's work done before most men were out of their bed, and I can confirm that that is true. He never seemed to sleep."

Jim Wells, DUP

Belfast Telegraph


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