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A crowd of students pictured at a meeting with Ian Paisley (centre) near Belfast City Hall.  9/10/1968.

A crowd of students pictured at a meeting with Ian Paisley (centre) near Belfast City Hall. 9/10/1968.

Belfast Telegraph

Former DUP leader the Rev Ian Paisley has made his farewell speech in the Commons

Former DUP leader the Rev Ian Paisley has made his farewell speech in the Commons

The Rev Ian Paisley plays the flute at the independents Orange parade in Portglenone.2008

The Rev Ian Paisley plays the flute at the independents Orange parade in Portglenone.2008

Charles McQuillan

Ian Paisley pictured on his weding day to wife Eileen

Ian Paisley pictured on his weding day to wife Eileen

Ian Paisley aged 12

Ian Paisley aged 12

Ian Paisley, Peter Robinson and Nigel Dodds with DUP Candidates for Belfast Council Elections. 24/4/89

Ian Paisley, Peter Robinson and Nigel Dodds with DUP Candidates for Belfast Council Elections. 24/4/89

Ian Paisley DUP electioneering for Europe in Portadown. 11/6/84

Ian Paisley DUP electioneering for Europe in Portadown. 11/6/84

November 1985 - Ian Paisley and Jim Molyneaux address the 250,000 crowd at the Anti Anglo Irish rally in Belfast

November 1985 - Ian Paisley and Jim Molyneaux address the 250,000 crowd at the Anti Anglo Irish rally in Belfast

Ian Paisley and Peter Robinson being arrested in Armagh.1980

Ian Paisley and Peter Robinson being arrested in Armagh.1980

BELFAST TELEGRAPH

Ian Paisley addresses a 12,000 strong crowd at the 40th anniversary of the Free Presbyterian church in the Kings Hall. 1999

Ian Paisley addresses a 12,000 strong crowd at the 40th anniversary of the Free Presbyterian church in the Kings Hall. 1999

Test Pix

The Reverend Ian Paisley speaking at a ceremony held at Stormont to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the death of Edward Carson. October 1985

The Reverend Ian Paisley speaking at a ceremony held at Stormont to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the death of Edward Carson. October 1985

Belfast Telegraph

15/08/1971 of The Reverend Ian Paisley during a press conference in Stormont, Northern Ireland.

15/08/1971 of The Reverend Ian Paisley during a press conference in Stormont, Northern Ireland.

PA

Ian Paisley at a protest rally at Carrickfergus Castle in 1971

Ian Paisley at a protest rally at Carrickfergus Castle in 1971

Former Northern Ireland First Minister Ian Paisley holding his first great grandchild Caleb Cassells

Former Northern Ireland First Minister Ian Paisley holding his first great grandchild Caleb Cassells

Ian Paisley and Martin McGuinness after being sworn in as ministers of the Northern Ireland Assembley, Stormont.

Ian Paisley and Martin McGuinness after being sworn in as ministers of the Northern Ireland Assembley, Stormont.

Paul Faith

Ian Paisley confronts an RUC officer when refused access to Duke Street where the Civil Rights parade went on. 10/10/1988

Ian Paisley confronts an RUC officer when refused access to Duke Street where the Civil Rights parade went on. 10/10/1988

Ian Paisley at the scene of the IRA motar attack on Newry Police Station.  which killed 9 officers.  28/2/1985.

Ian Paisley at the scene of the IRA motar attack on Newry Police Station. which killed 9 officers. 28/2/1985.

Ian Paisley

Ian Paisley

Former DUP leader Ian Paisley wearing the traditional red beret of paramilitary group the Ulster Resistance in Ulster Hall

Former DUP leader Ian Paisley wearing the traditional red beret of paramilitary group the Ulster Resistance in Ulster Hall

Ian Paisley leaves Crumlin Road jail in the 60s

Ian Paisley leaves Crumlin Road jail in the 60s

Unionist protests at visit to Belfast of Charles Haughey, former Taoiseach. Pictured Rev Ian Paisley. 11/4/1990.

Unionist protests at visit to Belfast of Charles Haughey, former Taoiseach. Pictured Rev Ian Paisley. 11/4/1990.

The Queen greeted by First Minister Ian Paisley in east Belfast

The Queen greeted by First Minister Ian Paisley in east Belfast

Former Northern Ireland First Minister Ian Paisley will not seek re-election

Former Northern Ireland First Minister Ian Paisley will not seek re-election

Hundreds of thousands of Unionists crowded Belfast City Centre in a huge "Ulster Says No" rally against power sharing after a call by the Rev Ian Paisley and other Unionist leaders of the time. Picture by Photopress

Hundreds of thousands of Unionists crowded Belfast City Centre in a huge "Ulster Says No" rally against power sharing after a call by the Rev Ian Paisley and other Unionist leaders of the time. Picture by Photopress

Ian Paisley demonstrates at Stormont in 1981

Ian Paisley demonstrates at Stormont in 1981

Ian Paisley at DUP HQ in 1985. The party leader held a sledge hammer to depict his 'smash Sinn Fein' message

Ian Paisley at DUP HQ in 1985. The party leader held a sledge hammer to depict his 'smash Sinn Fein' message

Ian Paisley and Martin McGuiness, right chat as they leave after a meeting at City Hall in New York, Monday Dec. 3, 2007

Ian Paisley and Martin McGuiness, right chat as they leave after a meeting at City Hall in New York, Monday Dec. 3, 2007

Bebeto Matthews

Ian Paisley and Peter Robinson are taken away by police in Armagh after protesting a vist by Charles Haughey in 1980

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

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 after meeting with the General John De Chastelain in 2004

Ian Paisley after meeting with the General John De Chastelain in 2004

Martin McGuiness, left, Northern Ireland's Deputy First Minister, Ian Paisley, Northern Ireland's First Minister, center, and Mayor Michael Bloomberg, right, react as they listen during a meeting at City Hall in New York, Monday, Dec. 3, 2007. Paisley and McGuinness are on their first US trip together to drum up business for Northern Ireland's economy.

Martin McGuiness, left, Northern Ireland's Deputy First Minister, Ian Paisley, Northern Ireland's First Minister, center, and Mayor Michael Bloomberg, right, react as they listen during a meeting at City Hall in New York, Monday, Dec. 3, 2007. Paisley and McGuinness are on their first US trip together to drum up business for Northern Ireland's economy.

Bebeto Matthews

Duncan L. Niederauer, center, CEO of the New York Stock Exchange, presents a gift to the two leaders of Northern Ireland's newly devolved government, First Minister Dr. Ian Paisley, right, and Deputy First Minister Martin McGuiness, left, at a breakfast held by the American Ireland Fund, at the New York Stock Exchange, Monday, Dec., 3, 2007. The two leaders made a joint presentation to a business audience of the case for United States investment in Northern Ireland.

Duncan L. Niederauer, center, CEO of the New York Stock Exchange, presents a gift to the two leaders of Northern Ireland's newly devolved government, First Minister Dr. Ian Paisley, right, and Deputy First Minister Martin McGuiness, left, at a breakfast held by the American Ireland Fund, at the New York Stock Exchange, Monday, Dec., 3, 2007. The two leaders made a joint presentation to a business audience of the case for United States investment in Northern Ireland.

Stuart Ramson

Confrontation at Lisburn market: UKUP leader Bob McCartney making a point and alongside DUP leader Ian Paisley and councillor Paul Given

Confrontation at Lisburn market: UKUP leader Bob McCartney making a point and alongside DUP leader Ian Paisley and councillor Paul Given

Ian Paisley and Martin McGuinness were branded the 'chuckle brothers'

Ian Paisley and Martin McGuinness were branded the 'chuckle brothers'

Northern Ireland First Minister Ian Paisley, right, and Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness in New York after they rang the opening bell, Wednesday Dec. 5, 2007

Northern Ireland First Minister Ian Paisley, right, and Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness in New York after they rang the opening bell, Wednesday Dec. 5, 2007

A crowd of students pictured at a meeting with Ian Paisley (centre) near Belfast City Hall. 9/10/1968.

It was a low-key end to one of the most tumultuous careers in UK political history.

The Rev Ian Paisley, the scourge of so many prime ministers over the decades, ended his Westminster journey with warm words of tribute from Gordon Brown yesterday.

The Prime Minister hailed Mr Paisley's “long and distinguished career” and said his role in bringing peace to Northern Ireland would “adorn the history books in many decades and centuries to come”.

It came after Mr Paisley asked the Prime Minister to give himself “to the task of deliverance and victory and peace”.

Mr Paisley (83), delivered an 11-minute valedictory speech on Monday, but used Prime Minister's Questions to speak again before he calls time on a parliamentary career dating back to 1970.

And he built on the messages of condolence delivered by party leaders on recent deaths in Afghanistan.

Mr Paisley said: “I would like to say that this is the last time I will bother this House with a question and bother the Prime Minister with a question — and I am sure he is greatly relieved by that.

“I would like to associate myself and my colleagues with the words of condolence spoken in this House today.

“This is a sad and tragic hour in our nation and rumours of war and wars are common, and there is sorrow in hearts.

“Of course they bury their dead, they put up their monuments, but their heart is torn. And I have been in too many houses like that in Northern Ireland not to know how deeply the cuts are.

“I would like to ask the Prime Minister, that in view of this situation that we have here and its sadness and its sorrow, and the dark shadow that lies upon the whole of our world today, would you continue to give yourself as always to the task of deliverance and victory and peace, and may it come speedily.”

Mr Brown replied: “I think the whole House will want to pay tribute to you for a long and distinguished career — not just in this House but in representation in a number of forums, including holding the position of First Minister of Northern Ireland.

“And I believe the part you played in bringing the unionist community together — indeed bringing the whole community together in Northern Ireland — to ensure that we have devolution of power, and to ensure now that we have completed the process of devolution of power, is one that will adorn the history books in many decades and centuries to come.

“So on this day and on this occasion I want the whole House to thank you for your service to this House and to the whole community.”

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* Ian Paisley quits after 40 years as MP

Belfast Telegraph