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Malachi O'Doherty

Ian Paisley was the Trump of his day, but at least he mellowed

Malachi O'Doherty


It's hard to see Donald and Joe as the new Chuckle Brothers

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The late Ian Paisley

The late Ian Paisley

The late Ian Paisley

Our specialism in Northern Ireland is managing a divided society. We also know about extreme egotism in politics. So, we might be well positioned to understand what is going on in the United States, though it would be presumptuous to advise.

The closest we have had to a Trump figure, I believe, was the Rev Ian Paisley. He was regarded widely as an extremist and an eccentric in his early political career and dangerous with it, but he went on to inspire and motivate a majority within the community he sought to represent.

Now, immediately I single him out as our prime narcissistic irritant others will assume that I am being sectarian, singling out a Protestant unionist leader as worse than any republican, nationalist, or Catholic leader. That's what happens in divided societies: people get dismissed as being on one side or the other and rational discussion becomes difficult. We know this.


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