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Rev Paisley made sure his insults were heard

Amid the numerous tributes to Ian Paisley on the announcement of his stepping down from his North Antrim seat after 40 years, I would like to recall a number of his memorable words and phrases.

He always claimed that the preaching of the gospel was first and foremost his calling and he only entered politics to "save Ulster from her enemies".

His son, Ian Junior, was reported in the Belfast Telegraph dated (March 3 ) saying: " I believe the people want and deserve better than the mud-slinging [Jim] Allister offers."

This is ridiculous as his father could certainly hold his own with insulting comments.

Mr Paisley spent most of his life excoriating all liberalism in the Protestant faith and apostasy - especially within the Presbyterian Church.

Paisley's prose over the years included telling the then Ulster Unionist leader Jim Molyneaux, "You are a Judas Iscariot" and saying of his successor David - now Lord - Trimble, "He is a hypocrite, a knave . . . a loathsome reptile which needs to be scotched."

I cannot help but wonder that a man who claims to be a Christian minister of the gospel could utter such false words with the intent to wound and insult another human being so cruelly.

Mr Paisley proclaimed in 1977: "I am only remaining in public life to see the thing through and, if it fails, then my voice will no longer be heard." This was ahead of a loyalist strike that proved unsuccessful! Sadly, Mr Paisley used his tongue to proclaim the gospel, but he could also use it to lacerate his opponents.


Ballyclare, Co Antrim


From Belfast Telegraph