Ian Richard Kyle Ian Paisley (April 6, 1926 – September 12, 2014), styled The Revd. and Rt. Hon. Ian Paisley and also known as Dr Ian Paisley, was the First Minister of Northern Ireland from May 8, 2007 until June 5, 2008. As the leader of the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP), the largest single grouping in the 2007 elections to the Northern Ireland Assembly, Paisley was elected First Minister with Sinn Féin's Martin McGuinness as deputy First Minister on May 8, 2007. In addition to his leadership of the DUP, he founded and was the Moderator of the Free Presbyterian Church of Ulster until 2008. Paisley was a Member of Parliament for the constituency of North Antrim from 1970 until 2010, and a member of the Northern Ireland Assembly for the same constituency. He was elected to the European Parliament in 1979, stepping down in 2004.
- 1 Personal life
- 2 Religious career
- 3 Political career
- 3.1 Early activism: Ulster Protestant Action
- 3.2 Beginning a career of "No"
- 3.3 Electoral success and the DUP foundation
- 3.4 The 1973 Sunningdale agreement: Opposed
- 3.5 The 1985 Anglo-Irish Agreement: 'Ulster says no'
- 3.6 1995: Drumcree Standoff
- 3.7 The 1998 Belfast Agreement: "No":
- 3.8 2000s: compromise and power
- 3.9 Winding down
- 4 Legacy
- 5 Writings
- 6 Notes
- 7 References
- 8 External links
- 9 Credits
In 2005, Paisley's political party became the largest Unionist party in Northern Ireland, displacing his long-term rivals, the Ulster Unionists (UUP), who had dominated Unionist politics in Northern Ireland since the Partition of Ireland. Paisley is also an author, lecturer and speaker. From the suspension of Northern Ireland's parliament in 1972, until the St Andrews' Talks of 2007, he was implacably opposed to every stage of the peace-process. Committed to Northern Ireland remaining within the United Kingdom, he rejected any concession to the Republicans, who, almost all Catholics, want reunification with the South. The Protestant majority had discriminated against the republican community since Northern Ireland's creation. Renowned for his sometimes crude language yet also for a certain geniality, Paisley's willingness in 2007 to embrace the peace process, and to head a power-sharing government, enabled the peace-process to succeed. As a result of Paisley joining the power-sharing executive, people who had previously denounced and demonized each other sat down at the same table, due to assurances and mechanisms written into the peace Agreement.
Ian Paisley was born in Armagh, County Armagh and brought up in the town of Ballymena, County Antrim, where his father James Kyle Paisley was an Independent Baptist pastor. The senior Paisley had served in the Ulster Volunteers under Edward Carson.
Paisley attended Ballymena Model School and Ballymena Technical High School followed by Barry School of Evangelism, Barry, Glamorgansahire (later the South Wales Bible College and since renamed the Evangelical Theological College of Wales) and the Reformed Presbyterian Theological College, Belfast.
Paisley completed correspondence courses from Pioneer Theological Seminary in Rockville, Ill. who awarded him a BA in Divinity in the B.A. in 1954. The same seminary awarded him an honorary doctorate a few months later. He later received a Masters Degree from Burton College and Seminary in Manitou Springs, Colorado also through correspondence. These colleges are non-accredited, which led to criticism of Paisley use of the title "Dr." The Bob Jones University, in South Carolina awarded him an honorary Doctor of Divinity in 1966. Then non-accredited, Bob Jones acquired accreditation in 2006.
He married Eileen Cassells on October 13, 1956. They had five children: three daughters Sharon, Rhonda Paisley, and Cherith; and twin sons, Kyle and Ian Paisley Jr. Three of their children followed their father into politics or religion: Kyle, into the church; Ian is a DUP assemblyman; and daughter Rhonda a retired DUP local councilor and artist. His brother, Harold, preaches the Gospel in the United States and Canada. In 2006, Eileen was created Baroness Paisley of St George.
Following rumors, it was confirmed in July 2004 that Paisley had been undergoing tests for an undisclosed illness and in 2005 Ian Paisley, Jr. confirmed that his father had been gravely ill. It was announced in 2006 that he had made a full recovery.
In February 2012, Paisley was admitted to hospital with heart problems. In late December 2013, Paisley was once again taken to hospital for "necessary tests." Ian Paisley, Jr. emphasized that they were routine.
Paisley died in Belfast on 12 September 2014. He was buried in Ballygowan, County Down on September 15 following a private funeral. A public memorial for 800 invited guests was held in the Ulster Hall on October 19.
After completing his secondary education, Paisley worked on a farm at Sixmilecross, County Tyrone. During his time on the farm, Paisley experienced a call to follow his father into the Christian ministry. After studying theology and Bible, he was ordained as a minister in 1946 at a ceremony in the independent Ravenhill Evangelical Mission Church on the Ravenhill Road, Belfast. Four ministers from different denominations performed various roles in the service. Some have questioned whether they had ecclesiastical authority from their churches to participate.
The Free Presbyterian Church
In the early 1950s the local Presbyterian presbytery in Crossgar, County Down revoked permission for Ian Paisley to use the local Lissara Presbyterian Church for a Gospel Mission. In conjunction with the Lissara Kirk session Ian Paisley helped to co-founded the Free Presbyterian Church of Ulster at Crossgar, County Down. Following a vote in his own church he joined the Free Presbyterian Church and was subsequently elected the second moderator of the new denomination. He held this post for several decades until he was succeeded in January 2008 by Rev. Ron Johnstone. His September 2007 announcement that he was standing down followed press reports of controversy in the Free Presbyterian Church over his political role as First Minister of Northern Ireland.
In 1969, Paisley founded the Martyrs Memorial Free Presbyterian Church, Belfast. Membership of the Free Presbyterian Church grew during the three next two decades, growing by about 25 per cent although only one per cent of the Northern Irish populations are members. The Free Presbyterian church describes itself as "gladly taking its stand alongside the great Christian leaders of the Protestant Reformation." It defines the "The twin pillars of Protestantism" as "a positive witness for Christ, and a protest against error." It believes in the "divine authority and verbal inspiration of the Bible, and the great fundamental doctrines of grace it contains" and "uses only the Authorized Version (KJV) of the Bible." The Church affirms the Westminster Confession of Faith, 1647. It regards the ecumenical movement as a "compromise," stating " Specifically, we are separated from the World Council of Churches, the National Council of Churches, and every other form of theological compromise that would undermine the truth of Scripture." It views the teachings of the Roman Catholic church as heretical. It runs the Whitefield College of the Bible in Banbridge, Northern Ireland, which has extensions in Greenville, South Carolina, USA, and in Toronto, Canada. His European Institute of Protestant Studies claims to "expound the Bible, expose the Papacy, and to promote, defend and maintain Bible Protestantism in Europe and further afield."
Campaign against homosexuality
Paisley preached against homosexuality and supported laws criminalizing its practice. Intertwining his religious and political views, "Save Ulster from Sodomy" was a campaign launched by Paisley in 1977, in opposition to the Campaign for Homosexual Law Reform (Northern Ireland), established in 1974. Paisley's campaign sought to prevent the extension to Northern Ireland of the Sexual Offences Act 1967 which had decriminalized homosexual acts between males over 21 years of age in England and Wales. The campaign failed when legislation was passed in 1982 as a result of the previous year's ruling by the European Court of Human Rights in the case of Dudgeon v. United Kingdom.
Paisley promoted a highly conservative form of Biblical literalism, which he described as "Bible Protestantism." Paisley's website describes a number of doctrinal areas in which he believes that the "Roman church" (which he termed Popery) has deviated from the Bible and thus from true Christianity. These include the doctrine of transubstantiation, which Paisley claimed has given rise to "revolting superstitions and idolatrous abuses," the veneration of saints and the Virgin Mary (excessive and not Biblically supported, in Paisley's view), and the institution of the Papacy, which Paisley believed has no biblical foundation. In 1988, when Pope John Paul II delivered a speech to the European Parliament, Paisley shouted "I Denounce you as the AntiChrist!" and held up a red poster reading "Pope John Paul II ANTICHRIST" in black letters. John Paul continued with his address after Paisley was ejected from the auditorium by fellow MEPs.
He claimed in an article that the seat no. 666 in the European Parliament is reserved for the Antichrist.
He and his organization have publicly spoken out against what he views to be blasphemy in popular culture, including criticism of the stage productions Jesus Christ Superstar and Jerry Springer: The Opera. On at least one issue, Paisley shared views with his Catholic counterparts: he opposed legal abortion.
Though often at political odds with the Republic of Ireland, Paisley had some religious followers in the Republic. It was specifically in his religious capacity that he first agreed to meet the Taoiseach, Bertie Ahern. Paisley revised this stance in September 2004, when he agreed to meet Ahern in his political capacity as leader of the Democratic Unionist Party. Known for a sense of humor, at an early meeting with Ahern at the Irish embassy in London, Paisley requested breakfast and asked for boiled eggs; when Ahern asked him why he had wanted boiled eggs, Paisley quipped "it would be hard for you to poison them," much to Ahern's amusement.
Paisley, an ardent teetotaller all his life, sometimes asked journalists and nationalist politicians "let me smell your breath" when they asked him tough questions, insinuating that they had taken on board some alcohol, or "devil's buttermilk" as he often put it.
Early activism: Ulster Protestant Action
From the majority unionist, or Loyalist community, Paisley was among those invited in 1956 to a special meeting at the Ulster Unionist Party's offices in Glengall Street, Belfast. Many Loyalists who were to become major figures in the 1960s and 1970 also attended, and the meeting's declared purpose was to organize the defense of Protestant areas against anticipated Irish Republican Army (IRA) activity, as the old Ulster Protestant Association had done after partition in 1920. The new body decided to call itself Ulster Protestant Action (UPA), and the first year of its existence was taken up with the discussion of vigilante patrols, street barricades, and drawing up lists of IRA suspects in both Belfast and in rural areas.
Even though no IRA threat materialized in Belfast, and despite it becoming clear that the IRA's activities during the Border Campaign were to be limited to the border areas, Ulster Protestant Action remained in being (the UPA was to later become the Protestant Unionist Party in 1966). Factory and workplace branches were formed under the UPA, including one by Paisley in Belfast's Ravenhill area under his direct control. The concern of the UPA increasingly came to focus on the defense of 'Bible Protestantism' and Protestant interests where jobs and housing were concerned. As Paisley came to dominate Ulster Protestant Action, he received his first convictions for public order offenses. In June 1959, a major riot occurred on the Shankill Road in Belfast following a rally at which he had spoken.
Beginning a career of "No"
The majority of Paisley's political career was characterized by vehement opposition to accommodation of the aspirations and policies of the minority nationalist community in Northern Ireland. This first came to general public attention in the 1960s when he campaigned against Prime Minister of Northern Ireland Terence O'Neill's rapprochement with the Republic of Ireland and his meetings with Taoiseach of the Republic, Seán Lemass, a veteran of Easter 1916 and the anti-Treaty IRA. He opposed efforts by O'Neill to deliver civil rights to the nationalists, which included the abolition of gerrymandering of local electoral areas for the election of urban and county councils. In 1964 his demand that the Royal Ulster Constabulary remove an Irish Tricolour from Sinn Féin's Belfast offices led to two days of rioting, after this was followed through; the public display of any symbol which could cause a breach of the peace was illegal until Westminster repealed the Flags Act in 1987). Paisley's approach led him in turn to oppose O'Neill's successors as Prime Minister, Major James Chichester-Clark (later called Lord Moyola) and Brian Faulkner.
In 1969, he was jailed along with Ronald Bunting for organizing an illegal counter-demonstration against a Northern Ireland Civil Rights Association march in Armagh. He was released during a general amnesty for people convicted of political offenses. 
Electoral success and the DUP foundation
In the 1970 UK general election Paisley was elected the member of Parliament (MP) for the [[North Antrim constituency which he has retained since then and is now the longest serving MP from Northern Ireland. The following year, 1971 Paisley and Desmond Boal established the most successful and longest lasting of his political movements, the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) which replaced his Protestant Unionist Party. It soon won seats at local council, provincial, national and European level; Paisley was elected one of Northern Ireland's three Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) at the first elections to the Brussels and Strasbourg-based European Parliament in 1979, holding a rare, triple mandate, as an MEP, an MP, and a Member of the Legislative Assembly (MLA). On his first day he attempted to interrupt the then President of the European Council Jack Lynch, Taoiseach of Republic of Ireland, but was shouted down by fellow MEPs.
Paisley easily retained his seat in every European election until he stood down in 2004, receiving the highest popular vote of any British MEP (although as Northern Ireland uses a different electoral system to Great Britain for European elections, the figures are not strictly comparable).
The DUP has been elected to each of the Northern Ireland conventions and assemblies set up since the party's creation. For a long time it was the principal challenger to the major Unionists party, the Ulster Unionist Party (known for a time in the 1970s and 1980s as the Official Unionist Party (OUP) to distinguish it from the then multitude of other unionist parties, some set up by deposed former leaders).
In the 2003 Northern Ireland Assembly elections, the DUP overtook the UUP to become the largest party in Northern Ireland, achieving thirty seats to the UUP's twenty-seven, and in the 2005 UK General Election, achieving almost twice their vote share and taking nine seats to the UUP's one (successfully unseating then UUP leader David Trimble) and becoming the fourth largest party in the British House of Commons.
The 1973 Sunningdale agreement: Opposed
Paisley opposed the 1972 suspension by the British government of Edward Heath of the Northern Ireland parliament and government (often referred to as "Stormont" due to the location of Parliament Buildings on the Stormont estate). He opposed the Sunningdale Agreement which sought to rework relationships between Northern Ireland, the Republic of Ireland and the United Kingdom, and which provided for a power-sharing executive (government) involving both communities in Northern Ireland, and a controversial all-island Council of Ireland linking Northern Ireland and the Republic on a legal but not constitutional level. Sunningdale collapsed following the Ulster Workers' Council Strike, which cut water and electricity supplies to many homes, and the failure of the British Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, Merlyn Rees and the British Prime Minister, Harold Wilson, to defend the power-sharing executive. Supporters of Paisley played an important role in orchestrating the strike. In January 1974, he (Paisley) was subdued and thrown out of the Stormont Assembly by members of the RUC.
In April 1977, Paisley famously declared he would retire from politics if a forthcoming United Unionist Action Council general strike was unsuccessful. The strike failed, but Paisley did not keep the promise.
In December 1981 the United States State Department revoked his visa, citing his "divisive rhetoric." The USS has subsequently renewed his visa. In December, 2007 he visited Washington, DC in his capacity as First Minister.
The 1985 Anglo-Irish Agreement: 'Ulster says no'
In the 1980s Paisley, like all the major Unionist leaders, opposed the Anglo-Irish Agreement (1985), signed by British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher and Irish Taoiseach (Prime Minister) Dr. Garret FitzGerald. The Agreement provided for an Irish input into the governing of Northern Ireland, through an Anglo-Irish Secretariat based at Maryfield, outside Belfast and meetings of the Anglo-Irish Conference, co-chaired by the Republic's Minister for Foreign Affairs and Britain's Secretary of State for Northern Ireland. The Unionists objected due to the fact that the Agreement was imposed on the people with no referendum, and to the notion of a foreign government "interfering" in the affairs of a part of the United Kingdom. Sinn Féin also objected.
A rally of protesters, numbering an estimated 200,000 people, met in front of Belfast City Hall after a campaign dubbed after its slogan "Ulster Says No." The rally, which was addressed by Paisley and then UUP leader James Molyneaux, passed off peacefully but was ignored by the government. On December 9, 1986, Paisley was once again ejected from the European Parliament for continually interrupting a speech by Mrs. Thatcher.
In 1985, he and the rest of the Unionist MPs (DUP and UUP) resigned from Parliament]] at Westminster in protest at the Anglo-Irish Agreement and were, all but one Jim Nicholson, who lost his seat to the Social Democratic and Labour Party's Seamus Mallon), returned in the resulting by-elections.
1995: Drumcree Standoff
Paisley was a former member of the Orange Institution. He addressed the annual gathering of the Independent Orange Order every Twelfth of July, commemorating the Battle of the Boyne
In 1995, he played a part in the first standoff over marching at Drumcree, County Armagh between the Orange Order and local residents of the Garvaghy Road. The march passed off after the decision was made by the Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC) to allow it and Paisley ended the march hand in hand with David Trimbl] who appeared to perform a "Victory Jig." This "Victory Jig" was seen by some as an act of triumphalism. The "Victory Jig" appears to have discredited Trimble to the benefit of Dr. Paisley.
The 1998 Belfast Agreement: "No":
Paisley's DUP was initially involved in the negotiations under former United States Senator George J. Mitchell that led to the Belfast Agreement of 1998. However the party withdrew in protest when Sinn Féin, a|republican party with links to the Provisional Irish Republican Army, was allowed to participate after its ceasefire. Paisley and his party opposed the Agreement in the referendum that followed its signing, and which saw it approved by over 70 percent of the voters in Northern Ireland and by over 90 percent of voters in the Republic of Ireland.
Although Paisley often stressed his loyalty to the Crown, he accused Queen Elizabeth of being Tony Blair's "parrot" when she voiced approval of the Agreement. The claim is reflective of the current custom in the United Kingdom of the Monarch reflecting the position of the government, never publicly contradicting official government policy.
As part of the deal, the Republic altered the controversial Articles 2 and 3 of the Constitution of Ireland, which had originally claimed its government's de jure right to govern the whole island of Ireland, including Northern Ireland.
The DUP fought the resulting election to the Northern Ireland Assembly, to which Paisley was elected, while keeping his seats in the Westminster and European parliaments. The DUP took two seats in the multi-party power-sharing executive (Paisley, like the leaders of the Social Democratic and Labour Party and Sinn Féin chose not to become a minister) but those DUP members serving as ministers (Peter Robinson and Nigel Dodds) refused to attend meetings of the Executive Committee (cabinet) in protest at Sinn Féin's participation.
Having spent most of his career, as he himself jokingly admitted once, saying 'No', Paisley assumed the chairmanship of the Agriculture committee of the Northern Ireland Assembly created by the Belfast Agreement, where he was praised (even by Sinn Féin members with whom he worked) as an effective, coordinating chairman.
2000s: compromise and power
After a number of stop/starts the Executive and Assembly created by the 1998 Belfast Agreement were ultimately suspended in October 2002 amid Unionist unhappiness on the nature of Provisional IRA disarmament and the alleged discovery of a Republican spy network operating in Stormont.
During fresh elections in 2003 Paisley and the DUP campaigned on the need for re-negotiation of the Belfast Agreement and emerged from the elections as the leading party entitled to the position of First Minister with Sinn Féin entitled to the Deputy First minister position. Progress could now only be achieved with Paisleys agreement. He refused to accept Sinn Féin in Government without further progress, and the British Government maintained the suspensions of the institutions.
Paisley and the DUP entered negotiations with the Governments and the other parties on the steps required and the changes needed to the Belfast Agreement. The December 2004 Comprehensive Agreement upheld the principles of the Belfast Agreement but foundered on the DUP demand for photographic evidence of IRA decommissioning. Following IRA disarmament in September 2005, the Governments set deadlines for the DUP and Sinn Féin to agree on a new Executive, with the alternative being direct rule from London.
In the October 2006 St Andrews Agreement, agreed on his fiftieth wedding anniversary, Paisley and the DUP agreed to new elections, and support for a new executive including Sinn Féin subject to Sinn Féin acceptance of the Police Service of Northern Ireland (which, replacing the old RUC, discontinued the old practice of discriminating against Catholics when recruiting officers.) This reversed decades of Paisley opposition to Sinn Féin such as his comments on 12 July 2006 in Portrush, following Orange Order parades when he said, Sinn Fein are not fit to be in partnership with decent people. They are not fit to be in the government of Northern Ireland and it will be over our dead bodies if they ever get there."
Sinn Féin did endorse the PSNI, and in the subsequent election Paisley and the DUP received an increased share of the vote and increased their assembly seats from 30 to 36. On Monday 26 March 2007, the date of the British Government deadline for devolution or dissolution, Paisley led a DUP delegation to a meeting with a Sinn Féin delegation led by Gerry Adams which agreed on a DUP proposal that the executive would be established on May 8. Later in April, Paisley met in Dublin with Taoiseach Bertie Ahern and publicly shook his hand, something Paisley had refused to do until there was peace in Northern Ireland.
On May 8 power was devolved, the Assembly met, and Paisley was elected as First Minister of Northern Ireland with Sinn Féin's Martin McGuinness as the deputy First Minister. Speaking at Stormont to an invited international audience he said, "Today at long last we are starting upon the road—I emphasize starting—which I believe will take us to lasting peace in our province." Paisley and McGuinness subsequently established a good working relationship and were dubbed by the Northern Irish media as the "Chuckle Brothers." McGuiness commented that before they started working together, he had "never had a conversation" with Paisley "about anything - not even about the weather" but that they had since "worked very closely together" without any "no angry words between" them.
At the age of 78 Paisely retired his European Parliament seat at the 2004 elections and was succeeded by Jim Allister.
However, he again retained his North Antrim seat in the 2005 UK general election. In 2005, Paisley was made a Privy Councillor, an appointment traditionally bestowed upon the leader of the fourth largest political party in the British Parliament. In October 2006 he took part in the St Andrews talks, which aimed to remove obstacles to the power-sharing arrangement endorsed by the Belfast Agreement. Following the Talks, when Sinn Féin agreed to accept the new Police Service, Paisley let it be known that he would accept nomination as First Minister. Purdy surmised that Paisley wanted to be 'first minister before he retires, even if the price of that is Martin McGuinness as partner." In 2007, aged 81, he became First Minister of Northern Ireland. Upon the death of Piara Khabra in June 2007, Paisley became the oldest sitting British MP. In September 2007, he confirmed that he would contest North Antrim at the next General Election as well as serving the full four years as first minister stating "I might as well make hay while the sun shines."
Following his January 2008 retirement as a religious leader and pressure from party insiders, however, Paisley stood down as First Minister on June 5, 2008 after just over a year in office.
Relationship with the nationalist SDLP
From the 1960s, one of his main rivals was civil rights leader and co-founder of the nationalist SDLP, John Hume.
British Government papers released in 2002, show that in 1971 Paisley attempted to reach a compromise with the nationalist Social Democratic and Labour Party (SDLP). The attempt was made via then British Cabinet Secretary, Sir Burke Trend. The papers show that Paisley had indicated he could "reach an accommodation with leaders of the Catholic minority, which would provide the basis of a new government in Stormont." It appears that the move was rejected once it became clear to the SDLP that the deal would favor the unionist majority. Speaking about the deal in 2002 Paisley said:
The SDLP did not want to go along the road that we would have wanted them to go. I wouldn't say there were talks, there was an exchange of views between us, but it never got anywhere. We were prepared to try and seek a way whereby we could govern Northern Ireland and that people of both faiths could be happy with the way it was being governed, but it all rested on the key point — the person with power would be the person that the people gave the power.
Though their parties are often at loggerheads, Hume and Paisley worked jointly on behalf of Northern Ireland in the European Parliament and on occasion worked jointly in the House of Commons. Indeed the complexity of their relationship was demonstrated when it was discovered that Hume had visited Paisley's home to dine with Ian and his wife, Eileen, on Boxing Day (December 26) one year in the 1990s.
John Hume tells the story of the occasion when he said to Ian Paisley, "Ian, if the word 'no' were to be removed from the English language, you'd be speechless, wouldn't you!" Paisley replied, "No, I wouldn't!"
Defender or demagogue?
His critics see his work in the European Parliament and in Stormont of late and argue that he could have been, had he so wished, one of the greatest builders of a new inclusive Northern Ireland. To his supporters, Ian Paisley is seen as a passionate defender of the union between Northern Ireland and Great Britain. They argue that he stood up for unionists who were under attack from nationalists from the Republic of Ireland and from British governments willing to give away "unionist rights" and ignore unionist fears to placate nationalists and the Provisional Irish Republican Army. To some, he is seen as the wrecker whose extremism almost destroyed Northern Ireland. To others, Ian Paisley is the great defender, the protector who saved Northern Ireland from "Rome Rule" and "Dublin rule."
To his opponents however, including some unionists, Paisley is seen as a demagogue, a crude rabble-rouser who spent his political career saying 'no' and being passed by; "no" to O'Neill's reform, "no" to contacts with the Republic, "no" to Sunningdale, "no" to the convention, "no" to James Prior's rolling devolution, "no" to the Anglo-Irish Agreement, "no" to the Belfast Agreement. By them he is seen as a uniquely destructive influence whose extremism lost potential friends and helped alienate people outside Northern Ireland sympathetic to unionism. Paisley has never accepted any culpability for any violence, despite his many fiery speeches, which often presented the political conflict in stark Biblical terms as a millenarian battle between good and evil.
In September 2005, he was criticized for stoking unionist violence in Belfast over the 75-meterdiversion of a provocative Orange Order march along a thoroughfare serving as a boundary between nationalist and unionist communities. Quoted by The Guardian newspaper, he called the diversion "the spark which kindles a fire there could be no putting out". Widespread loyalist riots followed, producing, among other results, what Northern Ireland secretary Peter Hain called "serious attempts to kill police in some instances".
Criticized as a bigot and demagogue on the one hand, on the other hand Paisley had enough support to consistently win his Parliamentary seat, while his party won the largest number of members in the Northern Irish Assembly. His opposition to every stage of the Northern Irish peace process up until the St Andrews talks of October 2006 delayed progress, although as long as significant opposition existed to existing proposals, no plan was likely to be all that successful. Indeed, support for Paisley's party seemed to increase as his resistance to any deal with the republican community became more and more entrenched. Yet in the end he accepted power-sharing, and even developed a cordial relationship with his Catholic Deputy Minister and with the Irish Taoiseach, Bertie Ahern. Was it purely ambition to wend his career as First minister that propelled his change of attitude, or did he mellow with age? Connolly, describing as "not the politician we thought," point out that he was always a "sophisticated operator at Westminster," that he was "always been capable of surprising geniality" and that he "talks of his profound faith with humility and simplicity for example". Kane describes him as a later convert to political realism.
Throughout his career, despite accusations of associating with "shadowy groups," Paisley "condemned violence, both loyalist and republican." Perhaps, once convinced that his Republican opponents had genuinely repudiated violence, he was willing to compromise and chose to endorse the power-sharing. The Irish government has relinquished its claim to sovereignty over the North, while the British government has committed itself to allowing a majority of the Northern Irish population to determine NI's political future. This may not represent an absolute guarantee that Northern Irish Protestants will forever remain in union with the United Kingdom but it does postpone any constitutional change for the foreseeable future. Ultimately, without Paisley's willingness to compromise, the peace-process would have failed; had the party with the single largest number of seats in the Assembly remained opposed to the power-sharing arrangement, it could not have succeeded. Paisley's active participation in the power-sharing executive resulted in former enemies cooperating and working together. Even people who had previously denounced and demonized each other started to sit down at the same table, due to assurances and mechanisms written into the peace Agreement.
Paisley set up his own newspaper in February 1966, the Protestant Telegraph, a strongly anti-Roman Catholic paper, as a mechanism for further spreading his message. Paisley authored over 50 publications ranging from sermons, biographies of Protestant leaders, bible studies and anti-Catholic polemic. Among these are:
- Paisley, Ian R. K. 1968. An exposition of the Epistle to the Romans, prepared in the prison cell. London: Marshall, Morgan & Scott. ISBN 9780551053854
- Paisley, Ian R. K. 1996. Expository sermons. Ian R.K. Paisley library. Greenville, SC: Ambassador. 9781898787747
- Paisley, Ian R. K. 1996. The garments of Christ. Greenville, SC: Ambassador. ISBN 9781898787723
- Paisley, Ian R. K. 1996. Sermons on special occasions. Ian R.K. Paisley library. Greenville, SC: Ambassador Productions. ISBN 9781898787730
- Paisley, Ian R. K. 1997. My plea for the old sword: the unsurpassable pre-eminency of the English Authorized Version (KJV) of the Holy Bible. Ian R.K. Paisley library. Greenville, SC: Ambassador. ISBN 9781840300154
- Paisley, Ian R. K. 1997. The rent veils at Calvary. Ian R.K. Paisley library. Greenville, SC: Ambassador. ISBN 9781898787341.
- Paisley, Ian R. K. 1998. Into the millennium: 20th century messages for 21st century living. The Ian R.K. Paisley library. Belfast: Ambassador. ISBN 9781840300253
- Paisley, Ian R. K. 1999. Grow old along with me. Ian R.K. Paisley library. Belfast, Northern Ireland: Ambassador. ISBN 9781840300703
- Paisley, Ian R. K. 1999. Sermons with startling titles. Ian R.K. Paisley library. Belfast, Northern Ireland: Ambassador. ISBN 9781840300482
- Paisley, Ian R. K. 1999. The preaching of Ian R.K. Paisley the Protestant reformation. Belfast, Northern Ireland: Ambassador-Emerald, Intl. ISBN 9781889893358
- Paisley, Ian R. K. 1999. For such a time as this: recollections, reflections, recognitions. Ian R.K. Paisley library. Belfast, Northern Ireland: Ambassador. ISBN 9781840300734.
- Paisley, Ian R. K. 1999. Classic sermons: the preaching of Ian R. K. Paisley [sound recording]. Belfast: Ambassador-Emerald. ISBN 9781889893341
- Paisley, Ian R. K. 1996. Christian foundations. Belfast: Ambassador. ISBN 9781898787709
- Paisley, Ian R. K. 2002. Divine intervention in days of declension: an exposition of the Book of Judges. Belfast, Northern Ireland: Ambassador Publications. ISBN 9781840301205
- World Congress of Fundamentalists, and Ian R. K. Paisley. 1976. Word of their testimony: sermons delivered at the World Congress of Fundamentalists, Edinburgh, Scotland, June 15-22, 1976. Greenville, SC: Bob Jones University Press. ISBN 9780890840573
- Taylor Downing, The Troubles: The Background to the Question of Northern Ireland. (London, UK: Thames/MacDonald Futura, 1981, ISBN 9780708819661), 132.
- Emile Laurac, Paisley was near death's door. Independent.ie, August 23, 2005. Retrieved October 24, 2008.
- Ian Paisley able to communicate 'to some degree' BBC News, February 7, 2012. Retrieved March 17, 2015.
- Ian Paisley in hospital for tests BBC News, December 29, 2013. Retrieved March 17, 2015.
- T. Rees Shapiro, Ian Paisley dies; Northern Ireland leader known for anti-Catholic rhetoric The Washington Post, September 12, 2014. Retrieved March 17, 2015.
- Ian Paisley: Former NI leader 'cast influential shadow' BBC News, October 19, 2014. Retrieved March 17, 2015.
- Who We Are. Free Presbyterian Church. Retrieved October 24, 2008.
- Welcome. European Institute of Protestant Studies. Retrieved October 24, 2008.
- Angelique Chrisafis, September 16, 2004. The Return of Dr. No. The Guardian (UK). Retrieved October 24, 2008.
- Ian K.R. Paisley, 1999. EIPS—The Vacant Seat Number 666 in the European Parliament. European Institute for Protestant Studies. Retrieved October 24, 2008.
- Andrew Lloyd Webber, Tim Rice, Murray Head, Ian Gillan, Yvonne Elliman, and Andrew Lloyd Webber. 1993. Jesus Christ superstar. (Universal City, CA: MCA.)
- Richard Thomas, Stewart Lee, Jon Thoday, Peter Orton, David Soul, David Bedella, Leon Craig, and Carrie Ellis. 2005. Jerry Springer the opera. (Avalon Television).
- Church Finder. Free Presbyterian Church. Retrieved October 24, 2008.
- Ian K.R. Paisley, 2004 EIPS—Dr Paisley Given The Freedom Of Ballymena. European Institute of Protestant Studies. Retrieved October 24, 2008.
- Unionists/Loyalists want to maintain Northern Ireland's status as part of the United Kingdom and oppose union with the Republic of Ireland, or Irish re-unification.
- This move followed the election win by Sinn Féin of over 150,000 votes in the 1955 elections- the strongest expression of anti-partitionist feeling in some years. The fears were well founded as the IRA was preparing for a new campaign starting in December 1956, which would have included attacks on Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC) stations in Belfast were it not for that section of the plan being discovered.
- Charles Edward Bainbridge Brett. 1978. Long shadows cast before: nine lives in Ulster, 1625-1977. (Edinburgh, UK: J. Bartholomew. ISBN 9780702810589), 130-131.
- Statutory Instrument 1987 No. 463 (N.I. 7). Her Majesty's Stationary Office. Retrieved October 24, 2008.
- A Chronology of the Conflict - 1969 CAIN Web Service. Retrieved March 18, 2015.
- Your Vote: How it Works. BBC News. Retrieved October 24, 2008.
- Barbara Salavin and Milt Freudenheim, Dec 27, 1981. Week in Review,The World in Summary: US Pulls the Rug on Paisley. The New York Times. Retrieved October 24, 2008.
- Margaret Thatcher, Dec. 9, 1986. Speech to European Parliament. Margaret Thatcher Foundation. Retrieved October 24, 2008.
- "Belfast march passes peacefully." BBC News, July 12, 2006. Retrieved October 24, 2008.
- Ian Paisley's speech in full. BBC News. Retrieved October 24, 2008.
- "'Chuckle brothers' enjoy 100 days." BBC News. Retrieved October 24, 2008. The "Chuckle Brothers" is a TV comedy for children.
- Martina Purdy, 2007. 'Charming ministers' woo President. BBC News. Retrieved October 24, 2008.
- October 21, 2005, "DUP leader to join privy council." BBC News. Retrieved October 24, 2008.
- Martina Purdy, Feb. 1, 2007. Profile: Ian Paisley. BBC News. Retrieved October 24, 2008.
- Ian Paisley: In quotes BBC News, September 12, 2014. Retrieved March 18, 2015.
- Chris West, Jan. 1, 2002, "Ian Paisley sought 'deal' with SDLP.", BBC News. Retrieved October 24, 2008.
- Kevin Cullen, Jan. 22, 2006. N. Ireland laureate seeks to raise moderates' profile. The Boston Globe. Retrieved October 24, 2008.
- Angelique Chrisafis, September 12, 2005. "Return of the gun and the bomb." The Guardian (UK). Retrieved October 24, 2008.
- 50 Police Officers Injured in Belfast Riots. Guardian (UK) Sept. 12, 2005. Retrieved October 24, 2008.
- Kevin Connolly, March 27, 2007. Paisley 'not the politician we thought.' BBC News. Retrieved October 24, 2008.
- Brett, Charles Edward Bainbridge. Long Shadows Cast Before: Nine Lives in Ulster, 1625-1977. Edinburgh, UK: J. Bartholomew, 1978. ISBN 9780702810589.
- Bruce, Steve. God save Ulster: The Religion and Politics of Paisleyism. Oxford, UK: Clarendon Press, 1986. ISBN 9780198274872.
- Bruce, Steve. Paisley: Religion and Politics in Northern Ireland. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press, 2007. ISBN 9780199281022.
- Cooke, Dennis. Persecuting Zeal: A Portrait of Ian Paisley. Kerry, IE: Brandon, 1996. ISBN 9780863222221.
- Dillon, Martin. God and the Gun: The Church and Irish Terrorism. New York, NY: Routledge, 1998. ISBN 9780415920605.
- Downing, Taylor. The Troubles: The Background to the Question of Northern Ireland. London, UK: Thames/MacDonald Futura, 1981. ISBN 9780708819661.
- Moloney, Ed. Paisley: From Demagogue to Democrat? Dublin, IE: Poolbeg Press, 2008. ISBN 9781842233245.
- Paisley, Rhonda. Ian Paisley, My Father. Basingstoke, Hants, UK: Marshall Pickering, 1988. ISBN 9780551017221.
- Smyth, Clifford. Ian Paisley: Voice of Protestant Ulster. Edinburgh, UK: Scottish Academic, 1987. ISBN 9780707304991.
- Wallis, Roy, Steve Bruce, and David Taylor. "No Surrender!": Paisleyism and the Politics of Ethnic Identity in Northern Ireland. Belfast, IE: Dept. of Social Studies, Queen's University of Belfast, 1986. ISBN 9780853892731.
All links retrieved January 24, 2018.
- Ian Paisley's European Institute of Protestant Studies.
- Paisley's audio sermons.
- Biography of Ian Paisley.
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