Ian Paisley

The Reverend and Right Honourable
The Lord Bannside
PC
DrIanPaisley.jpg
Revd Dr Ian Paisley MP MLA (2008)
First Minister of Northern Ireland
In office
8 May 2007 – 5 June 2008
Serving with Martin McGuinness
Preceded byDavid Trimble
Succeeded byPeter Robinson
Leader of the Democratic Unionist Party
In office
30 September 1971 – 31 May 2008
Preceded byOffice created
Succeeded byPeter Robinson
Member of the Legislative Assembly
for North Antrim
In office
25 June 1998 – 25 March 2011
Preceded byOffice created
Succeeded byDavid McIlveen
Member of Parliament
for North Antrim
In office
18 June 1970 – 6 May 2010
Preceded byHenry Clark
Succeeded byIan Paisley Jr.
Member of the House of Lords
Lord Temporal
In office
5 July 2010 – 12 September 2014
Life Peerage
Member of the European Parliament
for Northern Ireland
In office
7 June 1979 – 10 June 2004
Preceded byOffice created
Succeeded byJim Allister
Leader of the Protestant Unionist Party
In office
1966 – 30 September 1971
Preceded byOffice created
Succeeded byOffice abolished
Personal details
BornIan Richard Kyle Paisley
6 April 1926
Armagh, Northern Ireland
Died12 September 2014(2014-09-12) (aged 88)
Belfast, Northern Ireland
Resting placeBallygowan, County Down
NationalityBritish
Political partyDemocratic Unionist Party
Spouse(s)Eileen Cassells (m. 1956)
Children5, including Rhonda and Ian
Alma materBarry School of Evangelism
OccupationEvangelist
Politician
Political activist
ProfessionMinister
WebsiteOfficial website

Ian Richard Kyle Paisley, Baron Bannside PC (6 April 1926 – 12 September 2014), was a loyalist politician and Protestant religious leader from Northern Ireland.

He became a Protestant evangelical minister in 1946 and remained one for the rest of his life. In 1951 he co-founded the fundamentalist Free Presbyterian Church of Ulster and was its leader until 2008. Paisley became known for his fiery sermons and regularly preached and protested against Roman Catholicism, ecumenism and homosexuality. He gained a large group of followers who were referred to as Paisleyites.

Paisley became involved in Ulster unionist/loyalist politics in the late 1950s. In the mid-late 1960s, he led and instigated loyalist opposition to the Catholic civil rights movement in Northern Ireland. This contributed to the outbreak of the Troubles in the late 1960s, a conflict that would engulf Northern Ireland for the next thirty years. In 1970 he became Member of Parliament for North Antrim and the following year he founded the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP), which he would lead for almost forty years. In 1979 he became a Member of the European Parliament.

Throughout the Troubles, Paisley was seen as a firebrand and the face of hardline unionism. He opposed all attempts to resolve the conflict through power-sharing between unionists and Irish nationalists/republicans, and all attempts to involve the Republic of Ireland in Northern affairs. His efforts helped bring down the Sunningdale Agreement of 1974. He also opposed the Anglo-Irish Agreement of 1985, with less success. His attempts to create a paramilitary movement culminated in Ulster Resistance. Paisley and his party also opposed the Northern Ireland peace process and Good Friday Agreement of 1998.

In 2005, Paisley's DUP became the largest unionist party in Northern Ireland, displacing the Ulster Unionist Party (UUP), which had dominated unionist politics since 1905. In 2007, following the St Andrews Agreement, the DUP finally agreed to share power with republican party Sinn Féin and consent to all-Ireland governance in certain matters. Paisley and Sinn Féin's Martin McGuinness became First Minister and deputy First Minister respectively in May 2007. He stepped down as First Minister and DUP leader in mid-2008,[1][2] and left politics in 2011. Paisley was made a life peer in 2010 as Baron Bannside.[3]

Personal life

Ian Richard Kyle Paisley was born in Armagh, County Armagh,[4] and brought up in the town of Ballymena, County Antrim, where his father James Kyle Paisley was an Independent Baptist pastor who had previously served in the Ulster Volunteers under Edward Carson.[5] His mother was Scottish.[6]

Paisley married Eileen Cassells on 13 October 1956.[7] They had five children, daughters Sharon, Rhonda and Cherith and twin sons, Kyle and Ian. Three of their children followed their father into politics or religion: Kyle is a Free Presbyterian minister; Ian is a DUP MP; and Rhonda, a retired DUP councillor.[8] He had a brother, Harold, who is also an evangelical fundamentalist.[9]

Paisley saw himself primarily as an Ulsterman.[10] However, despite his hostility towards Irish nationalism and the Republic of Ireland, he also saw himself as an Irishman and said that "you cannot be an Ulsterman without being an Irishman".[11]

Other Languages
Afrikaans: Ian Paisley
català: Ian Paisley
čeština: Ian Paisley
Cymraeg: Ian Paisley
Deutsch: Ian Paisley
Ελληνικά: Ίαν Πέισλι
español: Ian Paisley
Esperanto: Ian Paisley
euskara: Ian Paisley
français: Ian Paisley
Gaeilge: Ian Paisley
galego: Ian Paisley
hrvatski: Ian Paisley
Interlingue: Ian Paisley
italiano: Ian Paisley
magyar: Ian Paisley
Nederlands: Ian Paisley
polski: Ian Paisley
português: Ian Paisley
română: Ian Paisley
русский: Пейсли, Иан
Simple English: Ian Paisley
српски / srpski: Ијан Пејсли
srpskohrvatski / српскохрватски: Ian Paisley
svenska: Ian Paisley
українська: Іан Пейслі