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10 Things to Know about Ian Paisley

Former NI first minister Ian Paisley died today, aged 88. We look at ten of the key points in his public life.

1. Ian Richard Kyle Paisley was born on the 6th of April 1926 in Armagh and was brought up in Ballymena, County Antrim.

2. Mr Paisley established the DUP in 1971 after leaving the Protestant Unionist Party. The DUP would go on to become the largest party in the Northern Ireland Assembly and Mr Paisley would become Northern Ireland's First Minister.

3. Mr Paisley went from being strongly against the Belfast Agreement in 1998, largely due to Sinn Fein's inclusion in negotiations, to supporting the 2006 St Andrews Agreement which led to the DUP entering government with Sinn Fein in May 2007.

4. Ian Paisley founded the Free Presbyterian Church of Ulster on St. Patrick's Day, 1951 following a dispute with the Presbyterian Church in Ireland.

5. In 1988, when Pope John Paul II was speaking to the European Parliament, Mr Paisley shouted "I denounce you, Antichrist!" This resulted in a negative reaction from fellow MEPs, who reportedly went as far as throwing objects at Paisley, leading to his hospitalisation. This was one of the many occasions that Mr Paisley spoke out against the Roman Catholic Church and the Pope in particular.

6. Mr Paisley was renowned for having a good sense of humour. When asked why he had chosen boiled eggs at a meeting in the Irish Embassy in London, he responded "Because it would be hard for you to poison them."

7. Mr Paisley will be well remembered as a skilled and passionate orator with a memorable turn of phrase, such as "I say to the Dublin government, Mr Faulkner says it's "hands across the border to Dublin". I say, if they don't behave themselves in the South, it will be shots across the border!"

8. Ian Paisley was a former member of the Orange Institution and addressed the Independent Orange Order ever 12th July. This association led Mr. Paisley to play a rule in the 1995 Drumcree conflict over Orange Order marches in Portadown.

9. In 1977, Mr Paisley launched the 'Save Ulster from Sodomy' campaign in opposition of the decriminalisation of homosexuality in Northern Ireland.

10. Despite being political opponents for many years, Sinn Fein's Gerry Adams and Martin McGuinness have today paid tribute to Mr. Paisley. Mr.McGuinness earlier tweeted: "Very sad to learn that Ian Paisley has died. My deepest sympathy to his wife Eileen & family. Once political opponents - I have lost a friend."

Online Editors