Wednesday 11 December 2019

'Shocked and saddened' - the reaction to Ian Paisley's death

Liam Neeson with Ian Paisley last year
Liam Neeson with Ian Paisley last year
President Higgins

The reaction to the news of Ian Paisley's death.

"We were enemies who came together in the peace process. He took part in it wholeheartedly and did it with incredible grace. I have lost a very good friend. There are days I am sorry Ian was not 30 years younger."

- Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness

"He had a tremendous presence. You could see when he entered a room the whole focus of the room changed. He was a fantastic character, a real personality."

- First Minister Peter Robinson

"In time, history will come to a fuller judgement of his long career. And, while he was of course a divisive figure, his greatest legacy will be one of peace."

- Taoiseach Enda Kenny

"His early career was characterised by an uncompromising position of a constitutional kind. However, his embracing of the change necessary to achieve a discourse that might lead to peace was of immense significance, as was his commitment to building relationships in support of that peace."

- President Michael D Higgins

"I am shocked and saddened to learn of the death of Dr Ian Paisley. There will be plenty of time for political analysis, but at this point I wish to extend my deepest sympathies to Ian's wife Eileen and to the Paisley family at this very sad time."

- Sinn Fein leader Gerry Adams

"I managed to hear the Reverend Ian two or three times. I snuck into the back of the gospel hall and heard him doing his thing. Very, very powerful orator."

- Actor Liam Neeson

"In more recent years when he felt the time was right he became an influential man of peace. His support for peace, reconciliation and power sharing offered with characteristic commitment and conviction forms an important part of his considerable legacy."

- Former President Mary McAleese

Irish Independent

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