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McGuinness 'rising above old enmities' with tribute to Ian Paisley

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Ian Paisley relaxes with his wife Eileen at their home in Belfast in 2012. Photo: PA

Ian Paisley relaxes with his wife Eileen at their home in Belfast in 2012. Photo: PA

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Ian Paisley in his younger years.

Ian Paisley in his younger years.

Ian Paisley with his son Ian Paisley junior as he speaks to the media after visiting the Bloody Sunday Inquiry at the Guildhall Square in Derry, Northern Ireland. Photo: Reuters

Ian Paisley with his son Ian Paisley junior as he speaks to the media after visiting the Bloody Sunday Inquiry at the Guildhall Square in Derry, Northern Ireland. Photo: Reuters

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Ian Paisley at a rally in Newtownards in 1981. Photo: Pacemaker Press.

Ian Paisley at a rally in Newtownards in 1981. Photo: Pacemaker Press.

Ian Paisley in 2004.

Ian Paisley in 2004.

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Ian Paisley holding up a sign as he denounces the Pope's speech to the European Parliament in Strasbourg in 1988. Photo: Reuters

Ian Paisley holding up a sign as he denounces the Pope's speech to the European Parliament in Strasbourg in 1988. Photo: Reuters

Ian Paisley singing during a demonstration outside Canterbury Cathedral against the first Roman Catholic Mass to be held there for 400 years. Photo: Getty

Ian Paisley singing during a demonstration outside Canterbury Cathedral against the first Roman Catholic Mass to be held there for 400 years. Photo: Getty

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Ian Paisley relaxes with his wife Eileen at their home in Belfast in 2012. Photo: PA

Northern Ireland Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness is among those who have signed the book of condolences for the late Ian Paisley.

The Sinn Fein politician wrote that he 'lost a friend' and was 'rising above old enmities' when he paid the tribute in Derry.

The book of condolence was opened today to allow people to pay tribute to Ian Paisley who passed away yesterday

A similar tribute will be held at Belfast City Hall  on Monday for the man who was loved and loathed in equal measure across the North and beyond.

The 88 year-old former First Minister of Northern Ireland will be buried this week at what his family have insisted will be a “private funeral”.   The decision by his widow Baroness Bannside and his family circle is interpreted as an indication of the bitterness and division between the Paisley family and the Democratic Unionist Party and the Free Presbyterian Church both of which he founded.

One of the first to sign the book of condolences in Derry was the city’s Mayor Brenda Stevenson who said that while she did not share Dr. Paisley’s political views she nevertheless admired his “tireless commitment and energy to working for the best for the people of Northern Ireland”.

Another who was expected to sign the tribute was Martin McGuinness who shared the office of First and Deputy First Minister with Ian Paisley at Stormont before he stood down from the role and the leadership of the DUP.  Their display of good humour when they appeared in public together saw them dubbed “the chuckle brothers” because of their frequent outbursts of laughter.

The former IRA commander in Derry who said “I have lost a friend” is understood to have visited the Paisley family home recently to view the former DUP leader’s new library.

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Ian Paisley kissing his wife Eileen. Photo credit: Julien Behal/PA Wire

Ian Paisley kissing his wife Eileen. Photo credit: Julien Behal/PA Wire

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The DUP’s Ian Paisley and Peter Robinson during an election campaign in the 1970s.

The DUP’s Ian Paisley and Peter Robinson during an election campaign in the 1970s.

Democratic Unionist Party leader Dr Ian Paisley, who has died, his wife Eileen said today. Photo credit: Cathal McNaughton/PA Wire

Democratic Unionist Party leader Dr Ian Paisley, who has died, his wife Eileen said today. Photo credit: Cathal McNaughton/PA Wire

PA

Ian Paisley, Mr Lawrence Orr, and William Craig, as former Democratic Unionist Party leader Dr Ian Paisley has died, his wife Eileen said today: PA Wire

Ian Paisley, Mr Lawrence Orr, and William Craig, as former Democratic Unionist Party leader Dr Ian Paisley has died, his wife Eileen said today: PA Wire

PA

Former Democratic Unionist Party leader Dr Ian Paisley.

Former Democratic Unionist Party leader Dr Ian Paisley.

PA

Journalist Eamonn Mallie with Ian and Eileen Paisley during filming of the documentary.

Journalist Eamonn Mallie with Ian and Eileen Paisley during filming of the documentary.

Hitting back: Ian Paisley and his wife Eileen during their BBC television interview this week, in which the former DUP leader attacked First Minister Peter Robinson.

Hitting back: Ian Paisley and his wife Eileen during their BBC television interview this week, in which the former DUP leader attacked First Minister Peter Robinson.

Former foes Ian Paisley and Martin McGuinness were dubbed ‘the Chuckle Brothers’ in the press.

Former foes Ian Paisley and Martin McGuinness were dubbed ‘the Chuckle Brothers’ in the press.

PA

Ian Paisley

Ian Paisley

Ian Paisley pictured at a protest in Edinburgh against the visit of Pope Benedict XVI in September 2010

Ian Paisley pictured at a protest in Edinburgh against the visit of Pope Benedict XVI in September 2010

Ian Paisley with his son Ian Paisley Jnr after the former Northern Ireland First Minister took his seat in the House of Lords as Lord Bannside in May 2010

Ian Paisley with his son Ian Paisley Jnr after the former Northern Ireland First Minister took his seat in the House of Lords as Lord Bannside in May 2010

Ian Paisley and Martin McGuinness pictured shortly after being sworn in as First and Deputy First Ministers of the Northern Ireland Assembley in May 2007. The once bitter enemies were dubbed 'The Chuckle Brothers' for the jovial public image the pair often presented in their new roles

Ian Paisley and Martin McGuinness pictured shortly after being sworn in as First and Deputy First Ministers of the Northern Ireland Assembley in May 2007. The once bitter enemies were dubbed 'The Chuckle Brothers' for the jovial public image the pair often presented in their new roles

Ian Paisley at an Apprentice Boys March at the Diamond Square in Derry in August 1980

Ian Paisley at an Apprentice Boys March at the Diamond Square in Derry in August 1980

Ian Paisley poses with his wife Baroness Paisley and their children and grandchildren at a function in his honour at the Martyrs Memorial Church in Belfast  in January 2012

Ian Paisley poses with his wife Baroness Paisley and their children and grandchildren at a function in his honour at the Martyrs Memorial Church in Belfast in January 2012

Ian Paisley relaxes with his wife Eileen at their home in Belfast (Harrison Photography)

Ian Paisley relaxes with his wife Eileen at their home in Belfast (Harrison Photography)

Ian Paisley has said he recovered quickly from pneumonia once he was released from hospital

Ian Paisley has said he recovered quickly from pneumonia once he was released from hospital

President Michael D Higgins (left) shares a joke with Ian Paisley, former First Minister of Northern Ireland, during a reception at Belfast City Hall to mark St Columbanus Day. Paul Faith/PA Wire

President Michael D Higgins (left) shares a joke with Ian Paisley, former First Minister of Northern Ireland, during a reception at Belfast City Hall to mark St Columbanus Day. Paul Faith/PA Wire

PA

Ian Paisley was a divisive figure but a powerful speaker during his heyday in the North

Ian Paisley was a divisive figure but a powerful speaker during his heyday in the North

Ian Paisley interviewed by Eamonn Mallie.

Ian Paisley interviewed by Eamonn Mallie.

Ian Paisley as he appears on the BBC’s ‘Paisley: Genesis To Revelation, Face To Face With Eamonn Mallie’.

Ian Paisley as he appears on the BBC’s ‘Paisley: Genesis To Revelation, Face To Face With Eamonn Mallie’.

All smiles: clockwise from left: Martin McGuinness, Bertie Ahern, Tony Blair, Peter Hain and Ian Paisley

All smiles: clockwise from left: Martin McGuinness, Bertie Ahern, Tony Blair, Peter Hain and Ian Paisley

AFP/Getty Images

Paisley and Sinn Fein deputy leader Martin McGuinness became know as the ‘Chuckle Brothers’ while in office.

Paisley and Sinn Fein deputy leader Martin McGuinness became know as the ‘Chuckle Brothers’ while in office.

Ian Paisley

Ian Paisley

First Minister Ian Paisley, Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness, pictured in 2008.

First Minister Ian Paisley, Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness, pictured in 2008.

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Ian Paisley kissing his wife Eileen. Photo credit: Julien Behal/PA Wire

Despite being united in expressing tributes to the firebrand preacher and renown public orator in the wake of his death opinion is divided within and without the DUP over his political achievements, the pinnacle of which is viewed internationally as his creation of a government at Stormont between his party and Sinn Fein.

His family’s insistence that the funeral of the North’s former First Minister will be private is interpreted in some quarters as a deliberate snub to those in the party and in the Free Presbyterian Church who ousted him from the leadership positions in both.

The absence from the funeral of his long time lieutenant Peter Robinson who as much as Paisley transformed  the DUP from a bible bashing fringe Unionist party to a party of government  would be interpreted as a major snub although final funeral details have not been divulged.

Online Editors


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