The DUP Mayor of Coleraine, councillor George Duddy has opened a book of condolence for Dr Ian Paisley who was buried yesterday (Monday).
Speaking as he signed the book in Cloonavin yesterday Morning, Mayor Duddy said: “Ian was inspirational, charismatic and well respected within communities of Northern Ireland and Coleraine. He was a man who worked tirelessly for everyone, irrespective of background.
“By opening this Book of Condolence we are giving the people of Coleraine and beyond the opportunity to extend deepest sympathies to Ian’s family and show how much he was thought of by us all.
Two books of condolence have been opened at Cloonavin and at Coleraine Town Hall, they will remain open until next Friday, September 26.
Tributes have also been paid by MP for East Londonderry, Gregory Campbell. Mr Campbell said: “I count it one of the privileges of my life to have known Ian Paisley as well as I did over such a long period.
“His passing last week meant the end of an era. Already there have been numerous attempts to re write his life even in the short time that has elapsed since his death.
“His Protestant convictions never wavered. His preaching of Christ Crucified as the only way to Heaven was in keeping with many great gospel preachers down through the centuries. Doc. I salute you, you were indeed, the Big Man. In the words of the great hymn you loved to lead people in singing, it is a case of ‘Till we meet again, God be with you till we meet again’.”
MLA Adrian McQuillan said that Dr Paisley was one of the ‘biggest figures in politics’ and that we are ‘unlikey to see anyone like him again’.
Independent MLA Claire Sugden also paid tribute to the former First Minister saying: “He was a true stalwart of Northern Irish politics.
“I remember sitting in the public gallery a few years ago as he answered questions as First Minister.
“He captivated his audience and we paid attention whether we wanted or not! I didn’t always agree with his politics, but he was a great politician because he brought so many with him.”
DUP councillor Mark Fielding added: “Nearly two months ago Ian Paisley’s close friend James McClure and co-founder of the DUP passed away at the same age of 88, two months separated them in birthdays, and two months separated them in death, but today they are reunited with their Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.
“Dr Paisley was a larger than life character, bigger than any Party, and no person contributed more to public life in Northern Ireland than the ‘Big Man’ or the ‘Doc’ as he was affectionately called.
“Dr Paisley’s charismatic presence at election campaigns will never be equaled again.
Especially I will remember Dr Paisley as a faithful preacher of the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ. The countless gospel missions, preaching engagements and sermons will never be forgotten.”
To read tributes in full visit our website - colerainetimes.co.uk