DUP councillor Mark Fielding has been paying tribute to Dr Ian Paisley who passed away on Friday.
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.
“James McClure often referred to Ian Paisley as Ulster’s greatest leader and in my opinion his elections over the years proved this, in particular topping the poll in the province wide European elections on five successive occasions from 1979 to 1999.
“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.
“From 2007 when he became First Minister, Northern Ireland has enjoyed its most stable period of peace for a very long time, without Ian Paisley this would not have been possible. From Preacher to First Minister of Northern Ireland, Ian Paisley’s departure marks the end of an exceptional era; he will be sorely missed, but missed most by those closest to him, his family.
“My thoughts, prayers and sympathy are extended to his wife Baroness Paisley, sons,daughters and the entire family circle at this sad time.”