Skip to comments.(Ian) Paisley to quit as first minister (and as DUP leader)
Posted on 03/04/2008 12:41:41 PM PST by FewsOrange
Northern Ireland First Minister Ian Paisley is to stand down from the post in May, he has announced. He also said he would be resigning as leader of the DUP, a party he has led for almost 40 years. He will continue as MP and MLA for North Antrim.
Mr Paisley became first minister in May 2007 following the suspension of direct rule after a period of five years. "Unionists are no longer protesting against a London/Dublin deal with which we have no truck," he said. "We are inside the building administering British rule over Northern Ireland."
Mr Paisley, who is due to turn 82 in April, stood down as moderator of the Free Presbyterian Church in January amid concerns about his duel role as the church's leader and first minister. "I came to this decision a few weeks ago when I was thinking very much about the forthcoming investment conference and what was going to come after the conference," he said. "I thought that it is a marker, a very big marker and it would be a very appropriate time for me to bow out."
While it is expected that his current deputy Peter Robinson will succeed him as party leader, Mr Paisley said it was up to the DUP to make the decision. "This is not Apostolic succession and I have no right to say who will succeed me," he said. "The person will succeed me when the mark is on the paper and the ballot is cast." Mr Paisley's announcement followed speculation that senior party members were unhappy about the appointment of his son, Ian Paisley Jnr, to the Policing Board. Last month, Mr Paisley Jnr resigned as a junior minister in the Northern Ireland Executive. His resignation followed criticism over his links to developer Seymour Sweeney and controversy over lobbying activity. However, Mr Paisley said the recent controversy had nothing to do with his decision to step aside.
"I never even considered it. I felt that my son was very badly treated," he added. "I am not a fool, people who thought that they could get at me, got at him. "They thought they could damage me by the damage they sought to take out on him, but that did not move me." 'Not unexpected'
Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness said his ministerial colleague's move was not unexpected. "The historic decision he took to go into government with Sinn Fein has changed the face of Irish politics forever," he said. Prime Minister Gordon Brown said Mr Paisley had made a huge contribution to political life in Northern Ireland and the United Kingdom.
"The whole country values and admires the manner in which he has led as first minister," he said. Irish Prime Minister Bertie Ahern said he did not believe Mr Paisley's decision would affect the future of the power-sharing government. "I honestly believe that (devolution) will last because I believe there are very pragmatic people in all of the parties," he said.
“...about his duel role as....” He’s old enough to have been Aaron Burr’s second.
When the UK and Ireland finally succumb to their new Islamonazi masters, the “troubles” of the Catholic/Protestant variety that once consumed Northern Ireland will seem like a walk in the park. Residents of Belfast, Derry, etc. will fondly remember those days when they’re forced to convert, live in dhimmitude, or be beheaded.
And there goes the last of the true Protestants. A firebrand if ever there was one!
Hardly anybody nowadays cares about the tremendous battle fought for the Bible in Papist Europe. It was long before their time.
It is to men like Paisley that we owe our system of freedom. Our freedom is primarily based on religious freedom. The battle for it was won in Europe long before the American revolution.
He’s still alive?
Let's hope his successor learned well from him.
Oh, there are still a few around. And by God's grace, more every day.
Should have pinged you, too.
Catholics have been embracing Muslims for a long time. I’m sure Church leadership will lead the Catholic masses quietly into Assimilation.
Lots of priorities today. Rushing off to carpentry and pottery as soon as I can pry myself away from here . . . after some cereal . . . late getting around . . . maybe some turkey booby.
My perspective on Ian Paisley comes from hearing him speak years ago at Tennessee Temple University in Chattanooga. That perspective is he was more interested in defeating and even killing Catholics that he was in preaching the gospel. He was an rabid political, not a religious, Protestant.