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DUP founder Ian Paisley ‘in intensive care’ in hospital

The 85-year-old former First Minister of Northern Ireland was rushed to the Ulster Hospital yesterday afternoon.

Ian Paisley, pictured voting in the UK's general election in May 2010.
Ian Paisley, pictured voting in the UK's general election in May 2010.
Image: Paul Faith/PA Archive

NORTHERN IRELAND’S former First Minister, Ian Paisley, has been rushed to hospital.

Paisley, 85, was admitted to the Ulster Hospital yesterday afternoon are falling unwell. He remains in the hospital for treatment this afternoon.

Details of his condition are not known at present, though the Press Association cited unconfirmed reports that he had suffered a heart attack.

UTV News said it understood that Paisley was being treated in the hospital’s intensive care unit.

Paisley had a pacemaker fitted a year ago after falling ill while on parliamentary business in London.

Paisley, who served as First Minister in the Stormont executive from 2005 to 2008, founded the Democratic Unionist Party in 1971 and held that role until stepping down from the party leadership in 2008.

He was created a life peer in 2010, after ending his 40-year tenure as an MP for North Antrim, and sits in the House of Lords as Baron Bannside of North Antrim.

He has also served as an MEP from 1979 to 2004 – during which time he famously denounced Pope John Paul II during a visit to the parliament in Strasbourg – and as an MLA from the creation of the NI Assembly in 1998 until its most recent elections last year.

Paisley formally retired as a minister from the Free Presbyterian Church just nine days ago, after more than 60 years’ service. He was the moderator of that church from 1951 to 2008.

More details as we get them.

Read: Paisley has pacemaker fitted after brief illness >

Gallery: Hard man: Ian Paisley’s career in pictures >

About the author:

Gavan Reilly

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