Ian Paisley out of intensive care

Thu, Feb 16, 2012, 00:00

Former DUP leader and Northern Ireland first minister, the Rev Ian Paisley, has been released from intensive care at the Ulster Hospital in east Belfast.

Dr Paisley (85) was admitted to the hospital on February 5th suffering from what is understood to be a serious heart condition.

He remains in hospital, a DUP source said, without giving further details.

Dr Paisley, now Lord Bannside, had a pacemaker fitted last February after being taken ill in the House of Lords.

In his lengthy church and political career Dr Paisley was founder and moderator of the Free Presbyterian Church, which he founded in 1951, was MP for North Antrim for 40 years, and was founder and leader of the DUP for 37 years.

In 2007 he agreed an historic powersharing deal with the Sinn Féin president Gerry Adams. With Sinn Féin’s Martin McGuinness as deputy first minister, he was appointed first minister in May 2007, standing down a year later when his longtime deputy Peter Robinson succeeded him.