When three score and ten just isn’t enough…

WHAT with all the attention having been on the blueprint for devolution and the Donaldson aftermath yesterday, it’s time to wish a belated happy birthday to Ian Paisley. As he hit a milestone 80 yesterday, I wonder how he looked back at his career and what he still hopes to achieve. As he will be the oldest member of the Assembly when it’s reconvened next month, Paisley – as Father of the House – will have an immediate role in getting things going – taking charge of the election for the vacant Speaker’s chair.

  • The Devil

    Hey Ian,

    How long do you plan to keep me waiting…….

  • M. Gibbs, Chicago

    “Paisley – as Father of the House – will have an immediate role in getting things going …”

    Belfast Gonzo, you’ll bring down a storm of fire and brimstone on yourself if you don’t watch it! Calling Paisley “Father” is walking on thin ice …

  • Hugh Dunphy

    I remember when the old bygger turned 60 and I was listening to an interactive programme on RTE. The anchor invited people to suggest a song to play for him on his birthday. The number suggested by most listeners was “Oh, Lord it’s so hard to be humble, when you’re perfect in every way.”

  • circles

    Well if the Good Dr; is involved in it it should be renamed the Screamer’s Chair.
    “So did you have a nice birthday then Reverend?”

    Commenter Nr. 1 – its true isn’t it? You really do look after your own.

  • HolyGhost

    The old saying “Only the good die young” never seemed more accurate.

  • missfitz

    I have to say one thing, that I know all who know the situation will agree with.
    If ever I have a situation that needs an MP to intervene, I always hope its in North Antrim.

    There’s no one like him for getting things done. I have dealt with his office staff, indeed met the man on a few occasions and he is uncompromising about his constituents no matter what their choice of church.

    I had a case once where certain services had been withdrawn in a certain town on the coast, but a client needed those services for rehabilitation. It really was Hey Presto and the service was restored.

    Obviously I would have fundamental issues with his perspective, but I think he’s one of the finest constituency representatives I have encountered.

    La feile breithe duit.

  • yerman

    This will be the 7th post on this thread and of the 6 previous, 2 of them make references, veiled or otherwise at ‘hoping’ for his death.

    How’s that for ball not man.

  • Rory

    Only 80 years.? God, but it seems so much longer

  • urquhart

    The slagging is funny, but is it ok to just want someone to go away and real people and real life get on with it? Just asking…

  • mark


    On a point of Order. (sad pun)

    Are you confusing the position in other institutions with that set down in law for the assembly?

    I read the below but saw no reference to anything other than electing the ‘speaker’ (presiding officer)

    Have you mixed up the old man of the house stuff from Westminster and the EP or have I missed something?



    Presiding Officer and Commission
    Presiding Officer. 39. – (1) Each Assembly shall as its first business elect from among its members a Presiding Officer and deputies.

    (2) A person elected Presiding Officer or deputy shall hold office until the conclusion of the next election for Presiding Officer under subsection (1) unless-

    (a) he previously resigns;
    (b) he ceases to be a member of the Assembly otherwise than by virtue of a dissolution; or
    (c) the Assembly elects from among its members a person to hold office as Presiding Officer or deputy in his place.
    (3) If the Presiding Officer or a deputy ceases to hold office (otherwise than under subsection (2)(c)) before the Assembly is dissolved, the Assembly shall elect another from among its members to fill his place.

    (4) The Presiding Officer’s functions may be exercised by a deputy if the office of Presiding Officer is vacant or the Presiding Officer is for any reason unable to act.

    (5) The Presiding Officer may (subject to standing orders) authorise a deputy to exercise functions on his behalf.

    (6) Standing orders may include provision as to the participation (including voting) of the Presiding Officer and deputies in the proceedings of the Assembly.

    (7) A person shall not be elected under subsections (1) to (3) without cross-community support.

  • WestChick

    One of my favourite memories of Sir Ian is his arguing during the BSE crisis that NI cows were Irish. At least he’s willing to accept an All Ireland status for some beasts, now what about the rest of the great unwashed??? And did they cows get a chance to have their views recognised a la the Good Friday Agreement?
    Seriously tho, la feile breithe mhaith duit, a chara.
    A true politican and a non stop entertainer!

  • DK


    That’s the thing about Paisley – he is very “local”. He takes his responsibilities seriously and somewhat fanatically. I have heard that the catholic population of Rathlin Island all vote DUP because he got them electricity (open for correction on this one).

    I also know someone personally, a catholic, who was visited by the big man personally about some problem raised.

    This may extend across all the DUP. I know of 2 catholics who wrote same questions to their local MPs – Gerry Adams and Nigel Dodds. Gerry Adams’s office sent a “it’s all the Brits fault” stock reply. Nigel Dodds sent a hand signed letter promising to investigate. A few weeks later a follow up letter from him (again signed) appeared with details.

    So, if you want a united Ireland, votail Sinn Fein. If you want something done, write to your DUP representative.

  • mark

    These stories of all the Catholics on Rathlin loving Paisley and Catholic friends of a friend loving him are very interesting but nothing more than anecdotal. Never seen a real live catholic stand up and say it (always words in the mouths of others).

    Allegations of his involvement in covering up paedophilia are current, ongoing, in the public domain and part of a court case against one of the clergymen he appointed.

    His schools also allow non-guardians to physically assault children albeit with the parents permission.

    Has Paisley been questioned?

  • smcgiff
  • Rory

    SMcGiff sends the mind a-reeling with his linkage to another controversial octogenarian. I can’t help speculating on who might take centrefold pride of place as Prodmate of the Month in “The Protestant Telegraph”. Any suggestions?

  • smcgiff