The Rev Ian Paisley told MPs “a star of hope” was guiding Northern Ireland towards a better future, as the Commons passed emergency legislation yesterday confirming the May 8th commencement date for Stormont devolution.
The First Minister-designate said it was “only a star of hope” at this stage, adding: “We are not nearly across the river and we have some very hard things to do, and some great sacrifices to be made, in order that this star will not be like many other stars.”
Warning of previous false dawns, when there had been “singing and dancing”, Dr Paisley said the DUP/Sinn Féin agreement was “a work-in” rather than “a love-in”.
And this bit is priceless considering how dangerous Dr Paisley has been to those leaders of the Unionist past: O’Neill, Chichester Clarke, Faulkner and latterly David Trimble:
He laughed off some complaints that Monday’s historic scenes had not been sealed with a handshake with Sinn Feein president Gerry Adams, joking: “Why should I? All the people that shook hands with him are all gone. Do you want me to go too?”
All changed. But utterly?
Mick is founding editor of Slugger. He has written papers on the impacts of the Internet on politics and the wider media and is a regular guest and speaking events across Ireland, the UK and Europe. Twitter: @MickFealty