“He then lapsed into petulant silence, refusing to speak during the rest of the plane journey”

Great piece from the Irish Times archives today on Ian Paisley circa 1980…

Secretary of State, Humphrey Atkins, found a most reasonable politician in the DUP leader during the recent constitutional talks. This helped arguments in London that Paisley should be thought of seriously as a future prime minister at Stormont. Then the DUP leader had himself arrested outside Armagh Cathedral on the visit of Mr Haughey . The “street demagogue” reappeared.

A day or two later, the Official Unionist leader, Jim Molyneaux, met Atkins in the lobby of the House of Commons. “What do you think of Ian Paisley today? asked Molyneaux. “That bloody man, that bloody man!” Atkins cried, raising his hands in despair.

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