It’s not the first time Ian Paisley has surprised pundits, but apparently for the next two Mondays Ian Paisley Senior makes his last public television appearance in a long interview with Eamonn Mallie, formerly of this parish. Some fragmentary detail is already emerging from those who’ve seen it.
Dan Keenan notes:
Dr Paisley said: “It wasn’t fair. A fair government is that every man has the same power to vote for what he wants. No, it wasn’t justice at all.”
But he qualified his support and criticised the movement and its leaders, denouncing it as a front for those pushing for a united Ireland.
“Those that put their hands to that have to carry some of the blame for what happened in our country.
“The civil rights movement was tied up with threats and was tied up in other things. It was part of the overall cauldron that was burning and was being heated in various sorts of sections of the community to get their own way,” he said.
Malachi O’Doherty made this observation on Facebook [link here] this morning:
Mallie’s interview with Paisley is fascinating. He doesn’t say au contraire even once. Paisley, is maybe a bit too old and tired for concerted examination of conscience, or maybe he just never had the capacity for it.
Or was the suppressed rage of it all just too immense/incriminating for any significant actor in the troubles to be entirely honest about their own culpabilities?
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