Ian Paisley was a pastor and politician who was a native of Northern Ireland. He was renowned for his strong Protestant and Unionist views. For most of his political career he espoused hard-line unionism. He opposed all attempts to resolve the conflict in Northern Ireland through power-sharing between Unionists and Irish Nationalists. However he eventually became First Minister of Northern Ireland when he agreed to a power sharing government with Nationalists.
Ian Richard Kyle Paisley was born in Armagh on April 6th 1926. He was ordained a minister by his father in 1946. Paisley founded the Free Presbyterian Church of Ulster in 1951 and served as its leader until 2008. The Free Presbyterian Church is a fundamentalist, evangelical church which has its headquarters, and most of its members, in Northern Ireland.
On June 18th 1970 Paisley was elected by the people of North Antrim to serve as a member of the UK Parliament. He retained his seat until 2010. Following his election to Parliament he founded the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP). Paisley was also a member of the European Parliament from 1979 to 2004.
Ian Paisley was opposed to the Northern Ireland peace process and Good Friday Agreement. However when the DUP became the largest unionist party in Northern Ireland he agreed to a power sharing government with Nationalists. He was elected first minister of Northern Ireland in 2007.
Ian Paisley, pastor and politician who was a native of Northern Ireland, died at the age of 88 in the year 2014 On This Day.