Firebrand who made peace with Sinn Fein

Dr Ian Paisley
Dr Ian Paisley
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HE was one of Northern Ireland’s best-known political figures, but it will be in the Bible-belt town of Ballymena, in Co Antrim, where Dr Ian Paisley’s death will be felt the most.

News of his death spread quickly throughout the close-knit mainly Protestant market town about 25 miles north of Belfast where the outspoken preacher was consistently returned as an MP for almost 40 years.

Ian Paisley was not born in Ballymena, but is widely regarded as one of its most famous sons. In 2004 Ballymena Borough Council conferred on him its highest honour, making him a freeman of the town.