Memorial service held for Paisley

24 October 2014

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Mixed reception: Lord Bannside 

Mixed reception: Lord Bannside 

A MEMORIAL service for the late Lord Bannside (the Revd Dr Ian Paisley) was held at the Ulster Hall, Belfast, on Sunday. It was attended by more than 1000 invited guests, including politicians, Free Presbyterian clergy, and members of the denomination he founded.

Not present, however, were some former allies. The Deputy First Minister, Martin McGuinness, was there, along with the former Taoiseach, Bertie Ahern, and the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, Theresa Villiers; but the DUP MPs Nigel Dodds, Sammy Wilson, and Jeffrey Donaldson were missing.

The service was Evangelical in tone, emphasising Lord Bannside's qualities as family man and devoted husband. Baroness Paisley told the congregation that her husband had died in the presence of his family. "He slipped . . . into the presence of the Good Shepherd in whom he had put his trust as a little boy, and who had accompanied him through life and eventually through the valley of the shadow into his own dear presence," she said.

Lord Bannside was buried at Ballygowan, Co. Down, after a private funeral service last month.

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