Published Tuesday, 28 February 2012
Dr Paisley was treated at the Ulster Hospital. (© Getty)
Dr Paisley was admitted to the Ulster Hospital in Dundonald earlier this month after suffering from heart problems.
The 85-year-old was treated in the intensive care unit for two weeks before being moved to the coronary care unit, which signified a downgrade in the severity of his illness.
His wife, Baroness Paisley, said Lord Bannside returned home on Monday.
"My family and I are delighted that my husband has been able to return home," a statement said on Tuesday.
"It is not possible to put into words the depth of our gratitude to those responsible who cared for him these past three weeks, nor can we express sufficiently our thanks to all those who have sent their good wishes and prayers."
The First Minister and leader of the DUP, Peter Robinson, said everyone in the party was delighted to hear of the former leader's progress.
The news that he has left hospital and is to continue his recovery at home is an answer to many prayers right across the Province and indeed beyond Ulster's shores.
He said: "We are all very happy at this news and we wish Ian and his entire family circle God's blessing for the days that lie ahead."
UTV's Political Editor Ken Reid said the Paisleys have passed on their gratitude for the support received from around the world and all communities in Northern Ireland.
"As we know he was very seriously ill some weeks back and was in intensive care for about ten or eleven days," he said.
"The family did say it was a very difficult time after he was admitted and I think that was very revealing - last week up in Bushmills I was talking to Ian Paisley Jnr for the first time about his father and he said he had been very ill but I think the thing that furnished the family was the number of goodwill messages from around the world."
Dr Paisley became NI's First Minister when he was elected into power alongside Sinn Féin's Martin McGuinness in 2007.
He stepped down from political life in 2010. Last December, he preached his final sermon after standing down as moderator of the Free Presbyterian Church.
After retiring from both church and political life, he said he planned to write his autobiography.