Paisley claims 'harm his legacy' - DUP

Published Monday, 20 January 2014
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The DUP has strongly rejected claims made by its former leader, Ian Paisley, that the party plotted his downfall.

Paisley claims 'harm his legacy' - DUP
Ian Paisley has claimed members of the DUP plotted his downfall. (© Getty)

It comes after Former First Minister Dr Paisley told a BBC documentary that he was confronted with a series of ultimatums by his successor Peter Robinson and the DUP deputy leader Nigel Dodds in the lead up to his departure in 2008.

The 87-year-old, who previously said he wasn't pressurised into leaving, has now revealed that he was told to step down during a terse meeting at Stormont Castle.

He said: "Nigel Dodds said to me: 'We want you to be gone by Friday'. I just more or less smirked, and Peter said: 'Oh no, no he needs to stay in for another couple of months."

The former MP for North Antrim goes on to add: "One wanted two months to prepare the way for himself and the other one... I don't know what he wanted."

I felt that was private business of the people who were members of the party.

Dr Ian Paisley

Dr Paisley's wife Eileen also delivered a damning assessment of the actions of Mr Robinson, Mr Dodds and other senior figures in the DUP. She says: "I think they assassinated him by their words and by their deeds and by the way they treated him.

"I think they treated him shamefully."

The DUP has responded in a strongly-worded statement which refutes Dr Paisley's comments and claims he has only harmed his legacy.

A spokesperson for the party said: "We are saddened to see Lord Bannside harm his own legacy. In his later years as party leader, many colleagues shielded his frailty from public view, to avoid embarrassment and protect his legacy. Those people are hurt by untrue and bitter comments contained in the documentary."

Mr Robinson said: "As someone who faithfully served Dr Paisley for many decades I will make one final sacrifice by not responding and causing any further damage to his legacy beyond that which he has done himself. Rather than return insult for insult, let me bless him with the mercy of my silence and wish him well."

Mr Dodds said: "Clearly the passage of time has diminished accurate recall of events. What is being said now by Lord Bannside about meetings is inaccurate and stands in stark contrast to everything that he said and did at the time and, indeed, during the years since."

The documentary will be broadcast on BBC NI on Monday evening.

© UTV News
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29 Comments
john in crumlin wrote (185 days ago):
we all know he was a was bigot. his legacy won't be as peace builder but a out and out bigot who would stop at nothin to start wars and stand aback while innocent men went to jail
Ryan in An Dun wrote (187 days ago):
After watching the programs it it quite clear his thoughts of Catholics. This was a man that inspired many from the PUL community. It wasn't just smash Sinn Fein but when asked if one of his children had brought home a catholic he said he would have to ask god what he thought? I would have loved Eamonn Malie to asked more on this. Ian Paisley's view on Catholics is still in his followers today. His hatred for the catholic faith really came through and he has passed this on. Calling the Pope the anti Christ? And after all his preaching about terrorist in government, what about the deaths that he had an influence on e.g. The Dublin and Monaghan bombings and bringing Paisley's army out with their gun licences. These are all acts that he should have asked himself "What would God think of this". Can anyone from Paisley's corner tell me what god would have thought of this?
Dee in Co,Tyrone wrote (187 days ago):
The Rev Ian Paisley and his wife were right to tell the truth in the interview with Seamus O'Malley. Keeping quiet and letting those once so called friends and colleagues tell what they call the truth, only leaves way for the public to be lied to in the years to come. The Rev Ian Paisley has admitted in the past he had made mistakes in his life just like we all have but to end up being treated the way he was by his Church and Party members was a down right disgrace! Shame on them all!
kev in belfast wrote (187 days ago):
Shame on the DUP. It's time for sackcloth and ashes
lorna in limavady wrote (187 days ago):
Brian Belfast. What ! I have heard Paisley shouting ! and how can you say the DUP are Bigots when he made the DUP. and opposed everything to do with power sharing with the Nationalists until it was staring him in the face. what was needed for this provence to recover. but too late he brought in Sinn Fein. His greatest power prove fatal to many when never never never was his cry. now he is trying to smash the DUP, The people in his church would say. because he took on the title "Lord" to them there is only one "Lord" Jesus Christ
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BRIAN ROWAN
The pictures from Stormont this week showed us how politics here still walks in and out of step.
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