Ian Paisley Biography

Ian Paisley was the former Prime Minister of Northern Ireland and also one of the most influential leaders in the country. To know more about his childhood, career, profile and timeline read on the following biography

Quick Facts

Birthday: April 6, 1926

Nationality: Irish

Famous: Spiritual & Religious Leaders Irish Men

Sun Sign: Aries

Died At Age: 88

Also Known As: Ian Richard Kyle Paisley, Baron Bannside

Born in: Armagh

Famous as: Politician

political ideology: Leader of the Democratic Unionist Party,Leader of the Protestant Unionist Party

Family:

Spouse/Ex-: Eileen Paisley

father: James Kyle Paisley

mother: Isabella Paisley

siblings: Harold Paisley

children: Cherith Paisley, Ian Paisley, Jr., Kyle Paisley, Rhonda Paisley, Sharon Paisley

religion: Free Presbyterian Church of Ulster, Protestantism

Died on: September 12, 2014

place of death: Belfast

Founder/Co-Founder: Democratic Unionist Party, Protestant Unionist Party, Ulster Resistance

More Facts

education: Wales Evangelical School of Theology

Cite This
Continue Reading Below

Born to deeply religious parents, Ian Paisley knew from an early age that he was destined to become theclergy. After giving his first sermon as a teenager, he enrolled in theological school and became an ordained minister. After a highly controversial sermon got him banned from his home church, Paisley founded his own sect, installing himself as its permanent leader. Liberally fond of the bully pulpit, Paisley used his booming voice to rant against all things Catholic, homosexual or different, whipping up his congregation to join him on contentious protest marches. Despite multiple arrests for disorderly conduct, he remained determined to stay mired in controversy. Believing that politicians were too ‘soft’, Paisley founded his own hardline party. With his firebrand sermons and his self-admitted bigoted political and religious ideology, Paisley became the uncompromising face of the Unionist cause during the ‘The Troubles’ in Northern Ireland. But as he neared the end of his life, Paisley surprised even his most faithful supporters when he agreed to sit down with his lifelong political rivals in an effort to bring an end to the bloodshed and strife. While it is deeply lamentable that Paisley's harsh, uncompromising rhetoric was responsible for stoking ethnic strife in Northern Ireland, it is recognized that peace would not have been possible without his support

Recommended Lists:

Recommended Lists:

Continue Reading Below
Ian Paisley
Childhood & Early Life
  • Ian Paisley was born Ian Richard Kyle Paisley, on April 6, 1926, in Armagh, Northern Ireland. His father was a Baptist preacher and his mother was a Christian evangelist.
  • Paisley gave his first sermon in 1941 when he was only 16. He was ordained as a Presbyterian minister five years later.
  • In 1951, after a conflict with church elders, Paisley formed his own congregation, the ‘Free Presbyterian Church of Ulster’.
  • Paisley gained national fame, in 1956, after he illegally helped a 15-year-old Catholic girl escape to Scotland.
    Continue Reading Below
Recommended Lists:

Recommended Lists:

Top
Later Life
  • In 1956, Paisley co-founded of the ‘Ulster Protestant Action’ (UPA), one of several pro-Unionist militant organizations in Northern Ireland which remained active throughout ‘The Troubles’.
  • In 1959, he urged the UPA to attack Catholic homes in Belfast. Several businesses were ransacked and looted.
  • Paisley led a march in Belfast to force a local politician to remove the Irish flag from his office, in 1964. His rhetoric march ended in riots and mayhem that injureddozens.
  • In 1966, he co-founded a second pro-Unionist militant organization, the ‘Ulster Constitution Defence Committee’ (UCDC), which later aligned with the ‘Ulster Protestant Volunteers’ (UPV).
  • On June 6, 1966, the religious leader spearheadedthe march into Catholic neighborhoods of Belfast that led to riots. He was arrested and sentenced to three months in jail.
  • In 1969, the UPV firebombed water and electrical installations in Northern Ireland and Paisley blamed his rivals in the ‘Irish Republican Army’ (IRA) for the damage.
  • On April 28, 1969, support for Unionist PM Terence O'Neill waned following the bombings committed by the UPV but blamed on the IRA and he resigned from the post of Prime Minister.
    Continue Reading Below
  • In August 1969, wide scale riots in Belfast led to the deployment of British troops, officially beginning the period of civil unrest known as ‘The Troubles’
  • On April 16, 1970, special by-elections were held and O'Neill's vacated seat in North Antrim was won by Paisley, who went on to hold the position for the next 40 years.
  • In 1971, he founded the ‘Democratic Unionist Party’ (DUP), which he ledfor the next thirty seven years.
  • In 1973, the ‘Sunningdale Agreement’ set up a framework for Unionists and Nationalists to share power in Northern Ireland. This was bitterly opposed by Paisley and the DUP.
  • In 1977, Paisley led a general strike to force the British government to take stronger measures against the IRA. Two years laterhe was elected to the European Parliament.
  • In 1981, he co-founded another pro-Unionist militant organization called the ‘Third Force’.
  • In 1998, eight parties in Ireland and Northern Ireland signed the Good Friday agreements in an attempt to bring peace to the region. Although 70% of the voters in Northern Ireland and 90% of the voters in the Republic of Ireland endorsed the agreement, Paisley's DUP refused to participate.
    Continue Reading Below
  • In 2003, Paisley's DUP gained a majority position in the Northern Ireland assembly (parliament). Ironically three years laterhe reverseddecades of opposition and agreed to a power sharing agreement with his lifelong rivals, Sinn Fein.
  • In 2007, Paisley became the Prime Minister of Northern Ireland, the Republican Party’s Martin McGuinness serving as his Deputy First Minister. Paisley and McGuinnessestablish an amicable relationship andwere nicknamed the ‘Chuckle Brothers’.
  • In 2008, due to declining health among other reasons, Paisley stepped down as Prime Minister and rapidly began to isolate himself from public life.
Top
Major Works
  • Paisley's historic agreement in 2006 to share power with his lifelong rivals is believed to be the key turning point that has led to a lasting and prosperous peace in Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland. Following the change of political stance he was elected Prime Minister of Northern Ireland.
Top
Awards & Achievements
  • Paisley was conferred with an honorary ‘Doctorate of Divinity’ from ‘Bob Jones University’ in 1966.
  • The religious leader and politician, became a British life peer and wasawarded the title ‘Lord Bannside of North Antrim’ on June 18, 2010.
Top
Personal Life & Legacy
  • Paisley’s DUP is currently still the most powerful party in Northern Ireland and ‘The Free Presbyterian Church of Ulster’, which he founded in 1951, now has 12,000 members worldwide.
    Continue Reading Below
  • He exchanged the nuptial vows with Eileen (nee Cassells) on October 13, 1956 and is survived by five children: Rhonda, Sharon, Cherith, Kyle and Ian Junior.
  • His son Ian Paisley, Jr. succeeded him in 2010 as the Member of Parliament representing North Antrim.
  • On 12 September 2014, surrounded by his wife of more than 50 years and his loving family, Paisley died of heart failure in a hospital in Belfast.A public memorial, organized in memory of the leader at the Ulster Hall,was attended by 800 guests.
Top
Trivia
  • In 1965,this famous religious leader threw snowballs at the visiting Irish Prime Minister
  • The most famous quote by this politician is‘No surrender!’
  • This famous personality is nicknamed ‘The Clergyman in Jackboots’ and ‘Dr. No’
  • This famous politician’s favorite campaign slogan: ‘Vote for my wife's husband’
Top

See the events in life of Ian Paisley in Chronological Order

Pictures of Ian Paisley

How To Cite

Article Title
- Ian Paisley Biography
Author
- Editors, TheFamousPeople.com
Website
- TheFamousPeople.com
URL
https://www.thefamouspeople.com/profiles/ian-paisley-5699.php
Last Updated
- November 03, 2017

People Also Viewed

Mary Baker Eddy
(American)
John Huss
(Czech, German)
Saint Patrick
(Romanian, Northern Irish)

Guru Angad
(Indian)
Thomas More
(British)
George Muller
(Prussian)