Statement from William Hay, MLA, Speaker of the NI Assembly

Synopsis: Speaking today on the death of Rt Hon The Lord Bannside, the Speaker said: "I am deeply saddened to hear of Ian Paisley’s passing and on behalf of all Members of the Northern Ireland Assembly, I express my heartfelt sympathy to his family whom he held dear. Regardless of how individual Assembly Members regarded his politics, there is no doubt that today we have lost one of the most influential figures in the history of Northern Ireland."

Session: 2014/2015

Date: 12 September 2014

Reference: SO 01/14/15

Speaking today on the death of Rt Hon The Lord Bannside, the Speaker said:

“I am deeply saddened to hear of Ian Paisley’s passing and on behalf of all Members of the Northern Ireland Assembly, I express my heartfelt sympathy to his family whom he held dear. Regardless of how individual Assembly Members regarded his politics, there is no doubt that today we have lost one of the most influential figures in the history of Northern Ireland. 

“Whether I was observing him in party meetings as a leader and friend or from the Speaker’s Chair as First Minister in the Assembly Chamber, Ian Paisley’s personality and conviction would always fill the room. 

“Personally, I knew Ian Paisley as a family friend long before my own political career and what I will remember most was his unique way of connecting with and showing a personal interest in people.  It will be a privilege to preside over tributes to him in the Assembly on Monday.” 

As a mark of respect, the Speaker will lead MLAs in their tributes to Dr Paisley in the Assembly Chamber at noon on Monday 15 September. After which, Assembly business will be suspended. He will lead Members in signing a book of condolence in the Great Hall. This will then be open to members of the public to do the same.

The Assembly’s Business Committee will meet early at 9.30am on Monday morning to make final arrangements for the conduct of business.

ENDS

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