Death of Ian Paisley

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Former North Antrim MP and DUP leader Ian Paisley has died at the age of 88.

A statement from his wife Baroness Eileen Paisley said her husband had died earlier on Friday morning.

“My beloved husband, Ian, entered his eternal rest this morning,” the statement said.

It added: “Although ours is the grand hope of reunion, naturally as a family we are heartbroken.

“We loved him and he adored us, and our earthly lives are forever changed.”

Baroness Paisley said that according to her husband’s wishes, his funeral will be private and attended only by the immediate family, as will be his burial.

“As a family we appreciate that there will be an expectation by those who admired him to express their gratitude for his life and their sorrow at his passing,” Baroness Paisley said.

She added: “To that end we will in due course publish details of a public memorial service which, will be scheduled later in the year.

“There will be no further comment or statements made by me or the family at this time.”