Paisley biography added to national dictionary

Rev Ian Paisley.
Rev Ian Paisley.

The Rev Ian Paisley is among the figures added to the latest update of the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography.

The new edition adds biographies of 216 men and women who left their mark on the UK, and who died in the year 2014.

Few politicians, according to the publisher, have had a greater impact on Northern Irish politics in the last 50 years than Mr Paisley (1926-2014).

He preached at several Presbyterian and evangelical churches before setting up the Free Presbyterian Church of Ulster and in 1969 he opened the Martyrs’ Memorial Church in Belfast. Involved in politics from an early stage, he was the founder successively of Ulster Protestant Action, the Ulster Constitution Defence Committee, the Ulster Protestant Volunteers, and the Democratic Unionist Party.

After initially opposing the peace process and the Good Friday Agreement, Mr Paisley ended his political career as first minister of Northern Ireland in a power-sharing executive which included Sinn Féin’s Martin McGuinness as his deputy.

The Oxford DNB is published in print and online www.oxforddnb.com