Ian Paisley heart fears

FAMILY members were praying at the hospital bedside of the Rev Ian Paisley last night as he once again battled with heart problems.

Dr Paisley spent yesterday in the intensive care unit of the Ulster Hospital, Dundonald, having been rushed to the A&E unit on Sunday evening.

A statement released on behalf of his wife, Baroness Paisley, said: “She requests that the family’s privacy be respected at this difficult time.”

Created a life peer as Lord Bannside in 2010, the former DUP leader and moderator of the Free Presbyterian Church had been fitted with a pacemaker after taking ill in February last year.

Looking well and in good spirits, the veteran preacher gave his last sermon at the Martyrs Memorial Church on Belfast’s Ravenhill Road less than two weeks ago.

He is 85 and has been a Christian minister for 65 years.

In a recent interview with the News Letter, Lord Bannside said he needed a rest, having been in the pulpit since he was 20 years old.

A large media contingent remained close to the Ulster Hospital throughout yesterday evening hoping for news of the former First Minister.