Ian Paisley Snr admitted to hospital

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The former first minister and leader of the DUP, Ian Paisley, has been admitted to hospital.

Lord Bannside, who is 85, was taken ill on Sunday. His condition is not known.

Baroness Paisley released a statement confirming that her husband is being treated in the Ulster Hospital.

She has requested that the family’s privacy is respected at a difficult time.

Dr Paisley’s legion of friends in north Antrim have been praying for his full recovery.

Last month scores of people from the area were honoured to be present at a farewell service held to mark Dr Paisley’s retirement after 65 years of ministry.

The special service was held in Martyrs Memorial Free Presbyterian Church, Belfast, and thousands attended, testimony to the high regard in which Dr Paisley is held.

In his closing message at the service, Dr Ron Johnstone, Moderator of Presbytery, explained that the term powerful, in a spiritual sense, can be applied to relatively few men and those who have had the honour and privilege of knowing and working alongside Dr Ian Paisley recognise him to be a man upon whom the power of God has rested in an unusual manner.