The Imperial Grand Lodge of the Independent Loyal Orange Institution has expressed its deep sorrow and regret at the passing of the Rev Dr Ian Paisley.
Imperial Grand Master Alan McLean said: “Ian Paisley was a tower of true conviction and a man of immense faith. A great Ulsterman who faithfully served the people of North Antrim for over 40 years. Ian was a true friend of the Independent Orange Order and for many years faithfully preached the word of God from our 12th platform. Despite many misinformed media reports, Ian did not have ‘his own Orange Order’. The Independent Order was formed in 1903 and indeed, Ian was never a member. However, he remained a close associate and friend to our Orange family.
“On behalf of the Independent Loyal Orange Institution, I would like to offer my sincere condolences to the entire family circle at this time of profound sadness and grief.
“Just a few weeks ago, this Institution lost James McClure, a former Imperial Grand Master and close friend of Dr Paisley. Though we grieve their loss, we rejoice in the knowledge that they are now reunited with The Lord.”