Paisley ‘out of intensive care’

FORMER First Minister Ian Paisley has been moved out of intensive care, according to reports.

Lord Bannside has been receiving care at the Ulster Hospital since last Sunday after taking unwell.

It is believed the ex-DUP leader is suffering from a serious heart condition.

Reports on Thursday claimed Dr Paisley has moved from intensive care and is now in the hospital’s cardiac unit.

The South Eastern Health and Social Care Trust has not commented on the reports.

Dr Paisley’s family - including his wife Baroness Paisley and son Ian Jnr - have maintained a bedside vigil throughout his illness.

Last week, the First and Deputy First Ministers called on the public to pray for the former DUP leader.

Both Peter Robinson and Martin McGuinness have been in contact with the Paisley family.

At the weekend, worshippers at Dr Paisley’s Martyrs’ Memorial Free Presbyterian Church in east Belfast also led prayers for his recovery.

Dr Paisley – who after entering the House of Lords became Lord Bannside – was MP for North Antrim for almost 40 years.

There had been concerns several years ago about Dr Paisley’s health, when he lost weight and looked gaunt.

But those who were present for his farewell sermon at the Martyrs Memorial Church in Belfast last month remarked on how well he appeared for his age.

After withdrawing from church and public life, Dr Paisley was planning to write his autobiography.