At the age of 82 Ian Paisley steps down as leader as the Democratic Unionist Party after nearly 40-years at the helm. Paisley hands over the reins of power to his deputy of 28-years Peter Robinson. On Thursday the firebrand Protestant preacher will also vacate his post as first minister in Northern Ireland’s Belfast assembly.
Peace was brought to Northern Ireland by the 1998 Good Friday agreement that provided for devolved government from London shared between the Protestant majority and the Catholic minority.
Paisley’s political stance has changed beyond all recognition Sinn Fein and the IRA were once sworn enemies of the DUP throughout more than 30 years of sectarian violence and bloodshed.