Former Democratic Unionist (DUP) leader Dr Ian Paisley has died at the age of 88, says his wife Eileen.

In a statement, Baroness Paisley sad that he had “entered his eternal rest” on Friday morning.

She continued:

“Although ours is the grand hope of reunion, naturally as a family we are heartbroken…We loved him and he adored us, and our earthly lives are forever changed.”

Martin McGuinness of Sinn Féin, who clashed with Paisley a number of times over the years before becoming his deputy first minister in the Northern Ireland Assembly in 2007, said:

“Very sad to learn that Ian Paisley has died.My deepest sympathy to his wife Eileen & family.Once political opponents – I have lost a friend.”

Paisley co-founded the DUP back in 1971 and was a prominent figure in Northern Ireland’s politics, eventually being elected First Minister in 2007.

Baroness Paisley said that his funeral would be private.

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