N. Ireland politico Paisley hospitalized

BELFAST, Northern Ireland, Feb. 7 (UPI) -- The Rev. Ian Paisley, the Protestant firebrand turned conciliatory politician, remained in intensive care in a Northern Ireland hospital Tuesday.

Paisley's family had gathered at the Ulster Hospital in the Dundonald district of Belfast, The Irish Times reported.


Paisley, 85, was hospitalized Sunday and was being treated for possible heart failure. He was stricken a few days after he retired from the active Presbyterian ministry.

Peter Robinson, Paisley's successor as first minister of Northern Ireland, and Martin McGuinness, the nationalist Sinn Fein leader who has served as deputy to Paisley and Robinson, said they have talked to the family. In a statement, they asked residents of Northern Ireland to pray for Paisley and his family.

"The first minister and the deputy first minister would appeal for the Paisley family to be given the space and privacy they deserve and that their wishes are respected," the statement said.

Paisley was a founder of the Democratic Unionist Party and served in the British Parliament for 40 years, a seat now held by his son. After decades as an implacable Unionist, he agreed in 2006 to a compromise with Nationalists that led to a power-sharing government he headed with McGuinness.


Latest Headlines