Ian Paisley: from sectarian provocateur to peacemaker

John Nagle

Research output: Contribution to specialist publicationArticle


Ian Paisley, the firebrand face of Unionism in Northern Ireland for decades, has died at the age of 88. While he won’t be remembered as the Nelson Mandela of Ulster, his important role in the peace process can’t be denied.

The sight of Paisley sharing a joke with Martin McGuiness after agreeing to resume a power sharing government in 2007 quickly became the billboard for a Northern Irish peace process on life support. Here was Paisley, the leader of Ulster Unionism, the man who once vowed to destroy Irish nationalism, cracking gags with a former IRA commander as if they were a comedy double act rather than career enemies.
Original languageEnglish
Specialist publicationThe Conversation
PublisherThe Conversation UK
Publication statusPublished - 12 Sept 2014


  • Northern
  • Ireland


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