Former N. Ireland leader Paisley gets pacemaker

15th February 2011, Comments 0 comments

Former Northern Irish first minister Ian Paisley has had a pacemaker fitted after falling ill, his son said Tuesday.

The 84-year-old titan of Northern Irish politics, who now sits in the British parliament's House of Lords, fell ill at a meeting in the upper house last Wednesday.

The firebrand preacher was treated by parliamentary paramedics before being taken to a London hospital where the pacemaker was put in place.

"It was very successful, he had it fitted and was discharged on Friday," said his son Ian Paisley Junior, who holds his father's old North Antrim seat in the British parliament's lower House of Commons.

Paisley senior was at home at the weekend and is now back at work.

The founder of the Protestant, conservative Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) was dubbed "Doctor No" for decades of intransigence in negotiations with Catholic rivals, before taking the helm of a power-sharing government in May 2007.

The hardliner, who also founded the Free Presbyterian Church in 1951, stepped down as first minister in June 2008 and sits in the Lords as Lord Bannside.

© 2011 AFP

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