Ian Paisley memorial unveiled in Belfast

The Sculpture was made out of a tree from the garden of the Paisley home

 

Former Taoiseach (Irish PM) Bertie Ahern was among family and friends of the late Ian Paisley who gathered to remember him on what would have been his 93rd birthday.

Catholic priest Fr Brian D’Arcy was also at the event on Saturday – the unveiling of a sculpture dedicated to the former DUP leader and first minister of Northern Ireland.

The sculpture was made out of a tree from the garden of the Paisley family home in east Belfast.

Lord Paisley’s widow, Baroness Paisley, explained the story of the sculpture.

She said: “We had a beautiful wych elm tree. It succumbed to age and we had to take the sad and upsetting decision to have it felled.

“Our daughter Rhonda thought we might be able to use the tree as a memorial piece to Ian, so we began to make that happen.”

Baroness Paisley commissioned County Galway Wood Turner Liam O’Neill to make the sculpture

A woodturner from Spiddal in County Galway, Liam O’Neill, was commissioned by the Paisley family.

The family already owned a piece of his work, a bowl turned from a walnut tree which had stood on the site of the 1690 Battle of the Boyne, near Drogheda.

It was given to Lord and Lady Paisley in 2006 by Mr Ahern to mark their 50th wedding anniversary.

‘Great friends’
At the time, Mr Ahern was taoiseach and the gift was presented at the conclusion of the St Andrew’s negotiations in Scotland which paved the way for the DUP and Sinn Féin to enter into government together the following year.

Known as the ‘Bertie Bowl’, the gift helped break down the long-held suspicion of the Paisleys towards the Irish government.

Speaking on Saturday at the unveiling of the new sculpture, Mr Ahern said: “After coming from different backgrounds, and different ways of looking at things, we turned out to be great friends.”

Ian Óg Paisley and Bertie Ahern greeted each other with a hug at the event

 

Among the other politicians at the event were DUP North Antrim assembly member Mervyn Storey and former Lord Mayor of Belfast, Ulster Unionist Jim Rodgers.

The detailed carving work on the sculpture was done by Phillip Steele, who is based at the Ulster Folk and Transport Museum near Holywood in County Down.

The sculpture will soon be on display in East Belfast

Lord Paisley died at the age of 88 in September 2014 after a long career in the House of Commons, House of Lords, European Parliament and Northern Ireland Assembly.

On the base of the sculpture there is a flax flower representing the assembly, a portcullis representing Westminster and five stars representing the five terms he served in the European Parliament.

The sculpture will soon go on display in east Belfast.

With many thanks to: BBCNI and Mark Simpson for the original story

Related Topics
Ian PaisleyDUP (Democratic Unionist Party)

Ian óg Paisley complaints process ‘confidential’

Ian óg Paisley 2016 holiday to the Maldives was the subject of a BBC Spotlight investigation last month

The Parliamentary Standards Commissioner has responded to two politicians who called for DUP MP Ian Paisley to be investigated over a complimentary holiday to the Maldives.

But SDLP leader Colum Eastwood and Sinn Féin MLA Phillip McGuigan have told BBC’s The View programme they have been warned against revealing the details of the correspondence as they could be in breach of parliamentary privilege.

Under the new complaints and grievances scheme at Westminster the Standards Commissioner is no longer allowed to reveal details of inquiries, including naming MPs under investigation.

The information will only be made public once the investigation is completed.

“Its a disgrace, I think this is MPs protecting themselves and I think the rule needs to change,” said Mr Eastwood

He added: “I don’t see how it serves the democratic interest at all.”

The changes were introduced last year to make it easier for those reporting allegations of harassment and bullying to come forward.

But controversially, they also cover other investigations into MPs accused of breaching the Westminster code of conduct

The former chair of the Parliamentary Standards Committee Sir Kevin Barron opposed the move in the House of Commons.

Image caption
Sir Kevin said the names of MPs under investigation should be made public in most cases
“Because we introduced the issue of bullying and sexual harassment, they decided they would anonymise these types of inquiries, which was fine,” Sir Kevin told The View.

“What we didn’t agree with was to anonymise investigations under the current code of conduct.”

He added: “If anyone is in breach of the current code of conduct, not through sexual harassment or bullying, their names should be in the public domain.”

The Standards Commissioner Kathryn Stone also expressed concern at the move describing it as a “retrograde step” in an newspaper article.

“She was adamant that she should be able to put people’s names in the public domain like she has done in the past and, don’t forget, she only puts those names out there if evidence is given to her,” explained Sir Kevin.

Image caption
Kathryn Stone was appointed as the parliamentary commissioner for standards in July 2017

Sinn Féin’s Phillip McGuigan said the process needs to be more transparent.

“In my correspondence I alerted the parliamentary commissioner to the media coverage of Ian Paisley and his family holidays to the Maldives and the allegations that were put into the public domain at that time,” he said.

He added: “In my opinion, those were worthy of another investigation.”

The changes to the complaints and grievance process were voted through last July – on the same day Ian Paisley apologised in the House of Commons for breaching the rules on paid advocacy over two holidays to Sri Lanka.

Mr Paisley did not vote for the changes.

He was due to meet the standards commissioner to discuss the allegations around his trip to the Maldives.

A BBC Spotlight investigation broadcast in December suggested Mr Paisley was given the holiday in the Maldives months after advocating on behalf of its government.

The programme examined whether the MP should have declared the trip in 2016.

Mr Paisley said he paid for part of the holiday and the rest was paid for by a friend.

The North Antrim MP did not reveal the identity of this friend. He said the friend was unconnected with his work and has received no benefit as a result of his work.

Mr Paisley, his wife and two sons stayed at the resort in the Maldives for six days in the autumn of 2016.

Months before, Mr Paisley and two other politicians had visited the Maldives.

At the time, international organisations including the UN were criticising the country’s government over human rights abuses.

Mr Paisley argued against economic sanctions.

The BBC’s The View will be broadcast on BBC One Northern Ireland at 22:40 GMT on Thursday, 31 January 2019.

With many thanks to: BBCNI and Enda McClaferty NI Political Correspondent for the original story

Time to come clean who profited from Council contributions to the DUP – Paisley dinner ?

Ian Paisley: Second council accused over dinner

Ian Paisley said a complaint had been made by “political rivals”

A second council has been accused of using ratepayers money to sponsor a table at an MP’s constituency dinner.
Causeway Coast and Glens Council paid £1,500 for the table at last September’s event hosted by the DUP’s Ian Paisley.
It was previously revealed Mid and East Antrim Borough Council had sponsored another table for the same sum.
That is now is being treated as a “donation” to the North Antrim MP by the Electoral Commission.
Causeway Coast and Glens council said the payment was within its guidelines.

Investigation into Paisley event money
Audit Office examining DUP event money
Councils are not considered “permissible donors” and money from such bodies must be returned.

Alliance MLA Stewart Dickson said there are serious questions to be answered

In a letter to Alliance MLA Stewart Dickson, Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council said the money was paid directly to the Tullyglass Hotel which hosted the dinner.

But Mr Dickson said the payment raises serious questions.
“This is public money and we are now talking about two councils spending over £3,000 of ratepayers’ money for something that was billed – and is all over the local newspapers – as a DUP fundraising event,” he said.
“A dinner which was held in Ballymena by Ian Paisley MP and indeed was bragged about as a fundraising event by some of his councillors.”

The Alliance MLA said he was also concerned about how the decision to sponsor a table was taken.
“This wasn’t a decision by local councillors, this appears to have been taken entirely by council officers on the basis of a letter they received from an organisation which according to Mid and East Antrim, doesn’t even exist, ” he said.

Wider audit

In the letter seen by the BBC, the council said the “spend level for attendance” at the dinner “did not require councillors’ agreement in accordance with council’s procurement policy and specifically the delegated responsibility to officers”.
It added “you will therefore not find a specific council minute which relates to this matter”.
In a further statement, it said the keynote speaker at the event was MP Michael Gove and that subjects discussed included Brexit, passenger air tariffs and their impact upon tourism and business travel and the effect of public sector cuts upon rural services.
“Council agreed to attend the event and invite guests who would benefit from both the subject matter and the potential networking opportunities,” it said.

“Those guests included representatives of our hospitality, food distribution and production, agriculture and leisure industries with an emphasis on the rural aspects of the borough.”

The Northern Ireland Auditor’s office has confirmed it looked into the payment as part of a wider audit of Causeway Coast and Glens Council and will be making recommendations in the coming weeks.

Meanwhile, the Electoral Commission has said it is aware of the payment made by the council, but can’t comment any further as its investigation is ongoing.

In a statement, Mr Paisley said he was “content to wait for the outcome of the commission’s inquiry” which he added “commenced after political rivals made a complaint”.
He said his “annual community and business engagement dinner in Ballymena was very successful and enjoyed by all who attended”.

With many thanks to: BBCNI for the original story

“The question crying out to be answered, arising from the revelation that a second council paid £1500 for a table at a DUP associated dinner, is where did the profits from this dinner go, profits to which ratepayers contributed by paying £3000 to the hotel for the cost of the event.

“Patently, the £1500 contributed by each council, for a table of 10 in each case, exceeded the actual cost of the 10 dinners provided in each case. So, who benefitted from the surplus of public money that went towards paying the total hotel bill? Did it mean the DUP/Ian Paisley had a resulting smaller balance bill? If so, then, the DUP/Ian Paisley were beneficiaries of the council contributions.

“It is time the DUP/Ian Paisley published an audit showing the actual cost of the event and what the effect of the £3000 payments from councils had on the final bill that the party had to pay.

“Coming on the back of the Sri Lankan scandal and the ongoing RHI fiasco, this escapade of ratepayers money going towards a party event adds to the disrepute into which some have brought politics.”

With many thanks to the: Traditional Unionist Voice, tub.org.uk and statement from Jim Allister

DUP’s Ian Paisley accuses The Irish News of ‘running hate campaign’

DUP MP Ian Paisley, speaking out about Brexit at Westminister this week.

THE DUP’s Ian Paisley has accused The Irish News of running a “hate campaign” against a council chief executive following an article about an Irish language funding row.

The paper yesterday reported how Conradh na Gaeilge (CnG) said it intended to make a formal complaint against Anne Donaghy in a dispute over comments at a council meeting.

CnG strongly rejected her claims that she had contacted the group and arranged a meeting but it failed to turn up, accusing her of risking it “reputational damage”.

It also claimed her comments impacted on a vote at Mid and East Antrim council on holding events for Irish Language Week (Seachtain na Gaeilge).

The council said a meeting was arranged through a councillor last year and released a redacted email, but no messages were disclosed showing any correspondence with CnG.

Referencing the report yesterday on Twitter, North Antrim MP Mr Paisley wrote: “The Irish News appear to be running a hate campaign against Mid and East Antrim chief executive – every month or so they run ‘well placed sources’ reports attacking her.”

Responding to his comments, CnG advocacy manager Ciarán Mac Giolla Bhéin said it had only spoken out “because of assertions made by the chief executive that we had not shown up to a meeting arranged with her”.

He said CnG has asked for the record to be amended and the council vote on Seachtain na Gaeilge retaken because her remarks “obviously influenced that”.

Ms Donaghy’s comments were made on Monday while councillors discussed whether to hold an event to mark Irish Language Week.

CnG had written to the council in January asking it to consider providing funding for groups or organising its own event.

During the discussion, Ms Donaghy said: “I did contact Conradh na Gaeilge and had a meeting and sat at the meeting with two officers and they didn’t turn up.”

Rather than holding an event, most councillors instead backed TUV councillor Timothy Gaston’s proposal to note CnG’s correspondence and refer the group to the council’s grants scheme.

The council later said its mayor is still “committed to hosting an event to mark Irish Language Week”.

In a fresh statement, a council spokeswoman said: “Contact with Conradh na Gaeilge was made via the chief executive’s office through an elected member.

“The chief executive’s understanding was that this invitation had been extended to the group through the elected member, as requested, and as is often normal practice.

“The chief executive has always been and remains willing to meet groups from all backgrounds and communities, including Conradh na Gaeilge, and has since contacted the group to reiterate this.”

It is the latest controversy to hit the council chief executive.

Last year SDLP councillor Declan O’Loan said Ms Donaghy contacted him to say she was making a complaint after a search of his emails – which Mr O’Loan claimed were searched without his consent or knowledge.

And in October Ms Donaghy faced criticism after claiming that UVF flags put on display during a loyalist band contest were “historic and not illegal”.

With many thanks to: Brendan Hughes and The Irish News for the origional story.

Irish language group in row with council chief over ‘damging’ comments

Anne Donaghy, Chief Executive of Mid and East Antrim council.

AN IRISH language organisation has said it intends to make a formal complaint against a council chief executive in a dispute over comments she made at a council meeting.

Conradh na Gaeilge (CnG) strongly rejected Anne Donaghy’s claims that she had contacted the group and arranged a meeting but it had failed to turn up.

The Irish language group said it has “no record of any such meeting being requested” and accused Ms Donaghy of risking them “reputational damage”.

Ms Donaghy made the claim on Monday at a meeting of Mid and East Antrim council, during which councillors discussed whether to hold an event to mark Irish Language Week.

CnG had written to the council asking it to consider providing funding for groups or organising its own event.

During the discussion, Ms Donaghy defended the council’s efforts to look at holding events for Seachtain na Gaeilge 2018.

She said: “Just to say I have put some work into this. I have done the best I can and I did contact Conradh na Gaeilge and had a meeting and sat at the meeting with two officers and they didn’t turn up.

“Now we contacted them and asked them, and I asked them to come back to me, and they haven’t come back to me.

“I did arrange the meeting and that’s what happened.”

Rather than holding an event for Irish Language Week, most councillors instead backed TUV councillor Timothy Gaston’s proposal to note CnG’s correspondence and refer the group to the council’s grants scheme.

Making his proposal, Mr Gaston referred to Ms Donaghy’s comments about CnG and said it was “embarrassing they couldn’t even turn up”.

Mid and East Antrim council later said its mayor is still “committed to hosting an event to mark Irish Language Week”.

Ciarán Mac Giolla Bhéin, advocacy manager for CnG, yesterday disputed Ms Donaghy’s comments and said the group would be making a formal complaint.

“We would like to state on record that we have no record of any such meeting being requested and were unaware of any meeting having been arranged,” he said.

He said the group “risks reputational damage”, adding: “Given that this was referenced by some councillors during the debate on whether or not to support Seachtain na Gaeilge, we believe it had an impact on the debate and impacted negatively on the outcome from our perspective.”

Asked about Ms Donaghy’s comments, last night the council said a meeting was arranged between several councillors, staff and a CnG representative for August 15 last year but that “a number of those invited did not attend”.

To support this, the council released a redacted email in July last year from Ms Donaghy to a councillor in which she says she would be “happy to meet”.

However, no messages showing any correspondence directly with CnG were disclosed.

Independent councillor Paul Maguire expressed concern over the dispute.

“This is a very serious situation, and an embarrassment for Mid and East Antrim council. Good Relations within both the corporate body and constituency, is consequently at a very low ebb,” he said.

It is the latest controversy to hit the Mid and East Antrim council chief executive.

Last year SDLP councillor Declan O’Loan said Ms Donaghy contacted him to say she was making a complaint after a search of his emails – which Mr O’Loan said were searched without his consent or knowledge.

And in October Ms Donaghy faced criticism after claiming that UVF flags put on display during a loyalist band contest were “historic and not illegal”.

With many thanks to: Brendan Hughes and The Irish News for the origional story.

 

DUP hasn’t strayed far away from its origins.

This letter appeared in the Irish News today written from a unionist point-of-view have a read and make up your own minds. “Now For everyone who messaged me when I asked them not to. YOUR PUNISHMENT IS BEING ASKED TOLEAVE MY FACEBOOK ACCOUNT IMEDDITLY. I KNOW  THE PUNISHMENT SEEMS A LITTLE  HARSH BUT ITS FACEBOOK PAGE AND I CAN CHOOSE WHO I WISH TO BE FRIENDS. I HAVE WORKED VERY HARD ON THIS STORY. AND FELL TO SLEEP WHILST WRITING LAST NIGHT. AND TO BE HONEST I DON’T NEED FRIENDS  LIKE YOU. SO GOODBYE.

You are all very brave men and women behind a computer. You know who I mean.


THE DUP ARE NOT WHAT PEOPLE THINK THEY ARE THEY ARE LIERS, CHEATS, ASSOCIATED WITH THE UDA, Red Hand Commando and the UVF. ENGLAND NEED TO KNOW WHO THEY ARE REALLY DEALING WITH THEY ARE THE SCUM OF THE EARTH & DECEATFUL,UNTRUSTWORTHY,AND YOU NEED TO WATCH YOU BACK WITH THEM. DON’T TRUST THEM TO GO INTO GOVERNMENT WITH. THE SECRET DEAL WON’T WORK IN THE NORTH OF IRELAND. BECAUSE SINN FÉIN WILL NOT GO INTO GOVERNMENT WITH THEM. THEY ARE LAYERS. AND WITHOUT A GOVERMENT THEY ARE FU

   


READ THIS FROM SCOTLAND:

SECTARIAN SCOTLAND YOU ARE A SHOWER OF BRAINWASHED NUMPTIES.

I was accused by Sectarian idiots of being an Orange Bastard for going to the Netherlands For Independence Event in April 2017

Yesterday I was accused of being a Fenian Bastard because an Irish band turned up at the Bannockburn Rally. It was a public event I did not invite them.

 

PROVOCATIVE PUBLIC RHETORIC NOTHING NEW

Paisley, McKeague and Seawright among famed users of emotive words.

POLITCIANS playing to their constituency with colourful and emotive rhetoric is uusually regarded as an asset. Renowned orators like Michael Collins and Winston Churchill delivered words in a manner that instilled awe and great loyalty among their audience.

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Throughout the Troubles – and even before 1969 – the North of Ireland‘s politicians have enjoyed employing aggressive and provocative language when speaking in public. One of the most notorious incidents occoured almost 50 years ago when big Ian Paisley demanded the removal of the Irish tricolour from Division Street in West Belfast. He warned of riots if the RUC did not heed his call, but the violence the relatively young Free Presbyterian preacher predicted was avoided after a police operation to remove the flag. Over subsequent decades the former DUP leader’s language sailed close to the wind on many occasions but never were his words deemed so offensive that they resulted in arrest. However, his East Belfast loyalist associate John McKeague did face prosecution for a hate crime over the written word rather than an inflammatory speech.

The 1971 publication of Loyalist song book and its inclusion of anti-Catholic lyrics saw McKeague brought to court but ultimately acquitted after the proesecution failed to convince the jury of his intent. McKeague was shot dead a decade later by the INLA. In perhaps the best known episode of inciting sectarian hatred Belfast DUP councillor George Seawright was pprosecuted in 1984 when he made provocative remarked during a meeting of Belfast Education and Library Board. The loyalist, who like McKeague was later gunned down by the INLA offshoot, described Catholics who objected to the singing of the British national anthem “fenian scum” and suggested they should be burnt in an incinerator. Although he denied making the comments, Mr Seawright was prosecuted and received a six-month suspended sentence. The era of social media means the opportunities for people to go beyond what is deemed acceptable is much greater. The court restrictions around using Facebook and Twitter placed on loyalist flag protesters Jamie Bryson and Willie Frazer reflect a recognition of the potential by political and community leaders to incite their followers through.

With many thanks to : John Manley, The Irish News.