Great to see Ian Paisley out and about again

IT was absolutely fantastic to see Dr Paisley on his first public excursion to the Book Fair at Mountstewart last week.

Dr Paisley is well known in the Ards, coming to our bookshops and supporting local businesses, but I do not think that anyone had thought that we would be first on the list after his recovery. It is not an exaggeration to say that all three of my constituency offices were inundated with requests for updates on Dr Paisley when he was ill, and by people telling me that they were praying for him.

It is fantastic to see that he is out and about and once again supporting the people of the Strangford constituency. This man has been such a worker for the people of the province, and I know that literally thousands of people were lifting him up in prayer and the Lord answered those prayers.

I wish Dr Paisley and the Baroness God’s richest blessing as they enjoy this time of retirement.

At the age of 86 in April, having given a lifetime for the people of the province, he and Eileen deserve this time together with their family – although knowing him the way I do, I would hazard a guess that he will never completely retire.

He will always be an Ulster stalwart, a minister of the gospel through his actions and a family man through and through – and that is a full-time job for anyone.

Jim Shannon

MP for Strangford