File - In Aug. 23, 1969 photo Northern Ireland's Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) leader Ian Paisley leaves Stormont Castle in Belfast, Northern Ireland, after handing in a petition. (AP Photo/Peter Kemp)
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DUBLIN: For most of his half-century in Northern Ireland politics, Ian Paisley was synonymous with two words: "No" and "Never".Paisley died Friday at age 88, his wife said in a statement.From the 1960s through the 1990s, often backed by menacing Protestant mobs, Paisley used street protests to thwart compromise with the province's Catholic minority and to topple moderate Protestant leaders from the rival Ulster Unionist Party. In 2007 Paisley stunned the world by agreeing to lead a coalition government in Northern Ireland alongside senior Irish Republican Army veterans, long his archenemies.Catholics often said Paisley was the figure they most loved to hate.In 1979, Paisley also became a European lawmaker and won four re-elections, each time as the province's most popular politician.In 1974, after Ulster Unionist leaders cut a peace deal with moderate Catholics and the Irish government, Paisley worked with Ulster Unionist hard-liners and Protestant paramilitary groups to bring Northern Ireland to a standstill.
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