Paisley ‘inaccurate’ about events: Dodds
Published: 24 Jan 2014 08:300 comments
In a damning interview with journalist Eamonn Mallie, broadcast on BBC Northern Ireland on Monday night, Mr Paisley, also known as Lord Bannside, blamed Mr Dodds and current leader Peter Robinson for his departure from the party he set up during the 1970s and led for 37 years.
He claimed that Mr Dodds had issued him with an ultimatum during a meeting in 2008.
“Nigel Dodds said to me ‘I want you to be gone by Friday. I just more or less smirked and Peter [Robinson] said ‘no, no, no he needs to stay in for another couple of months’,” Mr Paisley told the programme.
Mr Paisley’s wife, Eileen said the party had treated her husband “shamefully” and described Mr Dodds as “a cheeky sod.”
But Mr Dodds and other senior members of the Democratic Unionist Party, including Fermanagh-south Tyrone MLA Maurice Morrow, have repeatedly denied the claims this week.
“I am personally very saddened to learn of the tone and contents of the latest programme on Lord Bannside,” said Mr Dodds, “All of us who worked hard for him and with him for many years wished only the best for him and for our country.”
Mr Dodds, whose father Joe Dodds served as a councillor at Fermanagh District Council for many years, added: “It is to be deeply regretted that at 87 and retired that this programme may be what is remembered about him rather than the good things that he did.”
The former Portora Royal School student claimed that the “passage of time” had “diminished” Mr Paisley’s “accurate recall of events.”
“What is being said now by Lord Bannside about meetings is inaccurate and stands in stark contrast to everything that he said and did at the time and, indeed, during the years since,” he said.
One of the last occasions in which Mr Paisley was in Enniskillen was in June 2008 when he attended the funeral of Mr Dodds’ father Joe at Bethel Free Presbyterian Church during which he delivered the gospel reading and sermon. The month before he stood down as First Minister.
Also responding to the documentary, Lord Maurice Morrow of Clogher Valley, who said: “I have served as Chairman of the DUP for most of the period discussed in the programmes. During that time, I have some great memories of Dr. Paisley.”
“I am saddened by this turn of events. Throughout my political lifetime I was a loyal friend to Lord Bannside. I wish him well in his recovery. These latest utterances do not do justice to someone who was a giant in unionism in Northern Ireland.”
In another statement issued hours after the interview was broadcast the Democratic Unionist Party said: “Nigel Dodds did not issue an ultimatum that Ian should be gone by Friday nor did Peter Robinson issue any two month ultimatum. That simply did not happen. The Party is saddened by this turn of events and has only chosen to correct some of the main inaccuracies. A running commentary is unedifying.”
“The Democratic Unionist Party does not intend to comment further.”
This newspaper attempted to contact Mr Dodds several times yesterday but was unsuccessful.
Monday night’s documentary also referenced Rev. Ivan Foster from Kilskeery, Trillick, one of Mr Paisley’s most fiercest critics. When asked by this newspaper for his reaction to the programme he declined to comment.
The journalist who interviewed Mr Paisley, Eamonn Mallie, said the “unbridled nature” of the attack by Mr Paisley on Mr Dodds and Mr Robinson “is unique.”
“Having trawled the globe by way of studying high profiled interviews of former world leaders, prime ministers, first ministers, rarely has any ex-party leader or prime minister been so explicit about his or her demise. Normally historians and academics have to wait 30 or 40 years to gain access to papers to get a primary source insight into the life of that individual,” he said.
Commentscomments powered by Disqus
Get more stories from our Roundup section
16 Apr 2014 12:20
A man was reportedly assaulted during a confrontation between a motorist and a group of cyclists on the Sligo Road in Enniskillen.
16 Apr 2014 09:00
Ulster Unionist Assembly member for Fermanagh & South Tyrone, Tom Elliott MLA, and local Councillors, Robert Mulligan and Neil Somerville have met with the management of Fivemiletown Creamery to highlight their concerns over the closure of the creamery.
15 Apr 2014 22:00
A 35-year-old man has been fined £425 and banned from driving for three months after he took his wife’s car without her permission.
15 Apr 2014 19:00
Police in Fermanagh and other parts of F District are asking everyone who uses the roads to promote safety messages through social media over the next three Bank Holiday Mondays.
15 Apr 2014 15:00 • Editorial Department
In Fermanagh I don’t think there is anything that causes so much anger and frustration than the weather; specifically the abundance of rain.
15 Apr 2014 13:00
A mentally ill man who bludgeoned his elderly uncle over the head with a hammer until he thought he was dead has been committed to hospital indefinitely.
15 Apr 2014 11:30
Enjoying your chocolate egg but don't know what to do with the packaging?
15 Apr 2014 09:00
POLICE are dealing with a security alert in Fintona, County Tyrone, after an incident in the early hours of this morning (Tuesday).
14 Apr 2014 22:00
A 44-year-old businessman has been fined £500 for failing to knock down a block of apartments that pose a danger to drivers.
14 Apr 2014 19:00
Fermanagh District Council is encouraging householders to have their heating appliances, which have been well used over the winter, serviced and chimneys cleaned to reduce the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning in the home.
14 Apr 2014 16:00
A 28-year-old man involved in a fight outside a pub claimed remarks had been made about his former partner.
14 Apr 2014 13:00 • Meadhbh Monahan
Fermanagh tourism providers have to “work harder” because the county is “not the first choice destination.”
14 Apr 2014 11:00 • Brian Donaldson
The mother of a soldier serving in the First World War, had to resort to writing for financial help after her son died as result of the appalling conditions right at the end of the War in November 1918.
14 Apr 2014 09:30 • Lily Dane
An inspirational young Fermanagh woman, Rachel Wilson (formerly Byers) was only married a matter of months when she was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma.
14 Apr 2014 08:21
A 28-year-old single mother who betrayed the trust of her employer of over 11 years by stealing from his shop has been given 200 hours of community service.
13 Apr 2014 16:00 • Editorial Department
When the competition hotted up at the 37th Annual Fermanagh Bridge Congress over the weekend, bridge playing talents from the county demonstrated they ‘can hold their own.’
13 Apr 2014 14:00 • Editorial Department
THE Watermill Lodge Restaurant, Lisnaskea scooped an awards treble at the Ulster Regional Finals of the Irish Restaurant Awards this week.
13 Apr 2014 12:30 • Editorial Department
Marie Curie’s Great Daffodil Appeal was this year supported by over 12 local primary schools in the Clogher and Fermanagh areas.
13 Apr 2014 10:00 • Julie Kenwell
AN important part of Fivemiletown’s past has secured a place in the village’s future thanks to funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund.
12 Apr 2014 18:30 • Editorial Department
The new club season rolls into action this weekend and the 2014 league will have added significance for clubs with placings for the 2015 Championships based on how sides perform in the league this season.