Northern Ireland

Ian Paisley making 'steady progress'

Ian Paisley
Image caption Ian Paisley was admitted to hospital earlier this month

Former NI First Minister Ian Paisley is making "steady progress" as he recovers from illness, his son has said.

Last week, Mr Paisley was moved out of intensive care at the Ulster Hospital in Dundonald where he is being treated for heart problems.

His son, North Antrim MP Ian Paisley Junior, told BBC Radio Ulster's Talkback his father had "demonstrated that there is life in the old dog yet".

"He is a very hearty and strong man," he added.

The former DUP leader was admitted to hospital on 5 February and his family requested privacy during what they described as a "difficult time".

Lord Bannside, who is 85, stood down as first minister in 2008 and ended 60 years of full-time ministry in January.

His son expressed thanks for the hundreds of messages of support the family had received since his father was admitted to hospital.

He also praised the contribution of the medical staff who have been caring for the peer.

"The doctors, the nurses, the domestics, all of the people at that hospital have been quite frankly fabulous," he added.

"We have also sat with other relatives who go through the same thing and aren't high-profile and we have witnessed that they too are getting great service.

"I think that is a very good advertisement for the new facility at the Ulster Hospital."

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