Political news

Meeting between Ian Paisley and Fr Alec Reid `was recorded' says son

Democratic Unionist Party leader Ian Paisley accompanied by aides (including his son) arriving for a meeting with General John de Chastelain of the International Decommissioning Body in 2005 after the IRA `gave up its entire arsenal of weapons', Picture by AP Photo/Lefteris Pitarakis

A MEETING between former DUP leader Ian Paisley and Fr Alec Reid about IRA decommissioning was recorded in Stormont, his son has said.

North Antrim DUP MP Ian Paisley revealed that he, along with "other top members of our leadership team" attended the joint meeting between his father, Reverend Harold Good and Fr Alex Reid.

Details of the meeting were recounted by Rev Good in the Irish News last week.

Responding in the News Letter, Mr Paisley said "all of our negotiations were recorded either by detailed note taking or for very serious matters by recordings".

"The joint meeting I mentioned above is the same one Rev Good refers to in his comments and was one such meeting that was recorded.

"I remember it well. Rev Reid sat to my right hand side and Rev Good across the room.

"Between the two men of the cloth sat my father and the other top members of our leadership team. The meeting took place in Stormont. It was a very important meeting."

Mr Paisley said "it was (Fr) Reid who was much more forthcoming. So much so that at one point Harold told him he must go no further as he disclosed details to our meeting".

"However, I believe looking into the eyes of Reid he knew he had to take this further if we were to get over the issue of reassurance," Mr Paisley said.

"To Harold's continuing and despairing protests and nervous laughter and interruptions Reid spoke directly to my father, myself and top team colleagues.

"I will not divulge here what he said, but it was recorded, and the record is safe.

"Whilst in itself the commentary he offered was not what secured matters – the process was much more multi-layered and intricate – but it was a very important conversation and revelation."

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