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Northern Ireland leaders plan public tributes to Paisley as private funeral held in Belfast

  • Ian Paisley jnr, right, carries the coffin of his father Ian Paisley for burial at Ballygowan Free Presbyterian church, Ballygowan, Northern Ireland, Monday, Sept. 15, 2014.  The funeral of Ian Paisley, the former Democratic Unionist Party leader and first minister of Northern Ireland, took place Monday, He was buried following a private funeral service at his family home in east Belfast. Dr Paisley, who stepped down from politics in 2008, passed away on Friday following a short illness aged 88.  (AP Photo/Peter Morrison)

    Ian Paisley jnr, right, carries the coffin of his father Ian Paisley for burial at Ballygowan Free Presbyterian church, Ballygowan, Northern Ireland, Monday, Sept. 15, 2014. The funeral of Ian Paisley, the former Democratic Unionist Party leader and first minister of Northern Ireland, took place Monday, He was buried following a private funeral service at his family home in east Belfast. Dr Paisley, who stepped down from politics in 2008, passed away on Friday following a short illness aged 88. (AP Photo/Peter Morrison)  (The Associated Press)

  • Ian Paisley jnr, centre left, carries the coffin of his father Ian Paisley for burial at Ballygowan Free Presbyterian church, Ballygowan, Northern Ireland, Monday, Sept. 15, 2014.  The funeral of Ian Paisley, the former Democratic Unionist Party leader and first minister of Northern Ireland, took place Monday, He was buried following a private funeral service at his family home in east Belfast. Dr Paisley, who stepped down from politics in 2008, passed away on Friday following a short illness aged 88. (AP Photo/Peter Morrison)

    Ian Paisley jnr, centre left, carries the coffin of his father Ian Paisley for burial at Ballygowan Free Presbyterian church, Ballygowan, Northern Ireland, Monday, Sept. 15, 2014. The funeral of Ian Paisley, the former Democratic Unionist Party leader and first minister of Northern Ireland, took place Monday, He was buried following a private funeral service at his family home in east Belfast. Dr Paisley, who stepped down from politics in 2008, passed away on Friday following a short illness aged 88. (AP Photo/Peter Morrison)  (The Associated Press)

  • Eileen Paisley, 2nd right, and Ian Paisley jnr, left, arrive for the burial of Ian Paisley at Ballygowan Free Presbyterian church, Ballygowan, Northern Ireland, Monday, Sept. 15, 2014.  The funeral of Ian Paisley, the former Democratic Unionist Party leader and first minister of Northern Ireland, took place Monday, He was buried following a private funeral service at his family home in east Belfast. Dr Paisley, who stepped down from politics in 2008, passed away on Friday following a short illness aged 88.  (AP Photo/Peter Morrison)

    Eileen Paisley, 2nd right, and Ian Paisley jnr, left, arrive for the burial of Ian Paisley at Ballygowan Free Presbyterian church, Ballygowan, Northern Ireland, Monday, Sept. 15, 2014. The funeral of Ian Paisley, the former Democratic Unionist Party leader and first minister of Northern Ireland, took place Monday, He was buried following a private funeral service at his family home in east Belfast. Dr Paisley, who stepped down from politics in 2008, passed away on Friday following a short illness aged 88. (AP Photo/Peter Morrison)  (The Associated Press)

Northern Ireland politicians are publicly honoring their former leader, Ian Paisley, as his family holds his funeral in conditions of exceptional privacy.

The 88-year-old Paisley died Friday after a half-century of doggedly opposing compromise with the Irish Catholic minority before making a twilight U-turn toward peacemaking.

Senior members of the British Protestant party he founded, the Democratic Unionists, have expressed unhappiness at being excluded from Monday's family-run funeral. Media also are barred.

Analysts say Paisley's widow and children remain angery that longtime supporters forced Paisley to step down as leader both of his party and his evangelical church after he agreed to lead a unity government alongside a former Irish Republican Army commander and other Catholics.

Northern Ireland Assembly members are making public statements Monday to honor Paisley.