Ostensibly the DUP's news conference on Monday was meant to be about the party's attitude to the new draft European constitution.
However, anyone glancing around those sipping coffee and eating scones in Stormont's Long Gallery must have realised this was no ordinary press conference.
Most of the DUP's newly elected assembly team were there. But the give away had to be the attendance of Ian Paisley's wife Eileen and his daughter Rhonda, who is currently working as her father's European assistant.
Their presence indicated the announcement was to be something of significance to the Paisley clan.
The DUP leader confirmed this when, after a few opening salvoes at the press, he announced the end of his quarter of a century long career in European politics.
Ian Paisley held an extraordinary record, topping Northern Ireland's European poll five times in succession.
He would want to be remembered as the MEP who delivered financial assistance - especially for Ulster farmers.
Or maybe as a trenchant opponent of a European super state or a single currency.
However, the lasting image he will probably leave for many Europeans will be his one man protest against the Pope when the Pontiff addressed the Strasbourg Parliament in October 1988.
The leader of the Free Presbyterian Church denounced the leader of the Roman Catholic Church as an "anti-Christ" and got bundled out of the chamber by some scandalised colleagues.
What next for the DUP in Europe? Some party strategists have been wondering whether they could build on their recent assembly election success by running two candidates.
They believe the Ulster Unionist MEP Jim Nicholson could be vulnerable.
However, Ian Paisley himself doesn't think the arithmetic stacks up - he believes a single candidacy is the only option.
Too many unionist candidates might only serve to help Sinn Fein secure election.
Moreover, the DUP will not be able to juggle with as many candidates as they had hoped.
In 2002, the European parliament changed its rules to outlaw the dual mandate under which politicians like Ian Paisley held a seat at Westminster as well as a place at Strasbourg.
UK parliamentarians secured a special exemption allowing them to continue until 2009, but the fine print shows that this only applies to those already serving as MEPs.
MP Nigel Dodds would not be able to stand as an MEP
In a Northern Ireland context, that means John Hume can stand again but a DUP contender such as MP Nigel Dodds cannot.
This narrows the DUP's options to those who aren't currently MPs, such as the North Antrim MLA Ian Paisley Junior or the former Mid Ulster MP William McCrea.
Even as Ian Paisley was announcing his decision some of his senior colleagues were unclear whether they could stand to succeed him as an MEP.
But after trawling through Westminster documents they found an obscure legal order which put the ban on the dual mandate into effect in time for this June's election.
It had been approved by parliament just four days before the DUP's Big Man announced his exit from Europe.