Page last updated at 11:46 GMT, Saturday, 15 March 2008

Paisley in St Patrick's Day call

Ian Paisley
Mr Paislet celebrates the day by preaching about the saint

Ian Paisley has called for St Patrick's Day to be designated a public holiday in Northern Ireland.

The first minister and former moderator of the Free Presbyterian Church said he always celebrates the day by preaching about the saint.

Mr Paisley said he thought 17 March should be a day off for everyone on the island of Ireland.

"I have proposed it in the House of Commons and I have proposed it here," said the North Antrim MP.

"Maybe they'll celebrate my passing by saying to St Patrick 'you can have a day to yourself'."

Mr Paisley is to step down as first minister in May, but will continue to be an MLA and MP.

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