Former Protestant and Catholic rivals Ian Paisley and Martin McGuinness have been sworn in as Northern Ireland's first minister and deputy.
"I believe Northern Ireland has come to a time of peace. A time when hate will no longer rule. How good it will be to be part of a wonderful healing in this province," the firebrand Protestant clergyman said in a speech.
"Unlike at any other time I believe we can move things forward," he said, standing beside his deputy, former Catholic militant Martin McGuinness, as well as the British and Irish prime ministers Tony Blair and Bertie Ahern.
"I have sense of a great sigh of relief from all our people who want hostility to be replaced by neighbourliness," he said.
Recalling a time when he was arrested at the time of the 1998 Good Friday Agreement, Paisley said: "That was yesterday. This is today. And tomorrow will be tomorrow."
"Today at long last we are starting upon the road .. I emphasize starting ... which I believe will take us to lasting peace."
Date created : 2007-05-09