Ian Paisley has overcome serious illness and is set to become the First Minister of Northern Ireland when power sharing resumes.

In 2004 the DUP (Democratic Unionist Party) leader the Reverend Ian Paisley was hospitalised for tests. His close friends feared the worst and it gave him pause for thought,

I was disturbed, that after all our battles, after all our conflicts, we hadn't seen any move towards peace.

After what was described by doctors as a miraculous recovery, Ian Paisley returned to politics. The St Andrews agreement in 2006 marked the route to a power sharing executive for Northern Ireland. Following Northern Ireland Assembly elections in March the man who will soon be First Minister of Northern Ireland intends to keep on working,

They couldn't get me into the grave and I'm still here today.

Last month Ian Paisley met Taoiseach Bertie Ahern and shook his hand. He is optimistic about Northern Ireland's future with the Republic of Ireland,

There is a similarity between the characters of people in all of this island.

An RTÉ News report was broadcast on 6 May 2007. The reporter is Tommie Gorman.