Former Northern Ireland First Minister and DUP leader Rev Ian Paisley has been admitted to hospital after becoming ill at the weekend.

He was taken to the Ulster Hospital in Dundonald, yesterday.

Mr Paisley, 85, a former MP for North Antrim, was leader of the DUP for almost 40 years.

He preached his final sermon after standing down as moderator of the Free Presbyterian Church at the end of last month.

Mr Paisley's wife, Eileen, confirmed her husband was being treated in the Ulster Hospital.

In a statement she appealed that "the family's privacy be respected at this difficult time".

Mr Paisley's family are at his bedside.