Paisley speaks out in House for war hero Philip

Ian Paisley jnr has called on Government to explain the bureaucracy which left Ballymena war hero Philip Gillespie bereft of disability benefit.

Speaking out for Philip in The House of Commons last week the local MP recounted how the Ballymena soldier was on tour with the Royal Irish Regiment in Afganistan in January 2011 when he stepped on an improvised expolosive device and lost his right leg.

“However, undeterred by his injuries, Philip has become an inspirational figure in Northern Ireland and beyond for others who have to deal with such traumatic life-changing events,” said Mr Paisley.

The MP said he was recently contacted by Philip after he found out that he would no longer be entitled to disability living allowance.

Mr Paisley explained: “After a medical assessment, the Government informed Philip that he would no longer be entitled to Disability Living Allowance because he uses a prosthetic limb and can therefore walk unimpeded. Philip then went from March until May without receiving his payments because of this reason.”

He has since received payments under the newly implemented military system, but still lost out on money in the months intervening.

Mr Paisley, however, says he’s still astonished that an injured soldier could be treated in such a way.

“I think it’s a complete and utter outrage that one of our country’s bravest men was subsequently refused DLA.

“I am obviously pleased he is now covered under the military system, but the fact remains that he should never have had to come and see me over such callous mistreatment from our Government system.”