In History Behind the Headlines, edited by Meghan O’Meara, Detroit MI: Gale Publishing Group

Volume 2, 2000, pages 2212!"
#$%& OM'G% (OM(’, in History Behind the Headlines, edited by Meghan O’Meara, Detroit MI: Gale
Publishing Group, Volume 2, 2000, pages 2212!"
Eugene O’Brien
5 keywords
%istory, nationalist, unionist, I)', *iolen+e
$his +hapter e,amines the re+ent history o- .orthern Ireland in terms o- the Omagh (omb as a starting
point/ It tra+es 0ey e*ents and ideologi+al standpoints in the politi+al situation up to the end o- the year
On 2aturday 'ugust 1"
, 1334, the small to5n o- Omagh in 6ounty $yrone in .orthern Ireland be+ame
0no5n throughout the 5orld/ 't !/10 pm, a "00lb +ar bomb shattered the +enter o- the to5n, 0illing 23
people and in7uring another 220/ In the thirty year history o- the *iolen+e, euphemisti+ally termed #the
troubles’ in .orthern Ireland, it might seem strange that this parti+ular in+ident should +ause su+h sho+0
and uproar/ $he -a+t that it 5as the in+ident 5hi+h +aused the single greatest number o- deaths in
.orthern Ireland 5as +ertainly a -a+tor/ %o5e*er, the +onte,t o- this horri-i+ a+t 5as parti+ularly
signi-i+ant in that it too0 pla+e in the midst o- a +ease-ire +alled by the Pro*isional Irish )epubli+an
'rmy 8PI)'9 and adhered to by the :oyalist Paramilitary groups, su+h as the ;lster De-ense 'sso+iation
8;D'9, the ;lster Volunteer <or+e 8;V<9 and the ;lster <reedom <ighters 8;<<9/ '-ter t5enty -i*e
years o- *iolen+e, pea+e o- a sort had been bro0ered bet5een the opposing -a+tions 5hi+h +ould be
broadly des+ribed as 6atholi+, .ationalist and )epubli+an on the one side, and Protestant, :oyalist and
;nionist on the other/
%en+e, the sho+0 o- this bomb, 5hi+h had been pla+ed at the 7un+tion o- Mar0et 2treet and the Dublin
)oad, in the +enter o- this busy to5n at pea0 shopping time/ $here 5as no politi+al or military target
singled out = the aim seems to ha*e been to ma,imi>e the loss o- li-e/ ' 5arning had been gi*en to a
(el-ast ne5s agen+y some ?0 minutes be-ore the e,plosion, but this 5arning designated the Omagh
6ourthouse as the site o- the bomb, 5hi+h 5as some ?00 meters -rom the a+tual e,plosion/ ;sually in
the +onte,t o- the *iolen+e in .orthern Ireland, su+h bombs 5ere part o- an e+onomi+ 5ar, 5aged largely
by the PI)', and some smaller groupings li0e the O--i+ial I)' 8OI)'9 and the Irish national :iberation
'rmy 8I.:'9, against unionist businesses and those 5hi+h 5ere part o- the supportstru+ture o- the
(ritish 'rmy in .orthern Ireland/ In this +ase, ho5e*er, no su+h imperati*e 5as *isible@ instead +arnage
and the massa+re o- ordinary people 5ere the only results/
<ears that this bomb 5as a sign that the PI)' had ended its +ease-ire 5ere ended 5hen responsibility
-or the Omagh bomb 5as +laimed by a hitherto un0no5n group = the )eal I)' 8)I)'9/ $his group 5as
-ormed 5hen, at Pro*isional 2inn <Ain’s 'rd <heis 8annual party +on-eren+e9, in 134B, the party agreed
to end its poli+y o- abstention -rom the ta0ing o- seats in both the Irish and (ritish parliaments/ $his
poli+y had long been a +orner stone o- militant republi+anism, 5hi+h re-used to re+ogni>e the legality o-
the )epubli+ o- Ireland or o- .orthern Ireland/ $hose delegates 5ho did not agree 5ith this de+ision
5al0ed out o- the +on-eren+e, and ultimately, out o- the party, and -ormed a ne5 party, )epubli+an 2inn
<Ain 8)2<9, 5hi+h 5as lead by )uairC D (raCdaigh, -ormer President o- Pro*isional 2inn <Ain, and
DEithC D 6onaill, -ormer 6hie- o- 2ta-- o- the PI)'/ $5o years later, in 1344, this )2< rea--irmed its
support o- the #armed struggle’ and subseFuently re7e+ted the pea+e tal0s that had led to the +ease-ires o-
133?133B and 133G to date/
$o understand the reasons behind the planting o- this bomb, it 5ill be ne+essary to loo0 at the history o-
the .orthern Irish state itsel-, in terms o- its +onstitution and o- the history o- its di--erent +ommunities/
%o5e*er, the #history behind the headlines’ o- the .orthern Irish 2tate is a long and tangled one, and
needs to be seen in the +onte,t o- the relationships o- +oloni>ation and de+oloni>ation o- Ireland by
&ngland o*er a period o- some G00 years/ In order to -ully understand the +onte,t o- the *iolen+e in
.orthern Ireland o*er the past thirty years or so, 5e 5ill ta0e a broad o*er*ie5 o- this relationship, an
o*er*ie5 5hi+h 5ill be di*ided into -our di--erent se+tions/
<irstly 5e 5ill loo0 at the remote origins o- the +on-li+t, and then 5e 5ill e,amine the period -rom 11G0
to 1B00, as gradual &nglish in+ursions into Ireland be+ame more -ormally stru+tured/ 2e+ondly, 5e 5ill
loo0 at the period -rom 1B00 to 1400, a time 5hen plantation and +oloni>ation set up the stru+tural
di*isions that ha*e e,isted in ;lster to the present day/ $hirdly, 5e 5ill loo0 at the period -rom 1400 to
1322, a time 5hen allegian+es to Ireland and &ngland be+ame the de-ining -a+tors in the +reation o- the
.orthern Irish state/ <inally, 5e 5ill loo0 at the period -rom 1322 to the present, 5hen .orthern
Ireland’s endemi+ +ultures o- di*ision and separation, along both religious and politi+al lines ga*e 5ay to
*iolent +on-li+t, a +on-li+t 5hose -inal *iolent a+t may 5ell ha*e been the Omagh (omb/ Interspersed
5ithin ea+h se+tion are summary a++ounts o- the signi-i+an+e o- the histori+al e*ents to an understanding
o- the +ontemporary +on-li+t/
Remote Origins:
$he terms .orthern Ireland and ;lster ha*e o-ten been used inter+hangeably, but in a+tual -a+t they are
deri*ed -rom di--erent sour+es/ ;lster is one o- the original di*isions o- Ireland into -i*e di--erent
se+tions, or pro*in+es 8the others being Munster, :einster, 6onna+ht and Midhe9, and there is e*iden+e
o- the term’s e,isten+e sin+e !0,000(6/ It 5as +omprised o- nine di--erent +ounties 5hereas the politi+al
term #.orthern Ireland’ 5as -irst +oined in 1322, and re-erred to si, o- these +ounties/ %en+e, the early
history o- .orthern Ireland is ine,tri+ably +onne+ted 5ith that o- the 5hole island, though there has been
a long history o- separation/ In 100 (6 a de-ensi*e rampart, +alled #(la+0 Pig’s Dy0e’ 5as built by the
people o- ;lster as a -orti-i+ation against in*asion -rom the south o- Ireland/ <rom the earliest times,
there 5as a strong 2+ottish in-luen+e in .orthern Ireland, 5ith +lear di*isions bet5een the ;lster Gaeli+
-amilies, led by the ;i .eill, and the more 2+ottish in-luen+es o- the 6ruithin/ 't the (attle o- Moira, in
B!G 'D, 6ongal 6laen leading an army o- ;lstermen, rein-or+ed by Pi+ts, 'nglo2a,ons and (ritons
5ere de-eated by the Gaeli+ -amilies/
• Hhat these remote battles and +onte,ts demonstrate is that there has long been a +onne+tion
bet5een ;lster and 2+otland, 5ith an eFually long history o- +on-li+t bet5een the 2+ottish and
Gaeli+ 8Irish9 in-luen+es/ 6learly emigration and immigration bet5een ;lster and 2+otland ha*e
long been a -eature o- ;lster’s history, and predate the more -ormali>ed plantations and
+oloni>ations o- the se*enteenth +entury/
1170 to 1600: English Colonization of Ireland
In 11B3, the -irst .ormans arri*ed in Ireland at the in*itation o- Diarmad Ma+ Murrough, the Iing o-
:einster/ $hese 5ere a mi,ture o- .orman&nglish and .orman Helsh 5ho 5ere a+ting *ery mu+h on
their o5n initiati*e/ In 11GG, John de 6our+y mar+hed into ;lster, 0illing the Iing o- ;lster in 1200/
$he ongoing animosity bet5een the Gaeli+ and 'nglo.orman -a+tions in ;lster +ontinued 5ith (el-ast
6astle being demolished by the O’.eill’s in 1?GB and 1?43/ In 1"22, the Irish Pri*y 6oun+il appealed
-or ships to patrol the +oast and stem the 2+ottish settlement o- ;lster/ 6learly the ongoing -ri+tion
bet5een the Gaeli+ -amilies, allied to some o- the longsettled &nglish -amilies 8Old &nglish9, and the
#.e5’ &nglish settlers 5as to be -urther rein-or+ed by the re-ormation/ '-ter %enry VIII’s repudiation o-
6atholi+ism, and the resultant rise o- Protestantism, the lines o- battle that ha*e be+ome so -amiliar to
students o- the .orthern Irish +on-li+t began to emerge/ In 1"?3, Iing &d5ard VI -urther altered the
6hur+h o- &ngland, -ollo5ing the e,ample o- Martin :uther, remo*ing +on-ession, pro+essions and the
do+trine o- transubstantiation/ Many Irish re-used to a++ept these +hanges both -or religious reasons, and
be+ause the +hanges 5ere 5ritten in &nglish as opposed to the Irish language/ $here-ore Ireland
remained )oman 6atholi+ 5hile &ngland gradually be+ame more o*ertly Protestant/ Politi+ally, this had
important +onseFuen+es -or Ireland, as the Gaeli+ Irish, and their Old &nglish allies, 5ere almost
+ompletely 6atholi+ in religion, 5hereas the .e5 &nglish 5ere, +on*ersely, pra+ti+ally all Protestants/
• $his meant that -rom an early stage, politi+s and religion 5ere signi-iers o- di--erent sides o- the
+on-li+t/ $he +onne+tion o- the politi+al 5ith the religious meant that ea+h side had a strong
sense o- belie- in the righteousness o- their +ause/ $he battle lines o- nati*e, Irish spea0ing and
6atholi+, as opposed to +oloni>er, &nglish spea0ing and Protestant 5ere being s0et+hed out this
-ar ba+0 in history/
$udor poli+y also meant that the +oloni>ation o- Ireland as a 5hole 5as prose+uted 5ith mu+h greater
*igor, and a ne5 generation o- administrators sa5 their role as the bringing o- the 5hole o- Ireland
5ithin the s+ope o- &nglish po5er/ It 5as during this period that the ongoing 2+ottish settlements in
;lster 5ere seen as a possible solution to the rebellious nature o- this pro*in+e/ In 1"G2, 2ir $homas
2mith began the -irst -ormal plantation o- ;lster by attempting to bring in &nglish settlers in parts o-
6ounty Do5n, 5hile -rom 1"G!1"GB, the &arl o- &sse, attempted to set up a +olony in +ounty 'ntrim/
$hese plantations, 5hile largely -ailures, did institute an &nglishIrish +on-li+t, 5hi+h +rystalli>ed in
;lster, 5here the battle lines bet5een the Gaeli+ -amilies and +lans, and the +oloni>ing &li>abethan
-or+es be+ame +lear by the end o- the 1B
+entury, 5ith the .ine Kears Har/
2tung by the in+ursions o- the ne5 &nglish, and their repla+ement o- the Gaeli+ and Old &nglish in
o--i+es o- state, %ugh O’.eill and his ally, %ugh O’Donnell, mounted a 5ar o- attrition against the
&li>abethan &nglish, 5inning a number o- battles o*er the nine years o- the 5ar/ O’.eill and O’Donnell
adopted de-ensi*e postures inside ;lster, de-eating 5hate*er armies 5ere sent against them, +ulminating
in the de-eat o- 2ir %enry (agenal and B000 men at the battle o- the Kello5 <ord/ O’.eill attempted to
ma0e this 5ar a national and religious one, +alling on Iing Philip o- 2pain and the Pope -or aid/ $he
5ar +ulminated in the (attle o- Iinsale, a battle 5hi+h 5as to be+ome one o- the -oundational moments
in the history o- Ireland, as 5ell as leading to the plantation o- ;lster, a plantation 5hi+h led dire+tly to
the presen+e o- the ;nionist population in .orthern Ireland, and by e,tension, to the ongoing +on-li+t
bet5een &nglish and Irish notions o- identity in ;lster/
• Plantation = the #planting’ o- ne5 people in the territory o- those 5ho ha*e been dri*en out = 5as
the +atalyst -or the huge di--eren+es in identity, +ulture and religion that +hara+teri>e the north
east o- Ireland/ $he *ery a+t o- plantation 5as an opportunity -or the ne5 settlers, but a tragedy
-or the nati*es 5ho had been dri*en out -rom their homes/ 's these nati*e people remained +lose
by, a lega+y o- bitterness 5as so5n that 5ould gro5 o*er the years/
1600 to 1800: Plantation and Post-Reformation
In 2eptember 1B01, O’.eill and O’Donnell re+ei*ed aid -rom 2pain in the shape o- an army o- !,"00
men, 5ho landed at Iinsale, on the 2outh +oast o- Ireland/ $his army 5as besieged by the :ord Deputy
o- Ireland, Mount7oy, in O+tober, and O’.eill and O’Donnell mar+hed south to relie*e the siege/ $hey
5ere de-eated by Mount7oy on De+ember 2?
1B01, a de-eat 5hi+h bro0e the po5er o- the Gaeli+
-amilies in ;lster/ $he &nglish go*ernment 5as determined to sei>e this opportunity and began an
ongoing poli+y o- plantation/ <or e,ample in 1B0", land in +ounty Do5n 5as granted to %ugh
Montgomery and James %amilton/ $he -irst 2+ottish settlers arri*ed in 1B0"1B0B/ $heir -irst tas0 5as to
build +ottages and d5ellings/ (y 1B!0, about ",000 2+ots had settled in 6ounty Do5n/
(y 1B0G, both O’.eill and O’Donnell had le-t the +ountry, their lands being de+lared -or-eit, and by
1B10, a larges+ale plantation o- ?,000,000 a+res 5ith &nglish and 2+ottish settlers 5as underta0en/
Di--erent strategies 5ere used, 5ith +ounties Do5n, Monaghan and 'ntrim being planted pri*ately,
5hile +ounties Derry and 'rmagh 5ere planted 5ith mostly &nglish settlers/ 6ounties $yrone and
Donegal 5ere planted largely 5ith 2+ots, 5hile there 5as a mi,ture o- 2+ots and &nglish in +ounties
<ermanagh and 6a*an/
$his plantation set out to lessen Gaeli+ in-luen+e and instead to in+orporate an institutionali>ed sense o-
&nglishness into the pro*in+e/ In 1B1!, -or e,ample, a +harter 5as granted ma0ing Derry the +ity o-
:ondonderry, and +reating a ne5 +ounty o- :ondonderry/ $he go*ernment had learned -rom the earlier
-ailures o- Lueen Mary’s plantation o- :aois and O--aly in :einster, and o- Lueen &li>abeth’s plantation
o- Munster/ In both o- these, the settlers had been isolated and 5ere *ulnerable to atta+0s -rom the
dispossessed Irish, 5hose land had been ta0en/ In ;lster, this problem 5as o*er+ome by the +onstru+tion
o- #plantation to5ns’, 5herein most o- the planters +ould ta0e shelter/ De-ending huge tra+ts o- land 5as
o-ten impossible, so three si>es o- plantation 5ere set out: ?0" he+tares, B0G he+tares and 410 he+tares/
Planters 5ere e,pe+ted to build -orti-ied houses, #ba5ns’ on their holdings/ $hese plantations pro*ed
popular, 5ith an estimated 20,000 2+ots settling in ;lster bet5een 1B0" and 1B03, bringing 5ith them
their Presbyterian religion, 5hi+h 5as di--erent -rom both 6atholi+ism and the 6hur+h o- &ngland,
although still being +lassi-ied as Protestant/
• $he +are-ul planning o- these plantations meant that they 5ere largely su++ess-ul/ Gi*en the -a+t
that the planters 5ere li*ing on land that had been ta0en -rom the nati*e Irish, high le*els o-
animosity e,isted bet5een both groups/ $he building o- -orti-ied d5ellings testi-ied to the siege
mentality that e,isted in the mindset o- the planters, 5ith good reason, as 5e 5ill see/
In 1B?1, the displa+ed nati*e Irish, many o- 5hom had been e*i+ted -rom their homes, rose in rebellion/
10,000 and 1",000 planters 5ere 0illed in a series o- atta+0s 5hi+h dre5 the battle lines o- the present
+on-li+t *ery +learly as nati*e, 6atholi+ Irish atta+0ed planted, Protestant 2+ots and &nglish/ In the
-ollo5ing year some ten thousand 2+ottish troops 5ere sent to de-eat this rebellion, and many o- these
soldiers remained in Ireland, ta0ing up the land *a+ated by the earlier planters/ During 6rom5ell’s
puniti*e e,pedition in Ireland, the planted areas 5ere largely untou+hed, as parts o- the rest o- Ireland
5ere planted by 6rom5ell’s soldiers, a plantation again based on religious as 5ell as politi+al +riteria/
$he ongoing sense o- religious, so+ial and +ultural di--eren+e 5ithin the region +ontinued to de*elop, and
this de*elopment 5ould +ome to a +lima, in 1B4G/
In &ngland, the in+reasingly pro6atholi+ poli+ies o- Iing James the se+ond, -rom 1B4" on5ards, began
to ma0e his Protestant sub7e+ts -ear that he 5as going to reintrodu+e 6atholi+ism as the state religion/ $o
+ompli+ate matters, his daughter, Mary, had married prin+e Hilliam o- Orange, a Dut+h Protestant,
ma0ing the latter heir to the throne/ )i+hard $albot, &arl o- $yr+onnell, began strengthening the Irish
army 5ith an eye to5ards -uture +on-li+t/ It 5as his attempted garrisoning o- some 6atholi+ soldiers in
:ondonderry in 1B44 that 5as to set in motion a train o- e*ents 5hi+h are +ommemorated to this day by
the mar+hing season in .orthern Ireland/ $he Protestant +iti>ens o- :ondonderry 5ere un5illing to
appear openly hostile to the 6atholi+ soldiers, and it 5as le-t to the 'pprenti+e (oys o- the +ity to bar the
gates shut, an a+tion that 5as repeated in &nnis0illen, in 6ounty <ermanagh/
In 1B43, Hilliam and Mary 5ere +ro5ned in the Glorious )e*olution, and the 6atholi+s in Ireland
de+lared support -or James, 5ho landed in Ireland to begin his -ight to re+apture the throne later that
same year/ %e had some early *i+tories, going on to besiege the to5ns o- :ondonderry and &nnis0illen/
Derry 5as besieged -or 10" days, 5ith James pla+ing a 5ooden boom a+ross the <oyle )i*er to ensure
that neither -ood nor rein-or+ements +ould be sent by sea/ %o5e*er, on July 24
, 1B43, a ship +alled the
Mountjoy smashed through the boom, and the siege 5as li-ted/ $he relie- o- the siege o- Derry be+ame a
highly signi-i+ant e*ent in the ;nionist perspe+ti*e on Irish history, 5hile it also -igured as an important
de-eat -or the 6atholi+s 5ho supported James/ In 'ugust o- that year, Hilliam landed at 6arri+0-ergus,
6ounty 'ntrim/
• He ha*e already noted the +onne+tions bet5een ;lster and the rest o- Ireland/ It is eFually
important to note the +onne+tion 5ith &nglish politi+s/ Ireland 5as *ery mu+h sub7e+t to the
+hanges in religious and politi+al administrations in &ngland/ $his 5ould remain a -a+tor up to
the playing o- the #Orange 6ard’, by the 6onser*ati*e politi+ian )andolph 6hur+hill, in the
$he -ollo5ing year, ?,000 Danish troops -rom the &uropean Grand 'llian+e troops arri*ed in Ireland to
aid Hilliam, 5hile :ouis MIV o- <ran+e sent troops to aid James/ On July 1
, 1B30, the most signi-i+ant
battle o- the 5ar too0 pla+e at the )i*er (oyne, in 6ounty Meath/ Hilliam 5on the battle, losing ?00
men to James’s 1,!00, and this battle is still +elebrated by ;nionists as their *i+tory o*er the -or+es o-
6atholi+ Ireland/ '-ter the $reaty o- :imeri+0, in 1B31, the position o- the Protestants 5as strengthened
by the in+eption o- the penal la5s, 5hi+h prohibited 6atholi+s and Presbyterians -rom land o5nership,
*oting, ta0ing part in politi+s and the o5nership o- 5eapons/ $he $oleration '+t, in 1G31, remo*ed the
stigma o- illegality -rom being a Presbyterian/ In the same year, the ;nited Irish 2o+iety 5as -ounded in
(el-ast by Presbyterian radi+als/
$he ;nited Irish rebellion o- 1G34, led by $heobald Hol-e $one, 5as in-luen+ed by the 'meri+an and
<ren+h )e*olutions, 5ith high le*els o- in*ol*ement by Presbyterians in ;lster/ $one, a produ+t o- the
<ren+h &nlightenment, had little time -or religion, and sa5 the aim o- his organi>ation, the ;nited
Irishmen, as the +reation o- a +ountry 5here the terms Protestant, 6atholi+ and Dissenter 8Presbyterian9
5ould be subsumed under the +ommon name o- Irishman/ %o5e*er, e+onomi+, religious and politi+al
di--eren+es 5ere by no5 deep set, and the rebellion 5as a -ailure/ In ;lster, tensions bet5een 6atholi+s
and Protestants still ran high, 5ith +ompetition -or land in 'rmagh leading to the -ormation o- the Peep
o’Day (oys, a Protestant agrarian mo*ement, 5hose +ounterpart 5as the 6atholi+ De-enders/ '-ter a
s0irmish in 6ounty 'rmagh in 1G3", a-ter5ards 0no5n as the (attle o- the Diamond, the Protestant
Orange 2o+iety 8later the Orange Order9, 5as -ounded/
• $he battle o- the (oyne remains an i+on o- identity -or ;lster Protestants/ Mu+h o- the #mar+hing
season’ that has +aused +on-rontation by parading through nationalist areas, re+alls and +elebrates
e*ents o- this 5ar, 5ith #Iing (illy’ seen as a de-ender o- ;lster Protestantism/ Mu+h o- the
*o+abulary and symbols o- the present +on-li+t ha*e their origins in this period/
1800 to 1922: nionism and !ationalism
$he 1G34 rebellion 5as a prime +ause o- the '+t o- ;nion, in 1401, 5hi+h set up the ;nited Iingdom o-
Great (ritain and Ireland, to be ruled -rom :ondon, 5ith the abolition o- all regional parliaments/ It is to
this union that the ;nionists pro+laim their loyalty as it is a guarantee o- their (ritishness/ Hith the
industrial re*olution, and the e,pansion o- the Irish linen industry, ;lster prospered, and the disastrous
e--e+ts o- the potato -amine 14?"14?4 on a mainly tillagebased Irish small -arming e+onomy 5ere less
se*ere in the in+reasingly industriali>ed northern pro*in+e/ In 14B2, the shipbuilding -irm o- %arland
and Hol-- 5as -ounded in (el-ast/ Hith the in+eption o- the union, Irish politi+s be+ame in+reasingly
polari>ed along politi+oreligious lines, 5ith Daniel O’6onnell appealing to 6atholi+ nationalism in his
attempts at repealing the union, 5hile the Irish )epubli+an brotherhood, also 0no5n as the <enians,
staged a rebellion in 14BG, 5hi+h 5as de-eated/
$he '+t o- ;nion 5as a polari>ing -a+tor in Irish politi+s, 5ith a number o- groups set up to oppose it,
in+luding the %ome )ule :eague, 5hi+h 5ent on to be+ame the %ome )ule Party, led by Isaa+ (utt, and
later by 6harles 2te5art Parnell/ In 144B, Gladstone introdu+ed the <irst %ome )ule (ill, 5hi+h 5as
de-eated in the %ouse o- 6ommons/ )ioting bro0e out in (el-ast 85ith "0 people being 0illed9, a symbol
that large tra+ts o- ;lster 5anted little to do 5ith %ome )ule/ $he Irish ;nionists -ounded a group, the
#Irish ;nionist 'llian+e’, 5hi+h gained support -rom the business +ommunity, and -rom the &nglish
6onser*ati*e party, 5ho -elt that i- Ireland bro0e a5ay, then 2+otland and Hales might 5ish to do the
same/ )andolph 6hur+hill, playing 5hat he +alled, the #Orange 6ard’, addressed ;nionists saying that
#;lster 5ill -ight, and ;lster 5ill be right’, thus assuring them o- $ory support/ <rom 144B to 1432, the
6onser*ati*es 5ere in po5er, and %ome )ule 5as not pursued/ In the meantime, nationalist Ireland 5as
+oming into being, 5ith the -oundation o- the Gaeli+ 'thleti+ 'sso+iation 8G''9 in 144?, to promote
Irish sports, 5hile in 143!, the Gaeli+ :eague 5as -ounded to promote the Irish language/ $hese tended
to -urther di--erentiate the ;lster ;nionists, 5ho 5ere no5 dissimilar in religion, politi+al aspiration, and
+ultural and linguisti+ pra+ti+es/ In 1432, the ;lster 6on*ention 5as held in (el-ast, 5hi+h resol*ed to
oppose the %ome )ule mo*ement/ In 143!, the 2e+ond %ome )ule (ill 5as passed by the %ouse o-
6ommons, but de-eated in the %ouse o- :ords/
• It is -rom this '+t o- ;nion that ;nionism deri*es its name, its ideology and its history/ $he
#(ritishness’ that is enshrined in the '+t 5as *ery mu+h part o- their o5n #(ritish’ identity, and
any s+hi>ophrenia 5hi+h they may ha*e -elt, as 'nglo+entri+ Protestants planted in Ireland, 5as
no5 dissol*ed in the o*erall sense o- union/ $he +onne+tions bet5een ;nionism and
6onser*ati*e politi+s 5ere also laid at this period/
In 1300, the <enians began to re-orm as the Irish )epubli+an (rotherhood 8I)(9, 5hile in 130", 'rthur
Gri--ith set up a ne5 politi+al party, +alled 2inn <Ain, 5hi+h, as a )epubli+an party, 5as against %ome
)ule, instead supporting -ull independen+e -or Ireland/ In the 1303 general ele+tion, the 6onser*ati*es
and :iberals 5on 2G2 seats ea+h, 5ith the %ome )ule Party, under John )edmond, 5inning 4? seats,
thereby holding the balan+e o- po5er/ In return -or )edmond’s support in +urbing the po5er o- the
%ouse o- :ords, the :iberals introdu+ed the $hird %ome )ule (ill in 1312/ (y no5, ;nionism, aided by
the 6onser*ati*es, had be+ome highly organi>ed in its opposition to %ome )ule/ In 130" 8ironi+ally the
year o- the -ounding o- 2inn <Ain9, the ;lster ;nionist 6oun+il had been -ounded as a body 5hi+h 5ould
unite ;nionist ta+ti+s/ 2ir &d5ard 6arson and 2ir James 6raig emerged as able leaders, 5hose argument
5as that the Protestant population o- the northeast o- Ireland +onstituted a separate nation, and should
there-ore be treated di--erently to the rest o- Ireland/ $heir +ase 5as strengthened by the 6urragh
in+ident 8also +alled the 6urragh mutiny9 in 5hi+h "G out o- the G0 o--i+ers at the 6urragh, under the
+ommand o- Ma7orGeneral 2ir %ubert Gough, stated that they 5ould resign their +ommissions be-ore
en-or+ing %ome )ule against the loyal sub7e+ts o- ;lster/
$he ;nionist rea+tion to the third %ome )ule (ill 5as to organi>e a 5ee0 o- demonstrations/ On
2eptember 24
, 1312, the #2olemn :eague and 6o*enant’, 5as introdu+ed by 6raig, 5hi+h some
?"0,000 people signed to *oi+e their opposition to the %ome )ule (ill, s5earing to use #all means 5hi+h
may be -ound ne+essary to de-eat the present +onspira+y to set up a %ome )ule parliament in Ireland’/
One o- the suggested options 5as that the -our +ounties 5ith a Protestant ma7ority = 'ntrim, Do5n,
:ondonderry and 'rmagh = +ould be le-t out o- the %ome )ule (ill/ $o rein-or+e their position, in
January 131!, the ;lster Volunteer <or+e 8;V<9 5as -ounded, organi>ed along the lines o- the (ritish
army, and 5ith a +laimed membership o- 100,000/ In late 'pril 131?, 2",000 ri-les and !,000,000 bullets
5ere illegally landed by the ;V< -rom the Clydevalley at :arne, (angor and Donaghadee, under the
dire+tion o- General 2ir Hilliam 'dair and 6aptain Hil-rid 2pender/ $here 5as no poli+e inter*ention,
and the landings 5ere su++ess-ul/
• $he threat o- *iolen+e to oppose politi+al steps 5hi+h 5ere seen as inimi+al to the +ommunity
5as -irst in*o0ed in modern times 5ith the -ormation o- the ;V</ $he importation o- guns,
largely unopposed by the poli+e, demonstrated the 5idespread sense o- in7usti+e that ;lster
should be+ome part o- an Irish nation/ $his 5as also the -irst mention o- the idea o- partition,
5ith a 6atholi+, Gaeli+ 2outhern Ireland partitioned -rom a Protestant, (ritish .orthern Ireland/
$he per+ei*ed +onne+tions bet5een ;nionism and the (ritish 'rmy o--i+er +lass 5ould ser*e to
+ontribute to .ationalist -ears throughout the +on-li+t/
2tung by the su++ess o- this mobili>ation, .ationalists -ounded the Irish Volunteer <or+e 8IV<9 and in
July 131?, they landed 1,"00 ri-les and ?",000 bullets at %o5th, near Dublin/ $he poli+e did inter*ene
here, and -our people 5ere shot at (a+helor’s Hal0 in Dublin/ Hith t5o armed +amps in the +ountry,
+i*il 5ar 5as a *ery real possibility, and the :iberal go*ernment suggested that ea+h +ounty hold a
plebis+ite to de+ide 5hether it 5anted %ome )ule, or union 5ith (ritain/ I- a +ounty *oted no, it 5ould
remain outside the %ome )ule -or B years/ %o5e*er, the debate 5as brought to a halt by the beginning
o- the <irst Horld 5ar, 5ith the (ill being postponed until the 5ar 5as o*er/ (oth ;nionists and
.ationalists -elt that by 7oining in the 5ar on the side o- the (ritish, their bargaining positions 5ould be
all the stronger 5hen the 5ar ended, 5ith )edmond urging .ationalists to #ser*e 5here*er the -iring line
e,tends’/ $housands o- .ationalists 7oined the (ritish 'rmy’s 10th and 1Bth di*isions, 5hile large
numbers o- ;nionists 7oined the !Bth ;lster Di*ision, 5hi+h su--ered ","00 +asualties at the (attle o-
the 2omme in the -irst t5o days o- July, 131B/
$his same year sa5 a sea+hange in nationalism, as a small group o- the Irish Volunteers and the Irish
)epubli+an (rotherhood planned, and e,e+uted a rebellion against the (ritish in &aster 5ee0/ 1"00 men
and 5omen too0 part, and a-ter " days o- -ighting, and ha*ing lost ?"0 dead, the rebels surrendered/ $he
rising 5as not popular at -irst, but the e,e+ution o- 1G o- the leaders -or treason 5as a 5atershed in terms
o- .ationalist publi+ opinion 5ith huge resultant gains -or 2inn <Ain 5hi+h pursued an abstentionist
poli+y 5ith regard to the ta0ing o- seats in Hestminster/ &amon de Valera, 5ho had -ought in the rising,
stood in the 6lare &ast byele+tion, on the plat-orm o- se+uring an independent Irish )epubli+/ %e 5as
ele+ted, but re-used to ta0e his seat/ In terms o- the situation o- ;lster 5ith respe+t to the rest o- Ireland,
he stated that: #i- ;lster stands in the 5ay o- attainment o- Irish -reedom, ;lster should be +oer+ed’/
• $his split in the Volunteers 5ould mar0 a trend in )epubli+an politi+s 5ith splinter groups ha*ing
a large part to play in the politi+s o- Ireland/ $he ma7ority, 5ho 5ere in -a*our o- the 5ar +alled
themsel*es the .ational Volunteer <or+e 8.V<9 5hile the smaller group retained the original
name/ 131B also sa5 the beginning o- )epubli+an *iolen+e, 5ithout any demo+rati+ mandate, a
pattern that has persisted in .orthern Ireland/ $he threat o- +oer+ion, as *oi+ed by de Valera, 5as
an ongoing sour+e o- the ;nionist #siege mentality’/
(y the end o- the 5ar, the Irish politi+al s+ene had been #+hanged utterly’ in the 5ord o- the poet H/ (/
Keats/ $he (ritish general ele+tion o- 1314 sa5 2inn <Ain 5in G! seats 5hile the %ome )ule Party had
been redu+ed to B/ $he Irish ;nionist Party 5on 2B seats, mostly in ;lster/ 'll G! 2inn <Ain MPs set up
their o5n parliament in Dublin, +alled DEil &ireann, on January 21
1313/ $he Irish Volunteer <or+e
renamed themsel*es the Irish )epubli+an 'rmy 8I)'9, and on the same day as the inaugural meeting o-
DEil &ireann, t5o members o- the )oyal Irish 6onstabulary 5ere 0illed at 2oloheadbeg, in 6ounty
$ipperary, an a+tion 5hi+h began the 'ngloIrish 5ar, or 5ar o- independen+e/
Despite the ongoing 5ar o- attrition, the (ritish go*ernment de+ided to implement %ome )ule, and
a++ordingly passed the Go*ernment o- Ireland '+t in <ebruary, 1320/ $his a+t partitioned Ireland into
t5o states, o- 2B and B +ounties respe+ti*ely, 5ith parliaments in Dublin and (el-ast, 5hi+h 5ere
subordinate to that o- Hestminster/ .orthern Ireland, as a state, 5as agreed by re-erendum +omprising o-
+ounties, :ondonderry, $yrone, <ermanagh, 'ntrim, Do5n and 'rmagh/ Its -irst ele+tions 5ere held in
May 1321, 5ith the ;nionists 5inning ?0 seats, the nationalists B and 2inn <Ain B/ $he ;nionist leader,
2ir James 6raig, be+ame the -irst prime minister/
&le+tions 5ere also held -or the parliament in Dublin in 1321, 5ith 2inn <Ain ta0ing 12? seats 5hile the
remaining ? 5ere ta0en by ;nionist +andidates/ $he I)', under the leadership o- Mi+hael 6ollins,
+ontinued the 5ar against the (ritish, ma0ing regular atta+0s on .orthern Ireland/ In July 1321, a tru+e
5as signed, 5hi+h e*entually resulted in the 'ngloIrish $reaty o- De+ember o- that year/ $his ga*e
greater measures o- independen+e to the 2B +ounties, no5 +alled the Irish <ree 2tate, 5hi+h 5as to
remain in the 6ommon5ealth/ In terms o- relationships 5ith .orthern Ireland, a (oundary 6ommission
5as to ensure that the border bet5een the states 5ould be -air to the allegian+e o- .ationalist and
;nionist +ommunities li*ing +lose to the border/ 'lso, a 6oun+il o- Ireland 5as to be set up to ensure
+ordial relations bet5een the t5o states, and to o*ersee the e*entual uni-i+ation o- the +ountry/ $his
+oun+il ne*er a+tually met, and the (oundary 6ommission report 5as shel*ed in 132", 5ith no +hanges
made to the border/ $he period -ollo5ing the $reaty 5as a turbulent one, 5ith +i*il 5ar bet5een pro and
anti $reaty -a+tions in the south, at the +ost o- ?,000 to ",000 li*es, and 5idespread *iolen+e in .orthern
Ireland 5ith appro,imately 2!2 people 0illed and roughly 1,000 in7ured/ In 13!2, <ianna <Eil, the anti
treaty patty in the 6i*il Har, +ame into go*ernment, 5ith &amon de Valera as leader/
• Partition ga*e de jure re+ognition to the de facto situation that e,isted bet5een ;nionists and
.ationalists/ 6i*il Har bet5een the t5o se+tions 5as a*erted by partition, but the +i*il 5ar in the
south 5as basi+ally bet5een those 5ho 5ere 5illing to a++ept partition as the pri+e o- limited
independen+e, and those 5ho still 5anted a thirtyt5o +ounty united Ireland/ )epubli+an
militants retained an abstentionist poli+y, 5hi+h they no5 also applied to DEil &ireann/
1922 to 1967: nionism and !ationalism
In 13!?, :ord 6raiga*on made -amous #Protestant .ation’ spee+h, 5here he +alled 2tormont a
#Protestant parliament -or a Protestant people’/ In 13!B, a Publi+ Order '+t 5as imposed 5hi+h allo5ed
-or the banning o- parades or mar+hes 5hi+h 5ere thought to disrupt publi+ order/ In 13!G, the Irish <ree
2tate +hanged its name to #&ire’, in a ne5 5ritten +onstitution, 5hi+h de+lared, in arti+le 2, that &ire’s
boundary +onsisted o- the 5hole island o- Ireland, 5hile arti+le ! +laimed the right to pass la5s -or the
5hole island/ 2ome .orthern nationalists -ounded the #'ntiPartition :eague’, in 13?", a group 5hi+h
gained a lot o- support -rom the Irish <ree 2tate, 5hi+h pro*ided them 5ith money in the 13?3 .orthern
Irish ele+tion/ De Valera’s go*ernment stated that it 5ould gi*e ;nionists #any reasonable +onstitutional
guarantees’ i- they 5ould agree to a united Ireland/ (asil (roo0e, the prime minister o- .orthern Ireland,
responded by saying that #;lster is not -or sale,’ be-ore loo0ing -or guarantees -rom the (ritish regarding
the permanen+e o- .orthern Ireland’s ;I status/ $he pro+lamation o- Ireland as a republi+ 85ith another
+hange in nomen+lature -rom &ire to $he )epubli+ o- Ireland9 by $aoisea+h John '/ 6ostello, in 13?3
5as -ollo5ed by the +ountry’s 5ithdra5al -rom the 6ommon5ealth/
$he Ireland '+t in 13?3 guaranteed .orthern Ireland’s status 5ithin the ;nited Iingdom, 5hile also
re+ogni>ing the status o- the )epubli+ o- Ireland/ $he 'ntipartition :eague 5as disbanded in 13"1/ In
13"?, the <lags and &mblems '+t 5as introdu+ed in .orthern Ireland, banning the -lying o- the tri+olor,
the -lag o- the Irish )epubli+/ In 13"1, Ian Paisley, -ormed the <ree Presbyterian 6hur+h/ In 13"B, the
I)' began a #border +ampaign’ 5ith atta+0s on areas o- .orthern Ireland/ 's a result, internment o-
those suspe+ted o- I)' a+ti*ity 5as introdu+ed in both .orthern Ireland and the Irish )epubli+/ $his
+ampaign ended in 13B2 due to la+0 o- support/ In the "0s, .orthern Ireland prospered, and 5ith the
ad*ent o- (ritish -unding -or the .orthern Irish 5el-are state, e+onomi+ +onditions 5ere better than those
o- the )epubli+ o- Ireland/ Dis+rimination against 6atholi+s 5as a +harge laid against the ;nionist
regime, 5ith Protestants holding 3"N o- the top 6i*il 2er*i+e positions in the .orthern Irish
• <rom 1322 to the beginning o- the 13B0s, .orthern Ireland +onsolidated its status, 5ithstanding a
5ea0 I)' attempt to undermine it/ It remained a Protestant dominated state, 5ith boundaries
dra5n to ensure ;nionist ma7orities, and 5ith a per+eption among nationalists that they 5ere
se+ond+lass +iti>ens/ In the B0s, 5ith the issue o- +i*il rights erupting a+ross 'meri+a, and 5ith
the ad*ent o- repressed minorities -inding a *oi+e, the parallels bet5een '-ro'meri+ans and
.orthern Irish 6atholi+s began to be dra5n/
In 13B!, 6aptain $eren+e O’.eill be+ame prime minister o- .orthern Ireland, and a year later, the
6ampaign -or 2o+ial Justi+e 5as -ormed, to protest against 5hat it sa5 as dis+rimination against
6atholi+s/ In 13B", O’.eill met the Irish $aoisea+h 2Aan :emass 8prime minister9 in (el-ast, the -irst
su+h meeting, 5hi+h +aused some disFuiet among ;nionists, 5ho -elt that the po5er o- the 6atholi+
6hur+h in the )epubli+ 8the 13!G +onstitution guaranteed its #spe+ial position, and it obliged Protestants
5ho married 6atholi+s to underta0e that their +hildren 5ould be brought up as 6atholi+s9, represented a
danger/ In 13BB Ian Paisley, 5ho had also -ounded the <ree Presbyterian 6hur+h, set up the Protestant
;nionist Party and began to oppose O’.eill’s poli+y o- rapprochement/ .ationalist +elebrations o- the
anni*ersary o- the &aster )ebellion +aused rioting 5ith :oyalist +ounter demonstrations/ $he I)'
ble5 up .elson’s Pillar in Dublin that same year, but had be+ome largely irrele*ant in the in+reasingly
prosperous )epubli+ o- Ireland//
1967 to 2000: "he "ro#$les
$he 13?G &du+ation '+t had opened third le*el edu+ation to a generation o- .ationalists, and in 0eeping
5ith the Zeitgeist o- the B0s, the .orthern Ireland +i*il rights 'sso+iation 8.I6)'9 5as -ormed in 13BG,
loo0ing -or *oting rights -or all in lo+al ele+tions 8only rate payers had the -ran+hise until then9, as 5ell
as an end to gerrymandering o- +onstituen+y boundaries 8the a+tion o- manipulating the boundaries o- a
+onstituen+y so as to gi*e an un-air ad*antage at an ele+tion to a parti+ular party or +lass9/ $hey also
highlighted the re-orm o- housing allo+ations and publi+ se+tor appointments, the repeal o- the 2pe+ial
Po5ers a+t, and the disbandment o- the allProtestant paramilitary style #(2pe+ial’ poli+e -or+e/
(e+ause the .I6)' did not in-orm the poli+e, their mar+hes 5ere de+lared illegal/ In 13B4, the -irst +i*il
rights mar+h, -rom 6oalisland to Dungannon, 5as held in 'ugust 13B4, and passed o-- pea+e-ully/
%o5e*er another mar+h, on O+tober "
, 5as stopped by the )oyal ;lster 6onstabulary, 5ith a baton
+harge, lea*ing a number o- the mar+hers in7ured/ $he mar+h had been banned by the poli+e, in*o0ing
the Publi+ Order '+t/ $5o days o- rioting -ollo5ed, and this in+ident is seen by many as the beginning
o- the present #troubles’/ $he 5hole in+ident 5as -ilmed, and dre5 the attention o- the 5orld’s media to
(el-ast/ <our days later, People’s Demo+ra+y, a radi+al 2tudent organi>ation 5as -ormed, and in
.o*ember, $eren+e O’.eill announ+ed a -i*epoint re-orm plan in the areas o- *oting, housing and a
+omplaints +ommission/ In late .o*ember, a +i*il rights mar+h in 'rmagh 5as stopped by the poli+e
due to the presen+e o- a +ounterdemonstration, led by Ian Paisley and )onald (unting 8both o- 5hom
5ere subseFuently imprisoned -or illegal assembly9/ In De+ember, O’.eill made a tele*ised spee+h,
stating that ;lster stood at a +rossroads, 5hi+h gained a lot o- support/ $he .I6)' +alled o-- its
• $he parallels bet5een Irish and 'meri+an +i*il rights mar+hes are +lear/ ' generation o- 5ell
edu+ated and arti+ulate .ationalists began sa5 themsel*es as disen-ran+hised, and the media, by
ne5 used to -ilming riots and demonstrations, broad+ast these s+enes around the 5orld, -o+using
media attention on .orthern Ireland and embarrassing the (ritish go*ernment/ $he ;nionist
establishment, -earing that any +hange might opened the -loodgates, adopted a rigid poli+y, 5hi+h
5as a propaganda disaster -or them/
%o5e*er on January 1
, 13B3, People’s Demo+ra+y began a -ourday mar+h -rom (el-ast to Derry, a
notion borro5ed -rom Martin :uther Iing’s mar+h -rom 2elma to Montgomery/ On the -ourth day, the
mar+h 5as atta+0ed by :oyalists, in+luding some o-- duty (2pe+ials, at (urntollet (ridge/ $he poli+e
5ere ine--e+ti*e in pre*enting this atta+0/ 'gain it 5as -ilmed, and again these pi+tures 5ent around the
5orld/ O’.eill announ+ed an inFuiry into the in+ident/ 'n ele+tion 5as +alled -or <ebruary, 5ith
O’.eill’s poli+ies di*iding ;nionists into #O--i+ial’ 82G seats9 and #;no--i+ial’ 812 seats9 groupings/ In
'pril, #one man, one *ote’ 5as introdu+ed by the ;nionist parliamentary party 8by a *ote o- 24 to 229/
James 6hi+hester6lar0e resigned in protest/ O’.eill, -eeling his position had be+ome in+reasingly
untenable, resigned to be repla+ed by 6hi+hester6lar0e/ It 5as agreed to allo5 the 'pprenti+e (oys
parade 8+ommemorating the barring o- the gates o- the +ity against James the 2e+ond in 1B449 to go
ahead in Derry/ 's the parade passed +lose to the .ationalist (ogside area, serious rioting erupted/ $he
);6, using armored +ars and 5ater +annons, entered the (ogside, in an attempt to end the rioting/ Hhat
5as to be+ome 0no5n as the #(attle o- the (ogside’ lasted -or t5o days, and rioting spread throughout
the .orth/ In (el-ast, entire streets o- houses 5ere burned do5n by rioters and o*er !"00 -amilies,
mainly 6atholi+s, 5ere dri*en -rom their homes/ 2e*en people 5ere 0illed and 100 5ounded as the
rioters began to use guns/ $he riots spread a+ross .orthern Ireland/ $he Irish $aoisea+h, Ja+0 :yn+h
made a tele*ision broad+ast stating that the Irish go*ernment 5ere setting up -ield hospitals along the
border, and blamed the present situation on the #poli+ies pursued -or de+ades by su++essi*e 2tormont
go*ernments/’ %e 5ent on to ma0e the point that the Irish go*ernment +ould #no longer stand by and see
inno+ent people in7ured and perhaps 5orse/’ 2o, on 'ugust 1"
, the ;I Prime Minister, %arold Hilson,
ordered the (ritish 'rmy into (el-ast and Derry to support the );6/ <our days later he also ordered the
2tormont go*ernment to introdu+e #one man one *ote’, disband the (spe+ials, and disarm and
restru+ture the );6/
• $he similarities o- these s+enes o- uni-ormed -or+es o- the state 5ith those o- Prague, Paris and
'meri+an ;ni*ersities 5ere +lear to all, and sympathy 5ith the +i*il rights mar+hers, and by
e,tension, the nationalists be+ame 5idespread/ $he rea+tion o- the )epubli+ 5as also a harbinger
as the tele*ised s+enes had brought to the sur-a+e a dormant nationalism that 5ould help to set up,
-inan+e and support, the Pro*isional I)'/
In 'ugust 13G0, a ne5 nationalist party, $he 2o+ial and Demo+rati+ :abour Party 82D:P9 5as -ormed,
led by Gerry <itt, 5ith John %ume as deputy leader, to *oi+e .ationalist opinion/ In Mar+h 13G1, (rian
<aul0ner repla+ed James 6hi+hester6lar0 as prime minister/ During these riots, the I)' demand -or a
united Ireland 5as re0indled, 5ith a resulting split o- the I)', into the O--i+ial I)' and the Pro*isional
I)' in De+ember 13B3/ $he more militant PI)' re+ei*ed arms and money -rom sympathi>ers in the
)epubli+ and in 'meri+a/ $hey targeted poli+emen and be+ame in+reasingly in*ol*ed in +i*ilian
demonstrations and riots/ 2" people 5ere 0illed in 13G0 and 1G? in 13G1/ (y mid 13G0, the PI)' 5ere
belie*ed to be around 1,"00 strong, and their e+onomi+ 5ar meant that there 5ere 1"! e,plosions in
13G0, es+alating to !0? e,plosions in the -irst B months o- 13G1/ On <ebruary B
Gunner )obert 6urtis
be+ame the -irst soldier to die in the $roubles/ In response to this +ampaign, internment 5as introdu+ed
in 'ugust 13G1, 5ith !?2 people arrested and ta0en to internment +amps/ $here 5as 5idespread
*iolen+e in response to this initiati*e, and 1G people 5ere 0illed in the ne,t ?4 hours, 5ith some G,000
people -or+ed to -lee their homes/ Internment +ontinued until 13G", 5ith 1,4G? 6atholi+s O )epubli+ans,
and 10G Protestants O :oyalists being detained/ In 2eptember o- 13G1, a -urther splintering in the
;nionist +ommunity too0 pla+e, 5ith Ian Paisley and Desmond (oal -ounding the Demo+rati+ ;nionist
Party 8D;P9/
On 2unday, January !0
, 13G2, an antiinternment mar+h too0 pla+e in Derry, 5hi+h ended in rioting/
Members o- the para+hute )egiment, belie*ing themsel*es to be under atta+0, opened -ire, 0illing 1?
people 8there is an opposing *ie5 that they opened -ire deliberately = the 5hole a--air is no5 the sub7e+t
o- a tribunal o- enFuiry9/ .o guns or bombs 5ere -ound on any o- the protestors, and no members o- the
army 5ere in7ured/ $he ensuing Hidgery inFuiry did not re+ommend +harges against any o- the soldiers,
angering .ationalists/ In Dublin, -eelings ran high, and the (ritish &mbassy 5as burned do5n/ '
(ritish army barra+0s in 'ldershot 5as bombed by the OI)', 0illing G soldiers/ 't this stage, many
.ationalist areas had be+ome #no go’ areas -or the );6 and the (ritish 'rmy, 5ith barri+ades set up,
and manned by the PI)'/ $he (ritish Prime Minister, &d5ard %eath, announ+ed in Mar+h 13G2 that la5
and order po5ers 5ere to be remo*ed -rom the 2tormont, and that Dire+t )ule 5as to be introdu+ed -rom
(ritain, 5ith a ne5 se+retary o- 2tate -or .orthern Ireland, Hilliam Hhitela5, being appointed/
$he *iolen+e in .orthern Ireland 5orsened in 13G2, 5ith ?BG people 0illed/ $he (ritish go*ernment
entered into se+ret negotiations 5ith the PI)', 5ho +alled a tru+e -or the duration/ $he PI)'’s demand
-or unity 5as unable to be met by the (ritish and the negotiations bro0e do5n/ $he PI)' response 5as
to detonate 2B no5arning +ar bombs in (el-ast on 21 July 13G2, 0illing 11 people and in7uring 1!0/ $he
day is no5 0no5n as #(loody <riday’/ $he ;lster De-en+e 'sso+iation 8;D'9 retaliated by 0illing -i*e
6atholi+s/ $en days later #Operation Motorman’, the dismantling o- the .ationalist #no go’ areas, 5as
implemented/ O*erall 21,000 (ritish troops, 3,000 ;D) members and B,000 );6 too0 part in pro*in+e
5ide operations/
• Gi*en that in 13B3, the slogan I)' 5as eFuated 5ith #I )an '5ay’ in street gra--iti, the birth o-
the PI)', as 5ell as gi*ing the term #Pro*o’ to the &nglish language, 5as in the main a response
to 5hat 5as seen as o--i+ial repression, and +ollusion -rom the );6/ Internment and (loody
2unday s5elled their numbers, and they 5ere seen as +arrying on the 5ar begun in 131B by many
.ationalists/ %o5e*er, their +ampaign o- bombing and se+tarian murder alienated many in the
)epubli+, though it 5as thought by )epubli+an strategists that they +ould bomb the (ritish into
$he Irish and (ritish go*ernments 5ere an,ious that the unrest should be ended, and attempted to bro0er
an agreement 5hereby po5er 5ould be shared bet5een ;nionists and .ationalists in a ne5 assembly/
$he role o- the Irish go*ernment in the administration o- these po5ers 5as a ma7or sti+0ing point -or
(rian <aul0ner, the .orthern Irish prime minister/ %o5e*er an agreement 5as bro0ered at 2unningdale
in &ngland, allo5ing -or the establishment o- a 6oun+il o- Ireland, 5hi+h 5ould gi*e the )epubli+ some
in-luen+e o*er .orthern Ireland/ $he e,e+uti*e too0 o--i+e on January 1
, 13G?, and 5as +omposed o-
11 *oting members 8B ;nionists, ? 2D:P, and 1 'llian+e Party9, and ? non*oting members 82 2D:P, 1
;nionist, and 1 'llian+e Party9/ %o5e*er, in ele+tions held in 13G?, anti2unningdale +andidates 5on
12 seats in Hestminster to the proagreement side’s 11, and in may o- that year, an umbrella group
+alling itsel- the ;lster Hor0ers 6oun+il organi>ed a pro*in+e5ide stri0e 5hi+h e--e+ti*ely paraly>ed
+ommuni+ation, po5er and industry in .orthern Ireland/ $he ;lster De-en+e 'sso+iation 8;D'9
manned barri+ades, 5hi+h, 5hen remo*ed by the (ritish army, 5ere instantly repla+ed/ $he pro*in+e
ground to a standstill, and to -urther add to the tension, loyalist +ar bombs in the )epubli+ o- Ireland, in
Monaghan and Dublin, 0illed !! people/ Hhen the (ritish go*ernment re-used to negotiate 5ith the
stri0ers, all unionist members o- the e,e+uti*e resigned, and .orthern Ireland 5as again under dire+t
• Perhaps the most important -eature o- the stri0e 5as the grass roots support gi*en to the stri0ers
by ordinary Protestants, 5ho +learly -elt that their politi+ians 5ere not gi*ing them the leadership
they desired/ It -urther -ra+tured the ;nionist parties, 5ith the -ormation o- #Vanguard’, another
player 5as added to the politi+al s+ene/ (rian <aul0ner resigned, and ;nionist +ontrol o*er the
politi+s o- .orthern Ireland 5as super+eded by dire+t rule -rom :ondon/
During the 13G0s, the PI)' +ampaign o- terrorism, and the loyalist responses, +ontinued, 5ith 2,1B1
people being 0illed bet5een 13G0 and 1340/ In 13GB, the (ritish 2e+retary -or .orthern Ireland, Merlin
)ees, remo*ed spe+ial +ategory status -rom paramilitary prisoners, meaning that, in e--e+t, they 5ere
being treated li0e ordinary +riminals/ $heir -i*e demands in+luded the 5earing +i*ilian +lothes, -ree
asso+iation in the prison, a++ess to edu+ational -a+ilities, restoration o- lost remission o- senten+es, and
the right not to do prison 5or0/ 't the Ma>e prison, a number o- )epubli+an prisoners undertoo0 5hat
they +alled the #dirty protest’, in that they re-used to 5ash, or +lean their +ells, or to 5ear prison +lothes/
In 1340, there 5as a brie- hunger stri0e, 5hi+h 5as +alled o-- in De+ember/ %o5e*er, the issue
remained unresol*ed and in Mar+h 1341, a ne5 hunger stri0e began, 5ith 5ide .ationalist support/ $he
6onser*ati*e go*ernment, under Margaret $hat+her, re-used to negotiate, and 10 hunger stri0ers died
be-ore the stri0e 5as terminated, in O+tober 1341/ $hat+her 5ent on to say: #He are not prepared to
+onsider spe+ial +ategory status -or +ertain groups o- people ser*ing senten+es -or +rime/ 6rime is +rime
is +rime, it is not politi+al/’ One o- the stri0ers, (obby 2ands, 5as ele+ted a Member o- Parliament
during a byele+tion -or the <ermanagh O 2outh $yrone seat, 5hile t5o %(lo+0 prisoners 5ere also
ele+ted to DEil &ireann in the 1341 general ele+tion/ On 2ands’s death, O5en 6arron, his ele+tion agent,
5on the subseFuent byeele+tion/ On B O+tober 1341 James Prior, 2e+retary o- 2tate -or .orthern
Ireland, announ+ed a series o- measures 5hi+h 5ent a long 5ay to meeting many aspe+ts o- the
prisoners’ -i*e demands/
• $he main import o- the hunger stri0es 5as t5o-old/ <irstly, the PI)' and I.:' stri0ers be+ame
martyrs 5ithin their +ommunity, and +reated a 5a*e o- sympathy -or their +ause as they
demonstrated an ability to su--er as 5ell as to in-li+t su--ering on others/ 2e+ondly, these stri0es
sa5 the politi+al rise o- 2inn <Ain, 5ho, by June 134! had some 1!/?N o- the *ote in the .orth as
opposed to the 2D:P’s 1G/3N/ $his +ould 5ell be seen as the beginning o- the politi+i>ation o-
2inn <Ain under its +urrent leadership, 5ith Gerry 'dams being ele+ted as an MP in 134!/
In the 1340s, the *iolen+e and +ounter*iolen+e +ontinued/ In 134?, -our people 5ere 0illed as the PI)'
planted a bomb in the Grand %otel in (righton, 5here Margaret $hat+her 5as staying -or the
6onser*ati*e Party 6on-eren+e/ $he le*el o- *iolen+e 5as gradually de+reasing 5ith "10 people 0illed
-rom 1340 to 134", but politi+al progress 5as also being attempted/ $he .e5 Ireland <orum report, in
134?, 5as a debate on the -uture o- .orthern Ireland/ (oy+otted by the ;nionist parties, it +omprised o-
the Irish go*ernment and the 2D:P 82inn <Ain’s +onne+tion to PI)' *iolen+e pre+luded their presen+e9,
and it o--ered three possible politi+al options: a united Ireland, a +on-ederation o- .orthern Ireland and
the )epubli+, and 7oint authority o*er .orthern Ireland/ In 134", se+ret (ritishIrish negotiations resulted
in the 'ngloIrish 'greement, 5herein the (ritish re+ogni>ed the Irish )epubli+’s right to ma0e
proposals +on+erning .orthern Ireland, and the Irish go*ernment re+ogni>ed the prin+iple o- ;nionist
+onsent as a prereFuisite to a united Ireland/ ;nionists 5ere angered as they -elt that a -oreign
go*ernment 5as being gi*en a say in running their +ountry/ 2inn <Ain 5ere also aggrie*ed, as the
agreement re+ogni>ed the status o- the .orthern Irish state 8something that 2inn <Ain stead-astly re-used
to do9/ ;nionists mounted an #;lster 2ays .o’ +ampaign, but despite a petition 5ith ?00,000 signatures
being sent to the Lueen, the agreement remained in -or+e/
• $he prin+iple o- ;nionist +onsent, and the de facto re+ognition o- the right o- the )epubli+ o-
Ireland to ha*e some say in .orthern Irish a--airs, signaled ma7or shi-ts in the ground rules o- the
politi+s o- .orthern Ireland/ $he ;V< and ;D' began targeting );6 personnel, seeing them as
traitors to the union by en-or+ing this agreement/ It also demonstrated that the Irish and (ritish
go*ernments 5ere pursuing a longterm poli+y o- diploma+y on the .orth/
134G1344 5as a parti+ularly blea0 year -or the #$roubles’, 5ith eight PI)' men being shot dead by the
2'2 in :oughgall, 6o 'rmagh, and 5ith an PI)' bomb e,ploding during )emembran+e Day
+elebration in &nnis0illen, 0illing 11 people/ ! PI)' members 5ere 0illed by under+o*er army agents in
Gibraltar, in Mar+h 1344, and during their -uneral, a loyalist gunman shot three o- the mourners dead in
Millto5n +emetery/ During the -uneral o- one o- these people, t5o (ritish army +orporals dro*e into the
+ortege, and 5ere beaten, and then 0illed, presumably by the PI)'/ In 'ugust o- the same year, eight
(ritish soldiers 5ere 0illed by a bomb atta+0 on a bus at (allyga5ley, 6o $yrone/ $he need -or some
-orm o- a++ommodation 5as be+oming all the greater/ (et5een 1344 and 1332, attempts 5ere made to
initiate allparty tal0s in .orthern Ireland/ In an e--ort to ma0e some progress, the tal0s 5ere di*ided into
three strands: strand one dealing 5ith internal relations, strand t5o dealing 5ith .orth2outh relations
5hile strand three dealt 5ith Irish(ritish relations/ $he +arrot 5as held out to 2inn <Ain that they +ould
be part o- these tal0s i- the PI)' +alled a +ease-ire/ $his 5as the main sti+0ing point, 5ith the politi+al
parties relu+tant to enter into tal0s 5ith .ationalist or ;nionist paramilitary organi>ations 5ho still used
terrorist methods/ O- +ourse, this 5as the ultimate 6at+h22 situation, as i- some -orm o- pea+e 5as e*er
to be -ound, then the people 5ith guns 5ould ha*e to be part o- the negotiations/ $he beginnings o- this
pro+ess +an be tra+ed to a series o- tal0s bet5een John %ume and Gerry 'dams, 5hile the I)' 5ere still
pursuing their +ampaign, in 1344/ ' -urther signi-i+ant de*elopment o- this period 5as the in+eption o-
t5o ne5 ;nionist politi+al parties, the Progressi*e ;nionist Party 8representing the ;V<9, and the ;lster
Demo+rati+ Party 8representing the ;D'9/ .o5, paramilitaries o- all sides had politi+al ad7un+ts/
• $he signi-i+an+e o- this period is the in+reasing randomness o- the *iolen+e, leading to desires
that some -orm o- tal0s +ould be bro0ered/ $he gradual politi+i>ation o- the paramilitaries
pro+eeded, and all strands o- .ationalist and ;nionist opinion 5ere no5 in pla+e/ ;nli0e
2unningdale, the ne+essity -or in+lusi*ity 5as *ery mu+h at the +ore o- this pro+ess/
In 133!, the #Do5ning 2treet De+laration’ +ommitted the (ritish and Irish go*ernments to setting up
stru+tures -or tal0s, 5hi+h 5ould be in+lusi*e/ In 133?, the De+laration’s perspe+ti*e on arms 5as
+lari-ied: i- a group #laid do5n their arms’ they +ould be part o- tal0s/ '-ter a *isit to 'meri+a, and at
the urgings o- President (ill 6linton, on 'ugust !1
, 133?, the PI)' announ+ed a #+omplete +essation’
o- military operations/ On O+tober 1!
, the ;V< and the ;D' -ollo5ed suit/ ' debate began about the
#permanen+e’ o- the +essation, and in 133", the issue o- :oyalist parades in .ationalist areas be+ame
pre*alent, 5ith ensuing riots around the time o- the mar+hing season/ $he issue o- de+ommissioning o-
arms prior to entry into tal0s 5as a sti+0ing point, 5ith the (ritish Prime Minister, John Ma7or, setting
this as a prereFuisite to 2inn <Ain’s entry into tal0s/ 'meri+an senator George Mit+hell’s subseFuent
report bro0ered a +ompromise 5hereby phased de+ommissioning +ould ta0e pla+e during any tal0s/ $he
PI)' -elt that de+ommissioning should be the end o- a pro+ess o- negotiation, and not a prereFuisite,
and, on <ebruary 3
, 133B, they ended the +ease-ire/ $he same night, a 1 tonne bomb e,ploded in
6anary Hhar-, in :ondon, 0illing t5o people and +ausing millions o- pounds 5orth o- damage/ $his
5as -ollo5ed by another 1/" tonne bomb in Man+hester/ July o- this year sa5 an Orange mar+h -or+ed
do5n the Gar*aghy )oad in Portado5n by the );6 a-ter the initial Drum+ree stando--/ &arlier :oyalist
rioting and roadblo+0s 5ere -ollo5ed by a 5ee0’s rioting by .ationalists/ In the )epubli+, on June G
Dete+ti*e Garda Jerry M+6abe 5as shot dead during a post o--i+e raid in 'dare, 6o :imeri+0, an a+tion
5hi+h 5as damaging to the PI)' in terms o- support in the )epubli+, 5ith a number o- arms dumps
being dis+losed by disa--e+ted supporters/
In 133G, a Parades 6ommission 5as set up to ad7udi+ate on the routes o- parades/ :abour’s $ony (lair
be+ame prime minister, 5ith both Gerry 'dams and Martin M+Guinness be+oming MPs at Hestminster/
Portado5n again be+ame a -lashpoint, 5ith the mar+h pro+eeding do5n the .ationalist Gar*aghy )oad,
and subseFuent rioting in*ol*ing more than B00 petrol bombs thro5n, 200 +ar hi7a+0ings and "00 atta+0s
on the se+urity -or+es/ :ater that July, the PI)' announ+ed a se+ond +ease -ire/ 2inn <Ain signed up to
the Mit+hell prin+iples, though the PI)' did not/ $he ;lster ;nionist leader, Da*id $rimble,
+ourageously led his party into negotiations, and later into go*ernment, 5ith 2inn <Ain and the 2D:P,
thereby brea0ing a log7am that had been an issue -or !0 years/ <rom Mar+h to 'pril, negotiations 5ere
intense, and then, on 'pril 10
, the #Good <riday 'greement’ sa5 the light o- day, its proposals being
endorsed in re-erenda in both .orthern Ireland 8G1N in -a*our9, and in the )epubli+ 83?N in -a*our o-
+onstitutional +hange disa*o5ing the )epubli+’s +laim to the 5hole island9/ $he ;D'’s leader in the
Ma>e prison 5ent on re+ord on the ((6 saying #the 5ar is o*er’/
• $he danger o- regression into *iolen+e 5as +lear throughout the pea+e pro+ess in the shape o- the
Drum+ree stando--/ $he relati*e speed 5ith 5hi+h the agreement 5as rea+hed 5as a sign that
pea+e 5as +learly desired, but it also +ontained a 5arning that some items may ha*e been rushed,
and +ould still be+ome a di--i+ulty in the later stages o- the pro+ess/ $he *erbal ambiguities o- the
pea+e pro+ess, 5hile allo5ing all sides to +laim *i+tory, 5ould +ause di--i+ulty in the -uture/
In the ele+tions -or the .orthern Ireland 'ssembly, the ;;P got 24 seats, the 2D:P 2?, the D;P 20 and
2< 14, and on Hednesday July 1
, 1334, the -irst meeting o- the 'ssembly too0 pla+e, 5ith all parties
present/ Da*id $rimble, leader o- the ;;P, 5as ele+ted <irst Minister Designate, 5ith 2eamus Mallon,
deputy leader o- the 2D:P, ele+ted Deputy <irst Minister Designate/ Despite the 5idespread popularity
o- the agreement, hardline :oyalists and .ationalist groupings 5ere *ery mu+h against 5hat they sa5,
-rom their di--erent perspe+ti*es, as a +ompromise/ ' -urther split in PI)' sa5 the -ormation o-
)epubli+an 2inn <Ain, and their military arm the 6ontinuity I)' 8also 0no5n as the )eal I)'9/ It 5as
this latter group 5ho +arried out the Omagh bomb, hoping to +reate dys-un+tion 5ithin the pea+e
pro+ess/ %o5e*er, the sheer pointlessness o- the *iolen+e had the opposite e--e+t, and the ;;P and P;P
entered into tal0s 5ith 2inn <Ain, 5ho also made positi*e noises in terms o- supporting
de+ommissioning/ $ony (lair and (ill 6linton *isited Omagh, and the to5n’s name be+ame almost a
rallying +ry in the pea+e pro+ess/ On 2eptember 10
, 1334 Da*id $rimble had his -irst meeting 5ith
Gerry 'dams at 2tormont/ De+ommissioning 5as to remain a stumbling blo+0, 5ith PI)' seeing it as
something to be negotiated, 5hile the ;nionists sa5 it as a pre+ondition -or negotiation, and to the
-orming o- an e,e+uti*e 5ith 2inn <Ain/ On 2eptember 1?
, the .orthern 'ssembly met -or the -irst
time sin+e June 1334/ %o5e*er, di--eren+es o*er de+ommissioning +aused a delay in the -ormation o- an
e,e+uti*e, and 5ith the argument still raging, John %ume and Da*id $rimble re+ei*ed their .obel Pea+e
Pri>es on De+ember 10
/ Hell into 1333, the de+ommissioning issue 5as unsol*ed, despite the best
e--orts o- $ony (lair and the Irish $aoisea+h, (ertie 'hern/
• $5o important de*elopments +an be seen in the midst o- the 5rangling o*er de+ommissioning/
$he PI)' and 2inn <Ain had +learly re+ogni>ed the legitima+y o- the .orthern Irish state, a
ma7or de*elopment in )epubli+an thin0ing/ $he ;nionists, on the other hand, had +learly
a++epted the right o- the go*ernment o- the )epubli+ o- Ireland to ha*e some input into the
politi+s o- .orthern Ireland, a notion 5hi+h had shattered the 2unningdale 'greement, and
brought about the ;H6 2tri0e/
On July 1"
, an attempt to 0i+0strart the .orthern 'ssembly -ailed 5hen the ;;P and Da*id $rimble
did not attend the inaugural session, +iting de+ommissioning/ 2eamus mallon, o- the 2D:P, resigned as
Deputy <irst Minister/ $o brea0 this dea-lo+0, George Mit+hell, 5ho had su++es-ully bro0ered the Good
<riday 'greement, began a re*ie5 o- the agreement 5ith the spe+i-i+ aims o- sol*ing the
de+ommissioning issue, and obtaining an e,e+uti*e/ On .o*ember 1B
, the PI)' said it 5ould appoint
a representati*e to the arms +ommission, a mo*e 5hi+h pa*ed the 5ay -or 2inn <Ain’s parti+ipation in
the 'ssembly/ On De+ 2
1333, po5er 5as de*ol*ed -rom :ondon to (el-ast, and all parties agreed to
parti+ipate in this go*ernment/ %o5e*er, in January 2000, the arms +ommission reported no progress on
PI)' disarmament, and the ;nionists threatened to pull out o- e,e+uti*e/ Hith no agreement
-orth+oming, the .orthern Irish se+retary, Peter Mandleson suspended the e,e+uti*e a-ter G2 days in
po5er, and restored dire+t rule on <ebruary 11
/ $al0s +ontinued bet5een 2inn <Ain and ;nionist
politi+ians/ On May B
, a-ter mu+h (ritishIrish go*ernmental manoeu*rings, the PI)' o--ered to #put
their arms beyond use’, meaning that they 5ill be put in storage, and sub7e+t to inspe+tion by
international arbitrators to ensure that they ha*e not been used/ Po5er 5as restored to the 'ssembly on
May !0
• $he -ormula -or putting the PI)' arms beyond use loo0s to be the best hope o- +ontinuing
dialogue bet5een the parties/ %undreds o- politi+al prisoners ha*e been released, the last releases
+oming -rom the Ma>e prison on July 23
, 2000/ It is hoped that the +onstant +olle+ti*e de+ision
ma0ing that is a +on+omitant o- parliamentary demo+ra+y 5ill gradually allo5 the parties to shed
their mutual demoni>ation o- ea+h other and begin the long and di--i+ult progress to5ards a more
in+lusi*e so+iety/ $he Omagh bomb, i- only as a +atalyst in this pro+ess, has a+hie*ed a pla+e in
history that 5ill be long remembered/ It also remains as a signi-ier that there remain groups 5ho
re-use to -ollo5 the demo+rati+ 5ishes o- the people o- all +ommunities in Ireland/
%err& 'dams: President of Pro(isional )inn *+in
%e 5ent -rom (el-ast barman to reputed I)' leader bet5een 13B3 and 13G! 8although he has repeatedly
denied I)' membership9/ In 13G3, he spo0e about the need -or politi+al as 5ell as military dimension to
the )epubli+an mo*ement, and he 5ent on to ha*e tal0s 5ith John %ume, o- the 2D:P, in 1344 and
133!, 5ith a *ie5 to -ashioning a pan.ationalist strategy/ $he resulting #%ume'dams’ do+ument,
pa*ed the 5ay -or I)' +ease-ires in 133?, and 133G, 5ith 'dams being seen as a 0ey ar+hite+t o- the
PI)' +essation o- *iolen+e/ %e ser*ed as MP -or Hest (el-ast -rom 134!1332, and -rom 133G to date/
%is +laims to be a -ully +onstitutional politi+ian ha*e been *ie5ed 5ith ambiguity by his detra+tors,
notably re-erring to his #they ha*en’t gone a5ay, you 0no5’ remar0 about PI)' during the -irst
+ease-ire, and his +arrying o- the +o--in o- 2han0ill bomber $homas (egley/ %is meeting 5ith Da*id
$rimble on 2eptember 10
1334 5as the -irst su+h meeting bet5een ;nionism and militant .ationalism
sin+e that o- Mi+hael 6ollins and James 6raig G" years be-ore, and he has undoubtedly been responsible
-or the trans-ormation o- the )epubli+an armed struggle/
,ohn -#me: .eader of the )o/ial 0emo/rati/ and .a$o#r Part&
$he 0ey -igure in +onstitutional nationalism in .orthern Ireland, he +ame to prominen+e in the 6i*il
)ights mo*ement in the late B0s/ %e ser*ed as MP -or <oyle sin+e 13B3, and a M&P -or .orthern
Ireland in 13G3/ %e 5as a -ounder member o- the 2D:P in 13G0, and has been seen as the ar+hite+t o-
the %ume'dams do+ument 5hi+h #aimed at the +reation o- a pea+e pro+ess’, a pro+ess 5hi+h ultimately
led to the in+reasing politi+i>ation o- 2inn <Ain, and the PI)' +ease-ires/ Ironi+ally, the in*ol*ement o-
2inn <ein in politi+s has +reated a strong ri*al to the 2D:P 5ithin the .ationalist +onstituen+y/ %e has
been seen as someone 5ho +an gain the trust o- more moderate ;nionists, and has remained a hugely
popular -igure in the )epubli+ o- Ireland/ %is appearan+e on stage at a ;2 +on+ert, 5ith Da*id $rimble,
on May 13
, 1334, as they +ampaigned -or a #yes’ *ote in the Good <riday 'greement re-erendum,
heralded a sea +hange in the relationships bet5een ;nionism and .ationalism/
Ian Paisle&: .eader of the 0emo/rati/ nionist Part&
Ian Paisley, seen as an ar+hetype o- primal ;nionism, has a+tually been one o- the main -igures
responsible -or -ra+turing the on+e seemingly monolithi+ -aPade o- ;nionism, being in-luential in the
destabili>ing o- the positions o- $eren+e O’.eill, James 6hi+hester6lar0e and (rian <aul0ner/ 2trongly
in-luen+ed by e*angeli+al Protestantism, he -ounded his o5n +hur+h, the <ree Presbyterians, in 13"1, and
his religious -undamentalism, enun+iated through booming, apo+alypti+, anti6atholi+ oratory, -ound a
re+epti*e audien+e in the he+ti+ +limate o- the B0s/ %is ideology is +lear -rom the title o- his -irst
politi+al party, the Protestant ;nionist Party, later to be+ome the Demo+rati+ ;nionist Party, and his
appeal has long been strong in rural and urban 5or0ing +lass areas/ In &uropean ele+tions 8he has been
an M&P sin+e 13G39, he has pro*en a -ormidable *otegetter/ Hhile opposing the Good <riday
'greement in prin+iple, his party too0 its pla+e in the .orthern Ireland 'ssembly, and also its ministerial
0a(id "rim$le: .eader of the lster nionist Part&
Hhen an Orange Order mar+h 5as -or+ed do5n the Gar*aghy )oad, in July 133", and Da*id $rimble
led that mar+h arm in arm 5ith Ian Paisley, -e5 5ould ha*e thought that this man 5as to trans-orm the
nature o- ;nionist politi+s 5ithin the ne,t three years/ %e 5as ele+ted leader o- the ;;P on 2eptember
, 133"/ %e 5as originally *ie5ed as a hardline ;nionist, but has dire+ted a trans-ormational +hange o-
dire+tion in ;nionist politi+s, -inding +ommon ground 5ith the 2D:P, and being able to 5or0 5ith 2inn
<Ain, despite +learly e,pressed reser*ations on the de+ommissioning issue/ In sitting in go*ernment 5ith
2inn <ein, he has -a+ed *irulent opposition, both -rom the D;P and -rom members o- his o5n party/ %e
has -a+ed do5n internal +riti+ism, and is leading ;nionism to5ards a position o- +entrality in the
de*elopment o- in+lusi*e politi+al stru+tures in .orthern Ireland/
(ardon, Jonathan, A History of Ulster 8(el-ast, 13329/
(e5, Paul, and Gordon Gillespie, Northern Ireland: A Chronology of the rou!les 8Dublin, 133!9/
(e5, Paul, and Gordon Gillespie, he Northern Ireland "eace "rocess# $%%&'$%%(: A Chronology
8:ondon, 133B9/
&lliott, 2ydney and H/ D/ <la+0es, Northern Ireland: A "olitical )irectory $%(*'$%%%/ 8(el-ast, 13339/
%ennessey, $homas, A History of Northern Ireland# $%+,'$%%( 8Dublin, 133G9/
%oppen/ $heodore I/, Ireland -ince $*,,: Conflict and Conformity 8Dublin, 133G9/
%ughes, &amonn 8ed/9, Culture and "olitics in Northern Ireland $%(,'$%%, 8Milton Ieynes, 13319/
Ja+0son, 'l*in, Ireland $.%*'$%** 8O,-ord, 13339/
Miller, Da*id 8ed/9, /ethin0ing Northern Ireland: Culture# Ideology and Colonialism 8:ondon, 13339/
2te5art, '/$/L, he Narro1 2round: he /oots of Conflict in Ulster 8:ondon, 13GG9/
Hhyte, John, Interpreting Northern Ireland 8O,-ord, 13309/
Hi+hert, 2abine, Northern Ireland -ince $%34 8:ondon, 13339/
'll o- the ma7or parties ha*e 5ebsites, 5hi+h gi*e their histories and state their politi+al ideologies/
Demo+rati+ ;nionist Party: http:OO555/dup/org/u0O
Grand Orange :odge o- Ireland: http:OO555/grandorange/org/u0O
Progressi*e ;nionist Party: http:OO555/pup/orgO
)epubli+an 2inn <Ain: http:OO+ome/toO)epubli+an2<
2inn <Ain: http:OO555/sinn-ein/ieO
2o+ial Demo+rati+ and :abour Party: http:OO555/sdlp/ieOMedia/htm
;lster ;nionist Party: http:OO555/uup/orgO
<or +omprehensi*e and readily a++essible in-ormation on all aspe+ts o- .orthern Ireland -rom 13B4 to
the present, the 6'I. Heb 2er*i+e is an in*aluable resour+e/
6'I. Heb 2er*i+e86on-li+t 'r+hi*e on the I.ternet9: http:OO+ain/ulst/a+/u0Oinde,/html
Its #inde,’ pro*ides hyperlin0s to pra+ti+ally e*ery person, organi>ation and mo*ement in .orthern
Ireland/ Inde,: http:OO+ain/ulst/a+/u0OhelpO+ainde,/htm
M2. has a +omprehensi*e and readable a+ount o- the ma7or e*ents o- the Pea+e pro+ess -rom 133? to
date: http:OO555/msnb+/+omOmodulesOI)'OIra/asp

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