The Troubles was an ethno-nationalist conflict in Northern Ireland during the late 20th century. Known internationally as the Northern Ireland conflict, it is sometimes described as an "irregular war" or "low-level war"; the conflict began in the late 1960s and is deemed to have ended with the Good Friday Agreement of 1998. Although the Troubles took place in Northern Ireland, at times the violence spilled over into parts of the Republic of Ireland and mainland Europe; the conflict was political and nationalistic, fuelled by historical events. It had an ethnic or sectarian dimension, although it was not a religious conflict. A key issue was the constitutional status of Northern Ireland. Unionists/loyalists, who were Protestants, wanted Northern Ireland to remain within the United Kingdom. Irish nationalists/republicans, who were Catholics, wanted Northern Ireland to leave the United Kingdom and join a united Ireland; the conflict began during a campaign to end discrimination against the Catholic/nationalist minority by the Protestant/unionist government and police force.
The authorities were accused of police brutality. Increasing inter-communal violence, conflict between nationalist youths and police led to riots in August 1969 and the deployment of British troops, who constructed'peace walls' to keep the opposing communities apart; some Catholics welcomed the army as a more neutral force, but it soon came to be seen as hostile and biased. The emergence of armed paramilitary organisations led to the subsequent warfare over the next three decades; the main participants in the Troubles were republican paramilitaries such as the Provisional Irish Republican Army and the Irish National Liberation Army. The security forces of the Republic played a smaller role. Republican paramilitaries carried out a guerrilla campaign against the British security forces, as well as a bombing campaign against infrastructure and political targets. Loyalists targeted republicans/nationalists, attacked the wider Catholic community in what they claimed was retaliation. At times there were bouts of sectarian tit-for-tat violence.
The British security forces undertook both a policing and a counter-insurgency role against republicans. There were some incidents of collusion between British security loyalists; the Troubles involved numerous riots, mass protests and acts of civil disobedience, led to segregation and the creation of no-go areas. More than 3,500 people were killed in the conflict, of whom 52% were civilians, 32% were members of the British security forces, 16% were members of paramilitary groups. There has been sporadic violence since the Good Friday Agreement was signed, including a campaign by anti-ceasefire republicans. "The Troubles" refers to the three-decade conflict between unionists. The term "Troubles" had been used in conjunction with the 17th century Wars of the Three Kingdoms, as well as to describe the Irish revolutionary period in the early twentieth century, it was subsequently adopted to refer to the escalating violence in Northern Ireland after 1969. The violence was characterised by the armed campaigns of Irish republican and Ulster loyalist paramilitary groups and British state security forces.
It thus became the focus for the longest major campaign in the history of the British Army. The British government's position is that its forces were neutral in the conflict, trying to uphold law and order in Northern Ireland and the right of the people of Northern Ireland to democratic self-determination. Nationalists regard the state forces as partisan combatants in the conflict; the British security forces focused on republican paramilitaries and activists, the "Ballast" investigation by the Police Ombudsman confirmed that British forces colluded on several occasions with loyalist paramilitaries, were involved in murder, furthermore obstructed the course of justice when claims of collusion and murder were investigated. The Troubles were brought to an uneasy end by a peace process that included the declaration of ceasefires by most paramilitary organisations, the complete decommissioning of the IRA's weapons, the reform of the police, the corresponding withdrawal of the British Army from the streets and sensitive Irish border areas such as South Armagh and County Fermanagh, as agreed by the signatories to the Belfast Agreement.
One part of the Agreement is that Northern Ireland will remain within the United Kingdom unless a majority of the Northern Irish electorate vote otherwise. It established the Northern Ireland Executive, a devolved power-sharing government, which must consist of both unionist and nationalist parties. Although the number of active participants was small, the Troubles affected many in Northern Ireland on a daily basis. In 1609, Scottish and English settlers, known as planters, were given land escheated from the native Irish in the Plantation of Ulster. Coupled with Protestant immigration to "unplanted" areas of Ulster Antrim and Dow
The United Kingdom the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, sometimes referred to as Britain, is a sovereign country located off the north-western coast of the European mainland. The United Kingdom includes the island of Great Britain, the north-eastern part of the island of Ireland, many smaller islands. Northern Ireland is the only part of the United Kingdom that shares a land border with another sovereign state, the Republic of Ireland. Apart from this land border, the United Kingdom is surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean, with the North Sea to the east, the English Channel to the south and the Celtic Sea to the south-west, giving it the 12th-longest coastline in the world; the Irish Sea lies between Great Ireland. With an area of 242,500 square kilometres, the United Kingdom is the 78th-largest sovereign state in the world, it is the 22nd-most populous country, with an estimated 66.0 million inhabitants in 2017. The UK is constitutional monarchy; the current monarch is Queen Elizabeth II, who has reigned since 1952, making her the longest-serving current head of state.
The United Kingdom's capital and largest city is London, a global city and financial centre with an urban area population of 10.3 million. Other major urban areas in the UK include Greater Manchester, the West Midlands and West Yorkshire conurbations, Greater Glasgow and the Liverpool Built-up Area; the United Kingdom consists of four constituent countries: England, Scotland and Northern Ireland. Their capitals are London, Edinburgh and Belfast, respectively. Apart from England, the countries have their own devolved governments, each with varying powers, but such power is delegated by the Parliament of the United Kingdom, which may enact laws unilaterally altering or abolishing devolution; the nearby Isle of Man, Bailiwick of Guernsey and Bailiwick of Jersey are not part of the UK, being Crown dependencies with the British Government responsible for defence and international representation. The medieval conquest and subsequent annexation of Wales by the Kingdom of England, followed by the union between England and Scotland in 1707 to form the Kingdom of Great Britain, the union in 1801 of Great Britain with the Kingdom of Ireland created the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland.
Five-sixths of Ireland seceded from the UK in 1922, leaving the present formulation of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. There are fourteen British Overseas Territories, the remnants of the British Empire which, at its height in the 1920s, encompassed a quarter of the world's land mass and was the largest empire in history. British influence can be observed in the language and political systems of many of its former colonies; the United Kingdom is a developed country and has the world's fifth-largest economy by nominal GDP and ninth-largest economy by purchasing power parity. It has a high-income economy and has a high Human Development Index rating, ranking 14th in the world, it was the world's first industrialised country and the world's foremost power during the 19th and early 20th centuries. The UK remains a great power, with considerable economic, military and political influence internationally, it is sixth in military expenditure in the world. It has been a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council since its first session in 1946.
It has been a leading member state of the European Union and its predecessor, the European Economic Community, since 1973. The United Kingdom is a member of the Commonwealth of Nations, the Council of Europe, the G7, the G20, NATO, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development and the World Trade Organization; the 1707 Acts of Union declared that the kingdoms of England and Scotland were "United into One Kingdom by the Name of Great Britain". The term "United Kingdom" has been used as a description for the former kingdom of Great Britain, although its official name from 1707 to 1800 was "Great Britain"; the Acts of Union 1800 united the kingdom of Great Britain and the kingdom of Ireland in 1801, forming the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland. Following the partition of Ireland and the independence of the Irish Free State in 1922, which left Northern Ireland as the only part of the island of Ireland within the United Kingdom, the name was changed to the "United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland".
Although the United Kingdom is a sovereign country, Scotland and Northern Ireland are widely referred to as countries. The UK Prime Minister's website has used the phrase "countries within a country" to describe the United Kingdom; some statistical summaries, such as those for the twelve NUTS 1 regions of the United Kingdom refer to Scotland and Northern Ireland as "regions". Northern Ireland is referred to as a "province". With regard to Northern Ireland, the descriptive name used "can be controversial, with the choice revealing one's political preferences"; the term "Great Britain" conventionally refers to the island of Great Britain, or politically to England and Wales in combination. However, it is sometimes used as a loose synonym for the United Kingdom as a whole; the term "Britain" is used both as a synonym for Great Britain, as a synonym for the United Kingdom. Usage is mixed, with the BBC preferring to use Britain as shorthand only for Great Britain and the UK Government, while accepting that both terms refer to the United K
Scotland is a country, part of the United Kingdom. Sharing a border with England to the southeast, Scotland is otherwise surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean to the north and west, by the North Sea to the northeast and by the Irish Sea to the south. In addition to the mainland, situated on the northern third of the island of Great Britain, Scotland has over 790 islands, including the Northern Isles and the Hebrides; the Kingdom of Scotland emerged as an independent sovereign state in the Early Middle Ages and continued to exist until 1707. By inheritance in 1603, James VI, King of Scots, became King of England and King of Ireland, thus forming a personal union of the three kingdoms. Scotland subsequently entered into a political union with the Kingdom of England on 1 May 1707 to create the new Kingdom of Great Britain; the union created a new Parliament of Great Britain, which succeeded both the Parliament of Scotland and the Parliament of England. In 1801, the Kingdom of Great Britain and Kingdom of Ireland enacted a political union to create a United Kingdom.
The majority of Ireland subsequently seceded from the UK in 1922. Within Scotland, the monarchy of the United Kingdom has continued to use a variety of styles and other royal symbols of statehood specific to the pre-union Kingdom of Scotland; the legal system within Scotland has remained separate from those of England and Wales and Northern Ireland. The continued existence of legal, educational and other institutions distinct from those in the remainder of the UK have all contributed to the continuation of Scottish culture and national identity since the 1707 union with England; the Scottish Parliament, a unicameral legislature comprising 129 members, was established in 1999 and has authority over those areas of domestic policy which have been devolved by the United Kingdom Parliament. The head of the Scottish Government, the executive of the devolved legislature, is the First Minister of Scotland. Scotland is represented in the UK House of Commons by 59 MPs and in the European Parliament by 6 MEPs.
Scotland is a member of the British–Irish Council, sends five members of the Scottish Parliament to the British–Irish Parliamentary Assembly. Scotland is divided into councils. Glasgow City is the largest subdivision in Scotland in terms of population, with Highland being the largest in terms of area. "Scotland" comes from the Latin name for the Gaels. From the ninth century, the meaning of Scotia shifted to designate Gaelic Scotland and by the eleventh century the name was being used to refer to the core territory of the Kingdom of Alba in what is now east-central Scotland; the use of the words Scots and Scotland to encompass most of what is now Scotland became common in the Late Middle Ages, as the Kingdom of Alba expanded and came to encompass various peoples of diverse origins. Repeated glaciations, which covered the entire land mass of modern Scotland, destroyed any traces of human habitation that may have existed before the Mesolithic period, it is believed the first post-glacial groups of hunter-gatherers arrived in Scotland around 12,800 years ago, as the ice sheet retreated after the last glaciation.
At the time, Scotland was covered in forests, had more bog-land, the main form of transport was by water. These settlers began building the first known permanent houses on Scottish soil around 9,500 years ago, the first villages around 6,000 years ago; the well-preserved village of Skara Brae on the mainland of Orkney dates from this period. Neolithic habitation and ritual sites are common and well preserved in the Northern Isles and Western Isles, where a lack of trees led to most structures being built of local stone. Evidence of sophisticated pre-Christian belief systems is demonstrated by sites such as the Callanish Stones on Lewis and the Maes Howe on Orkney, which were built in the third millennium BCE; the first written reference to Scotland was in 320 BC by Greek sailor Pytheas, who called the northern tip of Britain "Orcas", the source of the name of the Orkney islands. During the first millennium BCE, the society changed to a chiefdom model, as consolidation of settlement led to the concentration of wealth and underground stores of surplus food.
The first Roman incursion into Scotland occurred in 79 AD. After the Roman victory, Roman forts were set along the Gask Ridge close to the Highland line, but by three years after the battle, the Roman armies had withdrawn to the Southern Uplands; the Romans erected Hadrian's Wall in northern England and the Limes Britannicus became the northern border of the Roman Empire. The Roman influence on the southern part of the country was considerable, they introduced Christianity to Scotland. Beginning in the sixth century, the area, now Scotland was divided into three areas: Pictland, a patchwork of small lordships in central Scotland; these societies were based on the family unit and had sharp divisions in wealth, although the vast majority were poor and worked full-time in subsistence agriculture. The Picts kept slaves through the ninth century. Gaelic influence over Pictland and Northumbria was facilitated by the large number of Gaelic-speaking clerics working as missionaries. Operating in the sixth ce
John "Jackie" McDonald is a senior Northern Irish loyalist and the incumbent Ulster Defence Association brigadier for South Belfast, having been promoted to the rank by former UDA commander Andy Tyrie in 1988, following John McMichael's killing by the Provisional IRA in December 1987. He is a member of the organisation's Inner Council and the spokesman for the Ulster Political Research Group, the UDA's political advisory body. Born in Belfast, Northern Ireland into a Protestant family, McDonald attended Larkfield Secondary School in Balmoral, he lives in the south Belfast housing estate of Taughmonagh. His paramilitary activities have attracted considerable publicity from the media, he was the subject of interviews by journalist Peter Taylor for the latter's book Loyalists. Described by journalist Rosie Cowan as the UDA's most powerful player, he is an outspoken critic of former Ulster Freedom Fighters' notorious brigadier, Johnny Adair, he joined the UDA in 1972 about a year after it was formed in Belfast as an umbrella organisation for loyalist vigilante groups.
These groups, such as the Woodvale Defence Association and Shankill Defence Association, had sprung up in loyalist areas following the outbreak of The Troubles in the late 1960s as a means of protecting their local communities from attacks by nationalists. He was a member of the Taughmonagh C Battalion South Belfast Brigade, he was a senior UDA member when he played a part in the Ulster Workers Council Strike, helping people on his south Belfast housing estate obtain food, medicine and other necessities during the general strike which had brought Northern Ireland to a standstill in May 1974. At this time he held a job as dispatches manager for the Balmoral Furniture Company in the Shankill Road, it had been the target of a Provisional IRA bomb in December 1971, in which four people had died, including two infants. According to author Ian S. Wood, McDonald was killed during the strike when Military Police fired upon the hijacked vehicle he was driving in a chase along the Lisburn Road into Sandy Row.
When receiving his social security payments during the strike, McDonald received a military salute from his boss when he walked into the latter's office wearing his complete UDA combat uniform. In the mid-1980s, McDonald became part of UDA "fundraiser" Jim Craig's large protection racket. In 1988, just after the death of UDA's South Belfast brigadier John McMichael, blown up in a booby-trap car bomb planted by the Provisional IRA outside his home in Lisburn, Supreme Commander Andy Tyrie promoted McDonald to the rank of brigadier, he subsequently assumed command of McMichael's South Belfast brigade having served as his second-in-command. Described by Peter Taylor as an "effective and popular commander", many people, however considered McDonald to have been one of Craig's "henchmen in the latter's profitable racketeering business." According to Steve Bruce Tyrie's appointment of McDonald as Brigadier helped to hasten Tyrie's own downfall due to the distaste with which McDonald was regarded by a number of leading UDA figures.
Due to his reputation as a racketeer and his close association with the disliked Craig and his loathed deputy and minder Artie Fee, a number of UDA modernisers, who were the chief critics of Tyrie, released statements to both the local media and BBC Newsnight condemning McDonald's appointment. McDonald admitted to Taylor: "Through not being able to get a job anywhere else and not being able to look after my own family and being part of the organisation that needed the money I did yes." The same year McDonald took over the South Belfast brigade, Andy Tyrie resigned as UDA commander and James Craig was put permanently out of the picture. The latter was shot dead in the "Bunch of Grapes" pub in east Belfast by two masked gunmen from the UDA in October 1988 for "treason", it was claimed by younger elements within the UDA that he had set up John McMichael to be targeted by the IRA. McDonald was arrested in 1989, sentenced to 10 years imprisonment in the Maze Prison for extortion and intimidation in January 1990.
Following his imprisonment he was replaced as brigadier by Alex Kerr. He was released in 1994. Returning to his role as brigadier after Kerr defected to the Loyalist Volunteer Force group, founded by Billy Wright in 1996, McDonald found himself in 1997 facing the possibility of a loyalist feud with the local Ulster Volunteer Force, with whom he had been on good terms. In June 1997, the son of murdered UDA man, James Curtis Moorehead and killed his father's killer, the UVF's Robert "Basher" Bates, leading to the Shankill Road UDA "exiling" the young killer to Taughmonagh. UVF members began to prowl McDonald's Taughmonagh stronghold looking for the killer, a clash between the Donegall Pass UVF and the Sandy Row UDA looked imminent as relations deteriorated both in South Belfast and throughout Northern Ireland as a whole. McDonald did not want a war with the UVF and, according to authors Henry McDonald and Jim Cusack negotiated a settlement whereby the killer would be housed on the edge of Taugmonagh and told to keep a low profile.
The UDA gave its support to the Belfast Agreement in 1998 although McDonald was one of three Inner Council members – the others being John Gregg and Billy McFarland –, less convinced about its merits the prospect of Sinn Féin entering any power-sharing executive. Nonetheless McDonald did not advocate a return to armed struggle and in late 1999 when it became clear that a feud between the UVF and LVF was about to begin he joined fellow brig
Tommy Herron was a loyalist from Northern Ireland, a leading member of the Ulster Defence Association up until his fatal shooting. Herron controlled the UDA in East one of its two earliest strongholds. From 1972, he was the organisation's vice-chairman and most prominent spokesperson, was the first person to receive a salary from the UDA. Herron was born in 1938 in Newcastle, County Down to a Protestant father and a Roman Catholic mother. According to Martin Dillon, Herron was baptised in St Anthony's Catholic Church on Belfast's Woodstock Road.as a baby. Gusty Spence has suggested that Herron, like Shankill Butcher Lenny Murphy, took on the mantle of a "Super Prod", or individual who acts in an affectedly extreme Ulster Protestant loyalist way, to deflect any potential criticism of his Catholic roots. Herron was a member of the Free Presbyterian Church of Ulster and attended services at the Martyrs' Memorial Church, the group's headquarters on the Ravenhill Road in south-east Belfast, he worked as a car salesman in East Belfast and was married to Hilary Wilson, by whom he had five children.
Herron was a leading member of the UDA, the largest loyalist paramilitary organisation in Northern Ireland, from its formation and emerged at the group's top man in East Belfast. A thirteen-member Security Council was established in January 1972 with Herron a charter member of this group, although control lay in the west of city with Charles Harding Smith emerging as chairman of the new body. Along with the likes of Billy Hull Herron was one of a handful of UDA leaders to be invited to meetings with Secretary of State for Northern Ireland William Whitelaw after the suspension of the Parliament of Northern Ireland in March 1972. By this time Herron had come to see himself as the most powerful figure in the UDA and had begun to make statements on behalf of the movement unilaterally. In September 1972, the British Army intervened to defend a Catholic area of Larne against loyalists. British Army vehicles ran down two civilians in East Belfast, one of whom was believed to be a UDA member. Under the name of the Ulster Citizen Army, Herron declared war on the British Army.
He called this off after two days of gunfire due to a lack of support, two more loyalists having been killed. Herron's decision to go against the British Army, as brief as it was, as well as the looting and rioting, taking place in Belfast under the direction of Herron and his close ally Jim Anderson as a reaction to the loyalists' deaths, saw both his stock and that of the Belfast UDA fall somewhat locally. Protestant clergymen petitioned the UDA to end the street violence whilst middle class Protestants, as well as politicians such as Roy Bradford, loudly condemned the attacks on the British Army, which traditionally enjoyed a high reputation amongst Northern Irish Protestants. On 20 October 1972 Herron sent word to Colonel Sandy Boswell, the army commander in Belfast, that the trouble would end and it was to the relief of many that Herron left Belfast the following month, in the company of Billy Hull, to launch a tour of Canada promoting loyalism. For much of 1972 Herron's main rival Charles Harding Smith, the leader of the West Belfast UDA, was absent from the scene after being arrested in England on gun-running charges.
During his absence control on West Belfast went into the hands of Davy Fogel and his ally Ernie Elliott, both of whom had been influenced to varying degrees by left-wing rhetoric. Whilst Herron was not involved in initiatives by both men that saw dialogue with the Catholic Ex-Servicemen's Association of Ardoyne or the Official IRA he did accompany them to a meeting with representatives of the British & Irish Communist Organisation which, unusually for communist groups, followed a staunchly unionist position with regards Northern Ireland. Herron garnered a reputation for his involvement in racketeering, something that Harding Smith had condemned. In early 1973 an east Belfast publican was interviewed anonymously by The Sunday Times and he claimed that Herron would send one of his men to the pub to ask for a contribution to the "UDA prisoners' welfare fund"; the publican stated that he knew if he refused to contribute his windows would be smashed or the pub shot at, making the fund a protection racket.
Herron was asking as much as £50 per week from each pub with shop owners expected to pay half that amount. After his return from England Harding Smith clashed with Fogel but, somewhat given their personal enmity, Herron sided with Harding Smith in the struggle. On 13 January 1973 Herron summoned Fogel to his east Belfast office and when Fogel arrived he was placed under arrest and detained for several hours. Herron told Fogel that he could only remain in charge of Woodvale if he agreed to accept Harding Smith's leadership in West Belfast as a whole. Fogel would leave Belfast altogether soon after this episode. In February, Herron called for a general strike against the British Government's decision to introduce internment for suspected loyalist parliamilitaries, mirroring the existing internment for suspected republican paramilitaries; this led to a day's fighting on the streets. Soon after the meeting with Fogel, to many people's surprise, Herron called for "both sides" – loyalists and republicans – to stop assassinations, claiming that if they did not, they would face "the full wrath of the UDA".
This temporarily halted killings in East Belfast. Herron's decision to stop the random killings, as well as his meeting with communists and rumours about his Catholic background, led to criticism within the UDA and he was criticised in the pages of Ulster Militant, one of the UDA's publications at the time. Herron's position came under increasing pressure and, in an attempt t
Andrew "Andy" Tyrie is an Ulster loyalist and served as commander of the Ulster Defence Association during much of its early history. He took the place of Tommy Herron in 1973 when the latter was killed, led the organisation until March 1988 when an attempt on his life forced him to resign his command. Tyrie was born in Belfast, Northern Ireland, one of the seven children of an ex-soldier and a part-time seamstress, he was brought up in a two-bedroomed house in the Shankill Road. He was educated at the local Brown Square school and found work as a gardener with Belfast City Council. Tyrie's family lived in both Ballymurphy and New Barnsley, but were forced out of both Catholic areas in 1969; the family returned to the Shankill. Tyrie's surname is an ancient Scottish clan name, they first went to Dublin, before settling permanently in Ulster. Tyrie's first involvement with loyalist paramilitaries came in 1967 when he was sworn in as a member of the Ulster Volunteer Force, although he did not stay long as he felt that the UVF was doing too little about Protestants being forced out of Catholic areas, such as his own family.
He soon fell in behind John McKeague following him in the Ulster Protestant Volunteers, before joining his Shankill Defence Association upon its foundation in 1969. Tyrie's power base within the SDA grew and he was a high-profile figure on the Shankill when it was absorbed by the UDA in 1971; the newly formed UDA was dominated by Charles Harding Smith in the Shankill area and by Tommy Herron in East Belfast. It was feared from early on that a feud between the two would follow if either one was picked to lead the UDA; as such, in March 1973 Tyrie was picked as a compromise candidate for the leadership, being seen by Herron and Harding Smith as someone they could dominate. The strategy did not work, however, as a feud between the two top men followed, with Herron killed in September 1973. Harding Smith remained as a challenge to Tyrie's control, his new-found role of leader was bolstered by the events of the Ulster Workers' Council Strike of May 1974 in which he played a leading role. Having been a shop steward in his council days Tyrie became close to strike leader Glenn Barr and the UDA played a central role in marshalling the pickets and ensuring both order amongst the strikers and no picket crossing.
Tyrie oversaw this aspect of the strike and was seen as one of the central figures, while the profile of the UDA grew as a result. With Tyrie's profile boosted by the UWC strike, Harding Smith sought to move against Tyrie and used the pretext of Tyrie sending a delegation to Libya, with Muammar al-Gaddafi seen in many loyalist eyes as being on the side of the Provisional Irish Republican Army. Harding Smith tried to overrule Tyrie but a feud resulted and, after surviving two assassination attempts, Harding Smith was forced to leave Northern Ireland for good. Tyrie had been a central figure in the strike and as such had close contact with many within the unionist establishment; however once the strike was over he was shunned by Harry West and Ian Paisley and as such he built up a resentment towards mainstream unionism that would inform many of his political decisions as UDA leader. He arranged an alliance with the Vanguard Progressive Unionist Party but when the Ulster Unionist Party and the Democratic Unionist Party declined to join this grand alliance of loyalism Tyrie became more resolved to pursue a political path for the UDA without mainstream unionism.
Tyrie was close to William Craig and had supported his calls to "liquidate the enemy" in 1972, although as Craig's political relevance diminished Tyrie's desire for a politicised UDA increased. He broke further from the unionist position by calling for some coalitions with moderate nationalists in the Northern Ireland Constitutional Convention, albeit whilst adding that he had prepared the UDA for civil war if the initiative failed and severed all ties following the disastrous re-run of the UWC strike in 1977, during which the attempt not only failed but saw four people inadvertently killed by the UDA and UVF. Tyrie underlined his split from unionism in 1982 by writing a play, This Is It, in which he savagely attacked Ian Paisley and his "Third Force"'s dabbling in paramilitarism. Tyrie sought to move the UDA towards more political activity and appointed Sammy Duddy, who had a reputation as a thinker within the movement, as his personal representative. Along with Duddy, Tyrie was one of the authors of the New Ulster Political Research Group document Beyond the Religious Divide which outlined a strategy of co-operation between the two communities within the framework of an independent Northern Ireland.
Under his leadership the UDA saw a strong downturn in violent activity in 1977 and 1978, although this followed a two-year period of high activity. Tyrie's political strategy took a blow in 1982 when he was arrested for being in possession of Royal Ulster Constabulary maps and charts, although he was acquitted of subsequent terror charges. Although under his leadership the UDA undertook a series of sectarian killings, Tyrie would claim that he had been opposed to this strategy, arguing: "I was sickened every time I heard about the death of a Catholic taxi driver or shop keeper. We wanted to go for the IRA and republicans but we couldn't locate them, we didn't know who they were"; as early as 1971 Tyrie had argued that the role of the UDA should be "terrorising the terrorists" i.e. attacking the Republican Movement head on rather than either sectarian attacks against Catholics or the group's stated purpose as a defensive vigilant militia for loyalist areas. These ideas came to fruition to an extent with the Ulster Freedo