Social Democratic and Labour Party
The Social Democratic and Labour Party is a social-democratic and Irish nationalist political party in Northern Ireland. The SDLP has 12 MLAs in the Northern Ireland Assembly, it has no elected representatives in the House of Commons of the United Kingdom having lost its three remaining Parliamentary seats in the 2017 general election. As of February 2019, the party has been in a partnership with Fianna Fáil, a major party in the Republic of Ireland; the SDLP party platform advocates Irish reunification, the further devolution of powers while Northern Ireland remains part of the United Kingdom. During the Troubles, the SDLP was the most popular Irish nationalist party in Northern Ireland, but since the Provisional IRA ceasefire in 1994, it has lost ground to the republican party Sinn Féin, which in 2001 became the more popular of the two parties for the first time. Established during the Troubles, a significant difference between the two parties was the SDLP's rejection of violence, in contrast to Sinn Féin's support for the Provisional IRA and physical force republicanism.
Since February 2019, the SDLP have been in partnership with Fianna Fáil. The party was founded in August 1970, when six Stormont MPs and one Senator, former members of the Republican Labour Party, the National Democratic Party, individual nationalists, former members of the Nationalist Party and members of the Northern Ireland Labour Party, joined to form a new party; the SDLP rejected the Nationalist Party's policy of abstentionism and sought to fight for civil rights within the Stormont system. However, the SDLP came to the view that Stormont was unreformable, withdrew from parliamentary involvement. Following the abolition of the Parliament of Northern Ireland, the SDLP emerged as the second-largest party, the largest party representing the nationalist community, in elections to the new Northern Ireland Assembly established in 1973: the party won 19 out of 75 seats; the SDLP was one of the parties involved in the negotiations that resulted in the Sunningdale Agreement, which in turn resulted in the establishment of a power-sharing executive in January 1974.
Gerry Fitt, the SDLP party leader, took office as deputy chief executive, taking government alongside the Ulster Unionist Party and the Alliance Party. The Assembly and Executive were short-lived, collapsing after only four months due to sustained opposition from within the unionist community, it was to be 25 years before the party sat in government again; the SDLP was a key player in the talks throughout the 1990s that led to the signing of the Good Friday Agreement in 1998. John Hume won a Nobel Peace Prize that year with Ulster Unionist Party leader David Trimble in recognition of their efforts; as a result of the Agreement, elections to a new Northern Ireland Assembly were held in June 1998. The party was returned to government in the year when a power-sharing Executive was established for Northern Ireland; the SDLP took office alongside the Ulster Unionist Party, the Democratic Unionist Party, Sinn Féin, the SDLP's Seamus Mallon became Deputy First Minister alongside the UUP's First Minister, David Trimble.
Upon Mallon's retirement in 2001, Mark Durkan succeeded him as Deputy First Minister. There had been a debate in the party on the prospects of amalgamation with Fianna Fáil. Little came of this speculation and former party leader, Margaret Ritchie, rejected the idea. Speaking at the 2010 Labour Party national conference in Galway she said that a merger would not happen while she was leader – "Merger with Fianna Fáil? Not on my watch." After his election as Fianna Fáil Leader in January 2011, Micheál Martin dismissed the possibility of a merger or electoral alliance with the SDLP. In January 2019, the SDLP membership were e-mailed on the issue with the text "continuing on as normal is not an option", a reference to the party's declining fortunes. In February 2019, at a special party conference, the members approved a partnership with Fianna Fáil, the main opposition party in the Republic of Ireland. Both parties shared policies on key areas including addressing the current political situation in Northern Ireland, improving public services in both jurisdictions of Ireland, such as healthcare and education, bringing about further unity and cooperation of the people on the island and arrangements for a future poll on Irish reunification.
Claire Hanna, MLA for Belfast South and party spokesperson on Brexit, quit the assembly group as a result. With the collapse of the Ulster Unionist Party in the 2005 UK general election and Sinn Féin's continual abstention from Westminster, the SDLP was the second largest parliamentary grouping from Northern Ireland at Westminster; the SDLP saw this as a major opportunity to become the voice of Irish Nationalism in Westminster and to provide effective opposition to the much enlarged Democratic Unionist Party group. The SDLP was paying more attention to the Westminster Parliament and working to strengthen its ties with the Parliamentary Labour Party, whose whip they informally accepted; the SDLP was a vocal opponent at Westminster of the proposal to extend detention without trial to 42 days and opposed measures to extend detention to 90 days and 28 days. SDLP MP and former leader Mark Durkan tabled an Early Day Motion on cluster munitions which gained cross-party support and was followed by a decision by the UK government to support a ban.
In the United Kingdom gene
Unionism in Ireland
Unionism in Ireland is a political ideology that favours the continuation of some form of political union between the islands of Ireland and Great Britain. Since the partition of Ireland, unionism in Ireland has focused on maintaining and preserving the place of Northern Ireland within the United Kingdom. In this context, a distinction may be made between the unionism in the province of Ulster and unionism elsewhere in Ireland. Today in Northern Ireland, unionist ideology is expressed in a number of ways: voting for political candidates who espouse unionism, participation in unionist culture, preferences for particular newspapers or sports teams. Irish nationalism is opposed to the ideology of unionism. Most unionists come from Protestant backgrounds. Exceptions to these generalisations exist: there are Protestant nationalists and there are Catholic unionists; the political relationship between England and Ireland dates from the 12th century with the establishment of the Lordship of Ireland. After four centuries of the Lordship, the declaration of the independence of the Church of England from papal supremacy and the rejection of the authority of the Holy See required the creation of a new basis to legitimise the continued rule of the English monarch in Ireland.
In 1542, the Crown of Ireland Act was passed by both the Irish Parliaments. The Act established a sovereign Kingdom of Ireland with Henry VIII as King of Ireland. Both parliaments passed the Acts of Union 1800 by which a new state was created - the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland. In 1922, twenty-six counties of Ireland gained autonomy from the U. K. as the Irish Free State. The Republic of Ireland left the Commonwealth of Nations; the remaining six counties of the island of Ireland constituted the territory of Northern Ireland. In 1927, the realm, consisting of combined territories of Northern Ireland and Great Britain, was renamed the "United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland". Today, unionism is exclusively an issue for Northern Ireland, it is concerned with relationship between Northern Ireland and Great Britain. Irish unionism is centred on an identification with Protestantism in the sense of Britishness, although not to the exclusion of a sense of Irishness or of an affinity to Northern Ireland specifically.
Unionism emerged as a unified force in opposition to William Ewart Gladstone's Home Rule Bill of 1886. Irish nationalists believed in separation from Great Britain, whether through repeal of the 1800 Act of Union, "home rule", or complete independence. Unionists believed in maintaining and deepening the relationship between the various nations of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, they expressed pride in symbols of Britishness. A key symbol for unionists is the Union Flag. Unionist areas of Northern Ireland display this and other symbols to show the loyalty and sense of identity of the community. Unionism is known for its allegiance to the person of the British monarch and today. Most unionists in Ireland have been Protestants and most nationalists have been Catholics, this remains the case. However, a significant number of Protestants have adhered to the nationalist cause, with Catholics and unionism; these phenomena continue to exist in Northern Ireland. Both unionism and nationalism have had anti-sectarian elements.
While nationalism has had a number of Protestant leaders, unionism was invariably always led by Protestant leaders and politicians. Prior to a decades-long ban, Catholics had been allowed to be members of the UUP as as the 1920s, including Denis Henry, a member of the UUP from its foundation in 1905 and a UUP MP for South Londonderry. Catholics were once more permitted to join the UUP in the 1960s but their continued dearth among the leadership, meant the UUP were still vulnerable to accusations of sectarianism. Only one Catholic, G. B. Newe, served in the Government of Northern Ireland. In his Nobel Peace Prize acceptance lecture in 1998, UUP leader David Trimble suggested that Northern Ireland had been a "cold house" for Catholics in the past. People espousing unionist beliefs are sometimes referred to as loyalists; the two words are sometimes used interchangeably, but the latter is more associated with hardline forms of unionism. In some cases it has been associated with individual or groups who support or engage in political violence.
Most unionists do not describe themselves as loyalists. In Irish, the terms aontachtóir and dílseoir are used. A similar distinction exists in relation to Irish nationalists. Mainstream nationalists, such as the supporters of the Social Democratic and Labour Party and the main parties in the Republic of Ireland, are referred to by that term; the more militant strand of nationalism, which includes groups such as Sinn Féin and 32 County Sovereignty Movement, is known as republicanism. In the Republic of Ireland, the republican tradition has moved into the mainstream. Today the republican party, Fianna Fáil, has little in common with militant republicans other than certain ideological and historical perspectives. In Irish, the terms poblachtánach and náisiúnach are used. Unionism has tra
William Craig (Northern Ireland politician)
William "Bill" Craig was a Northern Irish politician best known for forming the Unionist Vanguard movement. From Cookstown, County Tyrone, Craig was educated at Royal School Dungannon, Larne Grammar School and Queen's University Belfast. After serving in the Royal Air Force during World War II, he became a solicitor, he led the Ulster Young Unionist Council. He was elected to the Stormont Parliament in a by-election in 1960 for Larne, became a Minister in 1963, he held several portfolios under Terence O'Neill as Minister for Home Affairs. His most notable action while in this office was to ban the march of Northern Ireland Civil Rights Association on 5 October 1968, he accused the civil rights movement of being a political front for the IRA. On 11 December 1968, O'Neill dismissed Craig when he suspected Craig was a supporter of Ulster nationalism. Craig began to build a power base for himself within unionism, becoming head of the Ulster Loyalist Association; the UUP withdrew the whip from him in May 1970 and Craig began to make plans to form his own political party.
The Ulster Vanguard movement was formed on 9 February 1972 under Craig's leadership. Ulster Vanguard advocated a semi-independent Northern Ireland. Vanguard held a large rally on 18 March 1972 in Belfast's Ormeau Park at which Craig said "We must build up the dossiers on the men and women who are a menace to this country, because one day and gentlemen, if the politicians fail, it may be our job to liquidate the enemy". Vanguard staged a two-day strike in protest at the prorogation of the Stormont Parliament. In April 1972, Vanguard issued a policy statement "Ulster – A Nation" which said that Northern Ireland might have to consider independence. In October, he spoke at a meeting of the Conservative Monday Club, a group of right-wing Conservative MPs at Westminster, he told them he could mobilise 80,000 men to oppose the UK Government, adding "We are prepared to come out and shoot and kill. I am prepared to come out and shoot and kill, let's put the bluff aside. I am prepared to kill, those behind me will have my full support."
In March 1973, the Ulster Vanguard became the Vanguard Unionist Progressive Party. The Vanguard Unionists under Craig formed part of the United Ulster Unionist Council which opposed the power-sharing Sunningdale Agreement. Craig was elected to the Northern Ireland Assembly created under the Sunningdale Agreement, he won a seat in the UK Parliament at the February 1974 general election for East Belfast. However, in the Northern Ireland Constitutional Convention in the mid-1970s, Craig broke with the majority of his party to support voluntary power-sharing with the Social Democratic and Labour Party; the Vanguard Unionists fell apart, with one section forming the United Ulster Unionist Party, Craig led the remains of Vanguard to rejoin the Ulster Unionist Party in 1978, but lost his seat at the 1979 general election. Craig subsequently broke with the Ulster Unionists once more; when elections were held for the new Northern Ireland Assembly in 1982, Craig revived the name Vanguard for his candidacy in East Belfast.
However, he failed to be elected. That marked the effective end of Craig's political career. After a long period away from public life, he died on 25 April 2011, he had suffered a stroke the previous month. Many historians have agreed that Craig found it difficult to accept that Northern Ireland had to make social and economic reforms. Craig led opposition to those proposals throughout the premiership of Terence O'Neill, James Chichester-Clark and Brian Faulkner. Although he showed few intentions when he became the leader of the Unionist Vanguard movement, he showed public intention to form a Northern Ireland Executive in 1975 with the Social Democratic and Labour Party, along with the Alliance Party and Ulster Unionist Party; that is overshadowed due to his early political beliefs and refusal to accept reform and change to Northern Irish society. Hansard 1803–2005: contributions in Parliament by William Craig
Ulster Unionist Party
The Ulster Unionist Party is a unionist political party in Northern Ireland. Having gathered support in Northern Ireland during the late-nineteenth and early-twentieth centuries, the party governed Northern Ireland between 1921 and 1972, it was supported by most unionist voters throughout the conflict known as the Troubles, during which time it was referred to as the Official Unionist Party. Between 1905 and 1972 its MPs took the Conservative whip at Westminster, considered as part of the Conservative Party, it is the fourth-largest party in Northern Ireland, having been overtaken in 2003 by the DUP and Sinn Féin, in 2017 by the SDLP. At the 2015 general election, the party won two seats in the House of Commons and South Tyrone and South Antrim. At the 2017 snap election, the party lost these two seats, made no gains. In 2016, the UUP, the SDLP and the Alliance Party decided not to accept the seats on the Northern Ireland Executive to which they would have been entitled and to form an official opposition to the executive.
This marked the first time since 1921 that a devolved government in Northern Ireland did not include the UUP. The party was led by Mike Nesbitt, but on 3 March 2017 he announced his resignation following the party's poor performance at that year's assembly election; the Ulster Unionist Party traces its formal existence back to the foundation of the Ulster Unionist Council in 1905. Before that, there had been a less formally organised Irish Unionist Alliance since the late 19th century dominated by unionists from Ulster. Modern organised unionism properly emerged after William Ewart Gladstone's introduction in 1886 of the first of three Home Rule Bills in response to demands by the Irish Parliamentary Party; the IUA was an alliance of Irish Conservatives and Liberal Unionists, the latter having split from the Liberal Party over the issue of home rule. It was the merger of these two parties in 1912 that gave rise to the current name of the Conservative and Unionist Party, to which the UUP was formally linked until 1985.
From the beginning, the party had a strong association with the Orange Order, a Protestant fraternal organisation. The original composition of the Ulster Unionist Council was 25% Orange delegates, however this was reduced through the years. Although most unionist support was based in the geographic area that became Northern Ireland, there were at one time unionist enclaves throughout southern Ireland. Unionists in County Cork and Dublin were influential; the initial leadership of the Ulster Unionist Party all came from outside what would become Northern Ireland. However, after the Irish Convention failed to reach an understanding on home rule and with the partition of Ireland under the Government of Ireland Act 1920, Irish unionism in effect split. Many southern unionist politicians became reconciled with the new Irish Free State, sitting in its Seanad or joining its political parties; the existence of a separate Ulster Unionist Party became entrenched as the party took control of the new government of Northern Ireland.
The leadership of the UUP was taken by Sir Edward Carson in 1910. Throughout his 11-year leadership he fought a sustained campaign against Irish Home Rule, including being involved in the formation of the Ulster Volunteers in 1912. In the 1918 general election, Carson switched constituencies from his former seat of Dublin University to Belfast Duncairn. Carson opposed the partition of Ireland and the end of unionism as an all-Ireland political force, so he refused the opportunity to be Prime Minister of Northern Ireland or to sit in the Northern Ireland House of Commons, citing a lack of connection with the place; the leadership of the UUP and, Northern Ireland, was taken by Sir James Craig. Until the end of its period of power in Northern Ireland, the UUP was led by a combination of landed gentry and gentrified industrial magnates. Only its last Prime Minister, Brian Faulkner, was from a middle-class background. During this era, all but 11 of the 149 UUP Stormont MPs were members of the Orange Order, as were all Prime Ministers.
James Craig governed Northern Ireland from its inception until his death in 1940 and is buried with his wife by the east wing of Parliament Buildings. His successor, J. M. Andrews, was criticised for appointing octogenarian veterans of Craigavon's administration to his cabinet, his government was believed to be more interested in protecting the statue of Carson at the Stormont Estate than the citizens of Belfast during the Belfast blitz. A backbench revolt in 1943 resulted in his resignation and replacement by Sir Basil Brooke, although he was recognised as leader of the party until 1946. Brookeborough, despite having felt that Craigavon had held on to power for too long, was Prime Minister for one year longer. During this time he was on more than one occasion called to meetings of the Grand Orange Lodge of Ireland to explain his actions, most notably following the 1947 Education Act which made the government responsible for the payment of National Insurance contributions of teachers in Catholic Church-controlled schools.
Ian Paisley called for Brookeborough's resignation in 1953 when he refused to sack Brian Maginess and Clarence Graham, who had given speeches supporting re-admitting Catholics to the UUP. He retired in 1963 and was repl
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
William David Trimble, Baron Trimble, PC, is a Northern Irish politician, the first First Minister of Northern Ireland from 1998 to 2002, the leader of the Ulster Unionist Party from 1995 to 2005. He was the Member of Parliament for Upper Bann from 1990 to 2005 and the Member of the Legislative Assembly for Upper Bann from 1998 to 2007. In 2006, he was made a life peer in the House of Lords and a year left the UUP to join the Conservative Party. Trimble began his career as a Professor of Law at The Queen's University of Belfast in the 1970s, during which time he began to get involved with the paramilitary-linked Vanguard Progressive Unionist Party, he was elected to the Northern Ireland Constitutional Convention in 1975, joined the UUP in 1978 after the VPUP disbanded. Remaining at Queen's University, he continued his academic career until being elected as the MP for Upper Bann in 1990. In 1995 he was unexpectedly elected as the leader of the UUP, he was instrumental in the negotiations that led to the Good Friday Agreement in 1998, won the Nobel Peace Prize that year for his efforts.
He was elected to become the first First Minister of Northern Ireland, although his tenure was turbulent and interrupted by disagreements over the timetable for Provisional Irish Republican Army decommissioning. After being defeated at the 2005 general election, Trimble resigned the leadership of the UUP soon afterwards. In June 2006, he accepted a life peerage in the House of Lords, taking the title of Baron Trimble, of Lisnagarvey in the County of Antrim, he did not stand again for the Assembly, which reconvened in 2007, instead leaving the UUP to join the Conservative Party. Trimble was the son of William and Ivy Trimble, lower-middle class Presbyterians who lived in Bangor, County Down, he attended Bangor Grammar School. Trimble's paternal grandfather George was a native of County Longford, he studied at Queen's University of Belfast from 1964 to 1968, where he was awarded the McKane Medal for Jurisprudence. He received a first class honours degree. Trimble qualified as a barrister in 1969.
He began that year as a Queen's University of Belfast lecturer, subsequently becoming Assistant Dean of the law faculty from 1973–75, a Senior Lecturer in 1977, Head of the Department of Commercial and Property Law from 1981 to 1989. He resigned from the university in 1990. In 1983, as he sat in his office at the university, he heard gunshots which turned out to be those of IRA killers of Edgar Graham, a friend and fellow law professor, he was asked to identify the body. In 1994 he was told by the Royal Ulster Constabulary. Trimble became involved with the right-wing, paramilitary-linked Vanguard Progressive Unionist Party in the early 1970s, he ran unsuccessfully for the party in the 1973 Assembly election for North Down. In 1974, he was a legal adviser to the Ulster Workers' Council during the successful UWC strike against the Sunningdale Agreement, he was elected to the Northern Ireland Constitutional Convention in 1975 as a Vanguard member for Belfast South, for a time he served as the party's joint deputy leader, along with the Ulster Defence Association's Glenn Barr.
The party had been established by Bill Craig to oppose sharing power with Irish Nationalists, to prevent closer ties with the Republic of Ireland. He joined the mainstream Ulster Unionist Party in 1978 after Vanguard disbanded, was elected one of the four party secretaries, he served as Vice Chairman of the Lagan Valley Unionist Association from 1983–85, was named chairman in 1985. He served as chairman of the UUP Legal Committee from 1989–1995 and as honorary secretary of the Ulster Unionist Council in 1990–96, he was elected to Parliament with 58% of the vote in a by-election in Upper Bann in 1990. He was one of the few British politicians who urged support for the Islamic government of Bosnia and Herzegovina during the civil war in the 1990s. On 8 September 1995, Trimble unexpectedly won election as Leader of the UUP, defeating the front-runner John Taylor and three other candidates. Trimble's election as Leader came in the aftermath of his role in the Drumcree conflict, in which he led a controversial 1995 Orange Order Protestant march, amidst Nationalist protest, down the predominantly Roman Catholic Nationalist Garvaghy Road in Portadown, County Armagh.
Trimble and Democratic Unionist Party Leader Ian Paisley walked hand-in-hand as the march, banned since 1997, proceeded down the road. Many Irish Catholics viewed it as insensitive, while many Protestants felt that it was a sign that Trimble was defending them. Shortly after the election, Trimble became the first UUP Leader in 30 years to meet with the Taoiseach in Dublin. In 1997, he became the first unionist leader since the partitioning of Ireland in 1922 to agree to negotiate with Sinn Féin. In the All Party negotiations, he led the UUP delegation and sat at the table with Sinn Féin, though in the eight months of the negotiations he never spoke directly to their leader, Gerry Adams; the talks were successful, culminating in the Belfast Agreement of 10 April 1998, which resulted in power-sharing with Nationalists. On 22 May 1998, voters in Northern Ireland approved the agreement, with 71 per cent in favour. Trimble was appointed to the Privy Council of the United Kingdom in the 1998 New Year Honours.
Trimble at first opposed the appointment of former U. S. Senator George Mitchell as the chairman of
Muammar Mohammed Abu Minyar Gaddafi known as Colonel Gaddafi, was a Libyan revolutionary and political theorist. He governed Libya as Revolutionary Chairman of the Libyan Arab Republic from 1969 to 1977, as the "Brotherly Leader" of the Great Socialist People's Libyan Arab Jamahiriya from 1977 to 2011, he was ideologically committed to Arab nationalism and Arab socialism but ruled according to his own Third International Theory. Born near Sirte, Italian Libya to a poor Bedouin family, Gaddafi became an Arab nationalist while at school in Sabha enrolling in the Royal Military Academy, Benghazi. Within the military, he founded a revolutionary cell which deposed the Western-backed Senussi monarchy of Idris in a 1969 coup. Having taken power, Gaddafi converted Libya into a republic governed by his Revolutionary Command Council. Ruling by decree, he ejected both the Italian population and Western military bases from Libya while strengthening ties to Arab nationalist governments—particularly Gamal Abdel Nasser's Egypt—and unsuccessfully advocating Pan-Arab political union.
An Islamic modernist, he introduced sharia as the basis for the legal system and promoted "Islamic socialism". He nationalized the oil industry and used the increasing state revenues to bolster the military, fund foreign revolutionaries, implement social programs emphasizing house-building and education projects. In 1973, he initiated a "Popular Revolution" with the formation of Basic People's Congresses, presented as a system of direct democracy, but retained personal control over major decisions, he outlined his Third International Theory that year. Gaddafi transformed Libya into a new socialist state called a Jamahiriya in 1977, he adopted a symbolic role in governance but remained head of both the military and the Revolutionary Committees responsible for policing and suppressing dissent. During the 1970s and 1980s, Libya's unsuccessful border conflicts with Egypt and Chad, support for foreign militants, alleged responsibility for the Lockerbie bombing in Scotland left it isolated on the world stage.
A hostile relationship developed with the United States, United Kingdom, Israel, resulting in the 1986 U. S. bombing of Libya and United Nations-imposed economic sanctions. From 1999, Gaddafi shunned Arab socialism and encouraged economic privatization, rapprochement with Western nations, Pan-Africanism. Amid the 2011 Arab Spring, protests against widespread corruption and unemployment broke out in eastern Libya; the situation descended into civil war, in which NATO intervened militarily on the side of the anti-Gaddafist National Transitional Council. The government was overthrown, Gaddafi retreated to Sirte, only to be captured and killed by NTC militants. A divisive figure, Gaddafi dominated Libya's politics for four decades and was the subject of a pervasive cult of personality, he was decorated with various awards and praised for his anti-imperialist stance, support for Arab—and African—unity, for significant improvements that his government brought to the Libyan people's quality of life.
Conversely, Islamic fundamentalists opposed his social and economic reforms, he was posthumously accused of sexual abuse. He was condemned by many as a dictator whose authoritarian administration violated human rights and financed global terrorism. Muammar Mohammed Abu Minyar Gaddafi was born near Qasr Abu Hadi, a rural area outside the town of Sirte in the deserts of Tripolitania, western Libya, his family came from a small uninfluential tribal group called the Qadhadhfa, who were Arabized Berber in heritage. His mother was named Aisha, his father, Mohammad Abdul Salam bin Hamed bin Mohammad, was known as Abu Meniar. Nomadic Bedouins kept no birth records; as such, Gaddafi's date of birth is not known with certainty, sources have set it in 1942 or the spring of 1943, although his biographers David Blundy and Andrew Lycett noted that it could have been pre-1940. His parents' only surviving son, he had three older sisters. Gaddafi's upbringing in Bedouin culture influenced his personal tastes for the rest of his life.
From childhood, Gaddafi was aware of the involvement of European colonialists in Libya. According to claims, Gaddafi's paternal grandfather, Abdessalam Bouminyar, was killed by the Italian Army during the Italian invasion of 1911. At World War II's end in 1945, Libya was occupied by French forces. Although Britain and France intended on dividing the nation between their empires, the General Assembly of the United Nations declared that the country be granted political independence. In 1951, the UN created the United Kingdom of Libya, a federal state under the leadership of a pro-Western monarch, who banned political parties and centralized power in his monarchy. Gaddafi's earliest education was of a religious nature, imparted by a local Islamic teacher. Subsequently, moving to nearby Sirte to attend elementary school, he progressed through six grades in four years. Education in Libya was not free, but his father thought it would benefit his son despite the financial strain. During the week Gaddafi slept in a mosque, at weekends walked 20 miles to visit his parents.
At school, Gaddafi was bullied for being a Bedouin, but was proud