Armagh is the county town of County Armagh and a city in Northern Ireland, as well as a civil parish. It is the ecclesiastical capital of Ireland – the seat of the Archbishops of Armagh, the Primates of All Ireland for both the Roman Catholic Church and the Church of Ireland. In ancient times, nearby Navan Fort was a pagan ceremonial site and one of the great royal capitals of Gaelic Ireland. Today, Armagh is home to two cathedrals and the Armagh Observatory, is known for its Georgian architecture. Although classed as a medium-sized town, Armagh was given city status in 1994 and Lord Mayoralty status in 2012, both by Queen Elizabeth II, it had a population of 14,749 people in the 2011 Census, making it the least-populated city in Ireland and the fifth smallest in the United Kingdom. Eamhain Mhacha, at the western edge of Armagh, is believed to have been an ancient pagan ritual or ceremonial site. According to Irish mythology it was one of the great royal sites of Gaelic Ireland and the capital of Ulster.
It appears to have been abandoned after the 1st century. In the 3rd century, a ditch and bank was dug around the top of Cathedral Hill, the heart of what is now Armagh, its circular shape matches the modern street layout. Evidence suggests that it was the successor to Navan. Like Navan, it too was named after the goddess Macha – Ard Mhacha means "Macha's height"; this name was anglicised as Ardmagh, which became Armagh. After Christianity spread to Ireland, the pagan sanctuary was converted into a Christian one, Armagh became the site of an important church and monastery. According to tradition, Saint Patrick founded his main church there in the year 457, it became the "ecclesiastical capital" of Ireland. Saint Patrick was said to have decreed. According to the Annals of the Four Masters: Ard Mhacha was founded by Saint Patrick, it having been granted to him by Daire, son of Finnchadh, son of Eoghan, son of Niallan. Twelve men were appointed by him for building the town, he ordered them, in the first place, to erect an archbishop's city there, a church for monks, for nuns, for the other orders in general, for he perceived that it would be the head and chief of the churches of Ireland in general.
In 839 and 869, the monastery in Armagh was raided by Vikings. As with similar raids, their goal was to acquire valuables such as silver, which could be found in churches and monasteries; the Book of Armagh came from the monastery. It is a 9th-century Irish manuscript now held by Trinity College Library in Dublin, it contains some of the oldest surviving specimens of Old Irish. Brian Boru is believed to be buried in the graveyard of the St. Patrick's Church of Ireland cathedral. After having conquered the island during the 990s, he became High King of Ireland in 1002, until his death in 1014. In 1189, John de Courcy, a Norman knight who had invaded Ulster in 1177, plundered Armagh. Armagh has been an educational centre since the time of Saint Patrick, thus it has been referred to as "the city of saints and scholars"; the educational tradition continued with the foundation of the Royal School in 1608, St Patrick's College in 1834 and the Armagh Observatory in 1790. The Observatory was part of Archbishop Lord Rokeby's plan to have a university in the city.
This ambition was fulfilled, albeit in the 1990s when Queen's University of Belfast opened an outreach centre in the former hospital building. Three brothers from Armagh died at the Battle of the Somme during World War I. None of the three has a known grave and all are commemorated on the Thiepval Memorial to the Missing of the Somme. A fourth brother was wounded in the same attack. On 14 January 1921, during the Irish War of Independence, a Royal Irish Constabulary sergeant was assassinated by the Irish Republican Army in Armagh, he was attacked with a grenade as he walked along Market Street and died of his wounds. On 4 September 1921, republican leaders Michael Collins and Eoin O'Duffy addressed a large meeting in Armagh, attended by up to 10,000 people. During the Troubles in Armagh, the violence was substantial enough for the city to be referred to by some as "Murder Mile". Over the span of 20 years, 24 individuals were killed in 13 different incidents. Armagh City and District Council was a single district council until 2015 when it merged with Banbridge District Council and Craigavon Borough Council under local government reorganisation in Northern Ireland to become Armagh and Craigavon District Council known as the ABC council.
In the Armagh and Craigavon District Council election, 2014, a total of two Sinn Fein, two SDLP, one DUP and one UUP councillors were elected from Armagh electoral area. In 2018 the Lord Mayor of the ABC council was Julie Flaherty and the Deputy Lord Mayor was Paul Duffy. Armagh is part of the Armagh. In the 2017 elections, the following were elected to the Northern Ireland Assembly: Megan Fearon, Cathal Boylan, Conor Murphy, Justin McNulty of the SDLP and William Irwin of the DUP. Together with part of the district of Newry and Mourne, it forms the Newry & Armagh constituency for elections to the Westminster Parliament and Northern Ireland Assembly; the Member of Parliament is Mickey Brady of Sinn Féin. He won the seat in the United Kingdom general election, 2015; as the seat of the Primate of All Ireland, Armagh was regarded as a city, recognisably had the status by 1226. It claimed the title by prescription.
Republic of Ireland
Ireland known as the Republic of Ireland, is a country in north-western Europe occupying 26 of 32 counties of the island of Ireland. The capital and largest city is Dublin, located on the eastern part of the island, whose metropolitan area is home to around a third of the country's over 4.8 million inhabitants. The sovereign state shares its only land border with a part of the United Kingdom, it is otherwise surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean, with the Celtic Sea to the south, St George's Channel to the south-east, the Irish Sea to the east. It is a parliamentary republic; the legislature, the Oireachtas, consists of a lower house, Dáil Éireann, an upper house, Seanad Éireann, an elected President who serves as the ceremonial head of state, but with some important powers and duties. The head of government is the Taoiseach, elected by the Dáil and appointed by the President; the state was created as the Irish Free State in 1922 as a result of the Anglo-Irish Treaty. It had the status of Dominion until 1937 when a new constitution was adopted, in which the state was named "Ireland" and became a republic, with an elected non-executive president as head of state.
It was declared a republic in 1949, following the Republic of Ireland Act 1948. Ireland became a member of the United Nations in December 1955, it joined the European Economic Community, the predecessor of the European Union, in 1973. The state had no formal relations with Northern Ireland for most of the twentieth century, but during the 1980s and 1990s the British and Irish governments worked with the Northern Ireland parties towards a resolution to "the Troubles". Since the signing of the Good Friday Agreement in 1998, the Irish government and Northern Ireland Executive have co-operated on a number of policy areas under the North-South Ministerial Council created by the Agreement. Ireland ranks among the top twenty-five wealthiest countries in the world in terms of GDP per capita, as the tenth most prosperous country in the world according to The Legatum Prosperity Index 2015. After joining the EEC, Ireland enacted a series of liberal economic policies that resulted in rapid economic growth.
The country achieved considerable prosperity between the years of 1995 and 2007, which became known as the Celtic Tiger period. This was halted by an unprecedented financial crisis that began in 2008, in conjunction with the concurrent global economic crash. However, as the Irish economy was the fastest growing in the EU in 2015, Ireland is again ascending league tables comparing wealth and prosperity internationally. For example, in 2015, Ireland was ranked as the joint sixth most developed country in the world by the United Nations Human Development Index, it performs well in several national performance metrics, including freedom of the press, economic freedom and civil liberties. Ireland is a member of the European Union and is a founding member of the Council of Europe and the OECD; the Irish government has followed a policy of military neutrality through non-alignment since prior to World War II and the country is not a member of NATO, although it is a member of Partnership for Peace. The 1922 state, comprising 26 of the 32 counties of Ireland, was "styled and known as the Irish Free State".
The Constitution of Ireland, adopted in 1937, provides that "the name of the State is Éire, or, in the English language, Ireland". Section 2 of the Republic of Ireland Act 1948 states, "It is hereby declared that the description of the State shall be the Republic of Ireland." The 1948 Act does not name the state as "Republic of Ireland", because to have done so would have put it in conflict with the Constitution. The government of the United Kingdom used the name "Eire" and, from 1949, "Republic of Ireland", for the state; as well as "Ireland", "Éire" or "the Republic of Ireland", the state is referred to as "the Republic", "Southern Ireland" or "the South". In an Irish republican context it is referred to as "the Free State" or "the 26 Counties". From the Act of Union on 1 January 1801, until 6 December 1922, the island of Ireland was part of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland. During the Great Famine, from 1845 to 1849, the island's population of over 8 million fell by 30%. One million Irish died of starvation and/or disease and another 1.5 million emigrated to the United States.
This set the pattern of emigration for the century to come, resulting in constant population decline up to the 1960s. From 1874, under Charles Stewart Parnell from 1880, the Irish Parliamentary Party gained prominence; this was firstly through widespread agrarian agitation via the Irish Land League, that won land reforms for tenants in the form of the Irish Land Acts, secondly through its attempts to achieve Home Rule, via two unsuccessful bills which would have granted Ireland limited national autonomy. These led to "grass-roots" control of national affairs, under the Local Government Act 1898, in the hands of landlord-dominated grand juries of the Protestant Ascendancy. Home Rule seemed certain when the Parliament Act 1911 abolished the veto of the House of Lords, John Redmond secured the Third Home Rule Act in 1914. However, the Unionist movement had been growing since 1886 among Irish Protestants after the introduction of the first home rule bill, fearing discrimination and loss of economic and social privileges if Irish Catholics achieved real political power
Gortin is a village and townland in County Tyrone, Northern Ireland. It is ten miles north of Omagh in the valley of the Owenkillew river, overlooked by the Sperrins, it had a population of 360 at the 2001 Census. In the 1840s Gortin was in the barony of Strabane, its 410 inhabitants lived in 81 houses indifferently built and so placed as to form one irregular street. A writer at the time described the surrounding scenery, though bold, as "generally destitute of beauty from the want of wood, found only at Beltrim, a residence surrounded by young and thriving plantations". A court baron for the manor of Eliston, in which debts to the amount of 40 shillings was recoverable was held on the first Tuesday of each month and petty sessions were held once a month; the fair was held on the first Wednesday of each month and a pleasure fair was held each Easter Monday. Gortin was the residence of the landlord Major A. R. Cole-Hamilton as well as a large area of country surrounding the village and is called Beltrim Castle.
The present castle is a modern building and the only part of the original castle which remains standing is a gable wall which at present no part of the modern building. The landlord built two Protestant churches on the estate, so large that the landlord was able to ride around it on horseback in a day, he preserved the game. It was well known that if a tenant on the estate possessed a dog which could and did kill a hare and the story went to the landlord's ears, the tenant got orders to have the dog destroyed at once, if the tenant was not prepared to do so he got "notice to quit". There was a bailiff kept on the estate whose principal duty was the control of the bog for turf cutting, who as well as his other duties, kept an eye on the progress of the tenantry and if anyone of them reclaimed any land or otherwise improved his holdings, so that the tenant was able to produce a couple of extra stacks of oats, his rent was increased; the landlord served on the Grand jury, was a Magistrate, Chairman of the local petty sessions, Chairman of the local board of guardians, who supervised the local workhouse and was always able to "rule the roost" and everyone else connected with these bodies were "yes" men.
The workhouse was built in 1841 at a cost of 2,689 pounds to accommodate 200 paupers. It consisted of a main building about 200 yards in length and three stories high, together with a general hospital and a fever hospital as well as outhouses and stores etc, it is no longer in existence nor is the village distillery, in operation then. There was a police station: a parish church; the fever hospital still is now the Manse or residence of the Presbyterian minister. There is a graveyard at the southern end or gable of it containing 33 graves of people who died in it, or in the central hospital or in the workhouse. In the famine years porridge was distributed at the workhouse to any person who asked for it provided they had a utensil to carry it away. There was seed potatoes and oats and grass seed distributed, a fee was charged; when the end to these places came, the remaining inmates were transferred to Omagh, the workhouse and other buildings were sold. The Presbyterian Church bought the fever hospital and grounds, to be converted into a residence for their minister.
While all the knocking down and leveling of the site was taking place the Parish Priest had a home fitted up for himself, it was part of the workhouse. The Minister had about the same time moved into his and some strangers were told one day at that time, that religion was in a bad way about Gortin at present, for the Presbyterian minister was in the fever hospital and the Parish Priest was in the workhouse. There was a Tannery about 100 years ago, hides and skins were tanned from a substance obtained from the bark of oak trees; the oak bark was steeped in pits, built of stone and lime, are still traceable in a yard in the village. The leather made here was used for making harness for horses as well as boots and shoes, which were made locally. There was a company of Imperial yeomanry stationed here about 150 years ago, whose principle duty seemed to be of searching for illicit spirits or poteen; the yeomanry were supplied with a metal badge worn on their uniform about the same size as the badge worn by taxi drivers and had embossed on it the words, "Gortin Imperial Yeomanry".
The, used as their barracks has been rebuilt. It was the first house in Gortin to have two floors. There was a brewery here at one time, it has been closed for about 100 years and a story still exists that an Excise officer from Omagh paid a visit to it once and he was never seen afterwards. There were two bakeries in Gortin at one time and the owner of one of them was in the habit of hitching up of two horses to the same number of carts and going to Dublin for two loads of flour; each owner of the bakeries had a bread cart delivering bread over the country. There was a saw mill driven by a steam engine with the assistance of a windmill which supplied power to a mill, for grinding Indian corn into meal and crushing oats, for printing. There was an ordinary corn mill for grinding oats into meal. A stream of water or burn which runs through the village supplied the brewery with water as well as the saw mill and the two other mills. There was no other power at the time; these mills are now derelict.
Up to about 80 years ago
Ulster Resistance, or the Ulster Resistance Movement, is an Ulster loyalist paramilitary movement established by Ulster loyalists in Northern Ireland on 10 November 1986 in opposition to the Anglo-Irish Agreement. The group was launched at a 3000-strong invitation-only meeting at the Ulster Hall; the rally was chaired by the Democratic Unionist Party Press Officer Sammy Wilson and addressed by party colleagues Ian Paisley, Peter Robinson and Ivan Foster. On the platform was Alan Wright, the chairman of the Ulster Clubs; the launch rally was followed by a number of similar assemblies across Northern Ireland. Its aim were to "take direct action as and when required" to end the Anglo-Irish Agreement. At a rally in Enniskillen, Peter Robinson announced: "Thousands have joined the movement and the task of shaping them into an effective force is continuing; the Resistance has indicated that drilling and training has started. The officers of the nine divisions have taken up their duties."At a rally in the Ulster Hall, Paisley spoke of a need for an extra-governmental Third Force to fight against the aims of Irish republicanism.
He was filmed placing a red beret on his head and standing to attention. DUP deputy leader Peter Robinson was photographed wearing the militant loyalist paramilitary regalia of beret and military fatigues at an Ulster Resistance rally. A mass membership failed to materialise, but active groups were established in country areas such as County Armagh, attracting support from rural conservative Protestants; the group collaborated with the Ulster Volunteer Force, Red Hand Commando and the Ulster Defence Association to procure arms. In June 1987 the UVF stole more than £300,000 from the Northern Bank in Portadown; the money was used to buy 206 Vz. 58 assault rifles, 94 Browning 9mm pistols, 4 RPG-7 rocket launchers and 62 warheads, 450 RGD-5 grenades and 30,000 rounds of ammunition which arrived at Belfast docks from Lebanon in December 1987. The weapons were transported to a farm between Armagh and Portadown, to await collection by the three groups. On 8 January 1988, as they attempted to transport their share of the weapons from Portadown to Belfast in a convoy of three cars, the UDA's share was intercepted at a Royal Ulster Constabulary checkpoint.
61 assault rifles, 30 Brownings, 150 grenades and over 11,000 rounds of ammunition were seized and three UDA men arrested. Davy Payne, the UDA's North Belfast Brigadier was sentenced to 19 years in prison and the two others to 14 years each. Noel Little, an Ulster Resistance member and former Ulster Defence Regiment soldier, the Armagh chairman of the Ulster Clubs, was arrested in connection with the find under the Prevention of Terrorism Act but released without charge. Part of the UVF's share was among weapons recovered in February 1988. A RPG7 rocket launcher with 26 warheads, 38 assault rifles, 15 Brownings, 100 grenades and 40,000 rounds of ammunition were found following searches in the Upper Crumlin Road area of North Belfast. In November 1988, part of the Ulster Resistance share of the weapons was uncovered in police searches at a number of locations in County Armagh around Markethill, Hamiltonsbawn and in Armagh town. Among the items recovered was a RPG7 rocket launcher and 5 warheads, 3 assault rifles, a Browning pistol, 10 grenades, 12,000 rounds of ammunition and combat equipment.
Discovered in the arms caches were parts of a Javelin surface-to-air missile and a number of Ulster Resistance red berets. The DUP claimed that it had severed its links with Ulster Resistance in 1987; when the DUP were asked to condemn the Ulster Resistance in 2016 they said "the party's stance is consistent, that anyone involved in illegal activity should be investigated and face the full weight of the law."In September 1989, a 33-year-old man from Poyntzpass and a 35-year-old man from Tandragee were jailed to nine and six years for storing and moving weapons and explosives on behalf of Ulster Resistance. In January 1990, a 32-year-old former member of the UDR from Richill was jailed for 12 years for possessing Ulster Resistance arms and explosives. In 2013, the group was reported to have acquired more modern weapons along with stocks that were acquired; the South African contacts who had helped set up the 1987 arms deal were interested in trading guns for missile technology. In October 1988, a model of the Javelin missile aiming system was stolen from the Short Brothers factory in Belfast, which had a unionist workforce.
A few months parts of a Blowpipe missile went missing and another Blowpipe was stolen from a Territorial Army base in Newtownards in April 1989. Three members of the group — Noel Little arrested in connection with the 1987 importation of arms, James King, a Free Presbyterian from Killyleagh, County Down and Samuel Quinn, a sergeant in the Territorial Army from Newtownards — were arrested at the Hilton Hotel, Paris on 21 April 1989. Arrested were a diplomat from South Africa, Daniel Storm, an American arms dealer, Douglas Bernhart, leading to claims that the unionists were attempting to procure arms in return for missile technology from Short Brothers; the "Paris Three" were charged with arms trafficking and associating with criminals involved in terrorist activities. They were convicted in October 1991 after more than two years on remand, they received suspended sentences and fines ranging from £2,000 to £5,000. The Sutton Index of Deaths claims that two men killed by the Provisional Irish Republican Army in October 1989 were members of Ulster Resistance.
Thomas Gibson, a 27-year-old labourer and part-time ambulance driver with the Territorial Army was shot dead in Kilrea, County Londonderry. Robert Metcalfe, the 40-year-old owner of an army surplus store
Newry is a city in Northern Ireland, divided by the Clanrye river in counties Armagh and Down, 34 miles from Belfast and 67 miles from Dublin. It had a population of 26,967 in 2011. Newry was founded in 1144 alongside a Cistercian monastery, although there are references to earlier settlements in the area, is one of Ireland's oldest towns; the city is an entry to the "Gap of the North", 5 miles from the border with the Republic of Ireland. It grew as a market town and a garrison and became a port in 1742 when it was linked to Lough Neagh by the first summit-level canal built in Ireland or Great Britain. A cathedral city, it is the episcopal seat of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Dromore. In 2002, as part of Queen Elizabeth's Golden Jubilee celebrations, Newry was granted city status along with Lisburn; the name Newry is an anglicization of An Iúraigh, an oblique form of An Iúrach, which means "the grove of yew trees". The modern Irish name for Newry is An tIúr, which means "the yew tree". An tIúr is an shortening of Iúr Cinn Trá, "yew tree at the head of the strand", the most common Irish name for Newry.
This relates to an apocryphal story. The Irish name Cathair an Iúir appears on some bilingual signs around the city. There is strong evidence of continual human habitation in the area from early times, where it is seen during the Bronze Age that Newry had a factory-type community who were producing in abundance detailed jewellery for garments. Three of these Newry Clasps can be found in the Ulster Museum, a massive arm clasp from the same period was found in Newry. In recent times the survey for the new bypass revealed a number of standing stones on a central area down the Omeath Road. These, like many other finds, such as that of an ancient cave at the top of the Dublin Road area, have been noted and forgotten about, it is estimated. Among them three Neolithic homesteads were discovered. At the time all were noted, left to be destroyed by the new road. Standing stones were seen on at least one of these sites, but they stand no more. In AD 820, the Danes made one of their "earliest irruptions at Newry abbey, from whence they proceeded to Armagh, taking it by storm, plundering and desolating the country around."In AD 835 the Danes again made a sudden incursion into Newry, with a large body of Danes landing at Inbher-Chin-Tra-gha, or Newry, raided the area before attacking Armagh, where they set fire to the churches and university, plundering gold and other items from them and killing an estimated one thousand people in the city and surrounding area.
The Victorian era historian James Henthorn Todd goes into further detail in his 1867 Volume, recording that the abbey was attacked in AD 824. A small medieval town was on the site to the north and south of the abbey, rebuilt in 1142 by King O Carroll of the Oriel at the request of Saint Malachi; the landing stage of the abbey was situated close to the western bank of the Newry River in what is now Kilmorey Street. From these early times it was the main port of the town; the abbey was converted to a collegiate church in 1543, before being surrendered to the Crown in 1548. The abbey is seen to be giving its earnings to the Crown 200 years before this date, it is described as being one of the largest in Ireland. The Vikings attacked the Abbey many times; the town was granted its first charter between 1157 by High King of Ireland Muirchertach Mac Lochlainn. In 1162 the monastery was raided by Irish clans. De Courcy's lordship ensured a safe spell for the abbey after he had built several castles in and around Newry, These were typical Norman affairs, of motte-and-bailey construction.
In 1539 an English mercenary, Nicholas Bagenal, fled to Ireland after murdering a man in Leek, Staffordshire with the aid of his two brothers. After some time in the employment of the O Neill he reached a high status, was granted a pardon in 1543, became Marshal of the army. During his early years in the Louth area he lived at Carlingford. Lord Bingham is seen sending Oriel labourers to Newry in 1546 at which time Bagenal is seen restoring the castle of Newry which belonged to Hugh O Neill being first built by John De Courcy in 1186 Not long after this the Marshal, in 1552, secured a 21-year lease on the Newry property, confiscated from the Cistercians; the castle was razed to the ground by Shane O Neill, who banished Bagenal from Newry in 1566. The nearby convent was part of the Abbey, is mentioned in the Bagenal patent. A small medieval church can be found in its grounds; the abbey site is mentioned in the rent rolls of 1575, said to consist of a church, a steeple, a cemetery, a chapterhouse and hall, two orchards and one garden, containing one acre, within the precincts of a monastic college.
During the 1689 Raid on Newry Williamite forces under Toby Purcell repulsed an attack by the Jacobites under the Marquis de Boisseleau. At the period of the Battle of the Boyne, the Duke of Berwick set fire to the parts of the town which he had restructured to defend it, see Berwicks Journal, Schomberg sent troops in during the early hours of the mornings when seeing the flames, they extinguished them. While it is believed that King William may have stayed at a Newry Castle, the story is a far-fetched one. Kin
Robert Bradford (Northern Irish politician)
Reverend Robert Jonathan Bradford was a Methodist Minister and a Vanguard Unionist and Ulster Unionist Member of Parliament for the Belfast South constituency in Northern Ireland until his assassination by the Provisional Irish Republican Army on 14 November 1981. Bradford was born on 8 June 1941 to a Belfast family resident in Limavady, County Londonderry, due to the wartime evacuation. Bradford's father left the family not long after his birth and his mother died so he was raised by foster parents. A talented footballer, Bradford signed for Glenavon F. C. as a teenager and his displays soon attracted the attentions of the English side Sheffield Wednesday F. C. who invited him to a trial. However, Bradford was not signed by the club and returned to Northern Ireland to resume his career with the Belfast-based club Distillery. Bradford gave up football in 1964, after deciding to train to become a Methodist minister. After spending the rest of the 1960s attached to congregations in East Belfast and Fivemiletown, Bradford was ordained in 1970 and given his own parish in the Suffolk area of southwest Belfast.
Bradford resigned from the Methodist ministry in the late 1970s after feeling that he and his fellow ministers were on divergent paths both politically and ecumenically. and would spend the final years of his life without a church. During these years he came to spend time in the'Bible belt' of the United States and became associated with American Evangelicalism. Bradford claimed to always remain at heart a Methodist and rejected suggestions that he was to join Ian Paisley's Free Presbyterian Church. Bradford first became involved with unionism in 1971. From here he became more involved in the political side of the movement and stood as a candidate for the Vanguard Progressive Unionist Party in the 1973 Northern Ireland Assembly election in South Antrim, although he was not elected. Bradford was first elected as Member of Parliament for South Belfast in the February 1974 British general election, this time under the banner of the United Ulster Unionist Council, defeating the sitting MP Rafton Pounder, a pro-Faulkner Ulster Unionist.
His campaign had been supported by the far-right National Front, at a National Front rally September 1974, Martin Webster read out a letter of solidarity from Bradford. Bradford increased his majority in the October election, after Pounder dropped out, maintained this increased majority in 1979. Between 1974 and 1978 he sat for the Vanguard Party until in February 1978 he joined the UUP, along with Vanguard leader William Craig and most of the membership, he was re-elected in 1979 for the UUP. He was described as a political hardliner, identifying with British Israelism. In one of his speeches he said the causes of the problems in Northern Ireland were down to the Roman Catholic Church and ecumenical confusion. Bradford was shot dead by the IRA on 14 November 1981 in a community centre in Finaghy, while hosting a political surgery. Kenneth Campbell, the 29-year-old Protestant caretaker in the centre, was murdered in the attack. Secretary of State Jim Prior was verbally abused and jostled by a group of angry loyalists outside the church at his funeral and hissed at by members of the congregation.
Ian Paisley protested against his attendance. Taoiseach Garret FitzGerald made an expression of sympathy in Dáil Éireann stating: The IRA described him as "one of the key people responsible for winding up the loyalist paramilitary sectarian machine". A number of Catholics were killed by loyalists in retaliation, his seat was won by Martin Smyth of the UUP, in a by-election in 1982. A book about Bradford's life, A sword bathed in heaven: The life and cruel death of the Rev. Robert Bradford B. Th. M. P. was written by Norah. It dealt with his path to Methodism, although examined his political career and assassination. Bradford, Norah. A sword bathed in heaven: The life and cruel death of the Rev. Robert Bradford B. Th. M. P.. Pickering and Inglis. NI Conflict Archive on the Internet
Ian Richard Kyle Paisley, Baron Bannside, was a loyalist politician and Protestant religious leader from Northern Ireland. He remained one for the rest of his life. In 1951 he co-founded the fundamentalist Free Presbyterian Church of Ulster and was its leader until 2008. Paisley became known for his fiery sermons and preached and protested against Roman Catholicism and homosexuality, he gained a large group of followers. Paisley became involved in Ulster unionist/loyalist politics in the late 1950s. In the mid-late 1960s, he led and instigated loyalist opposition to the Catholic civil rights movement in Northern Ireland; this contributed to the outbreak of the Troubles in the late 1960s, a conflict that would engulf Northern Ireland for the next thirty years. In 1970 he became Member of Parliament for North Antrim and the following year he founded the Democratic Unionist Party, which he would lead for forty years. In 1979 he became a Member of the European Parliament. Throughout the Troubles, Paisley was seen as the face of hardline unionism.
He opposed all attempts to resolve the conflict through power-sharing between unionists and Irish nationalists/republicans, all attempts to involve the Republic of Ireland in Northern affairs. His efforts helped bring down the Sunningdale Agreement of 1974, he opposed the Anglo-Irish Agreement of 1985, with less success. His attempts to create a paramilitary movement culminated in Ulster Resistance. Paisley and his party opposed the Northern Ireland peace process and Good Friday Agreement of 1998. In 2005, Paisley's DUP became the largest unionist party in Northern Ireland, displacing the Ulster Unionist Party, which had dominated unionist politics since 1905 and had been an instrumental party in the Good Friday Agreement. In 2007, following the St Andrews Agreement, the DUP agreed to share power with republican party Sinn Féin. Paisley and Sinn Féin's Martin McGuinness became First Minister and deputy First Minister in May 2007, he stepped down as First Minister and DUP leader in mid-2008, left politics in 2011.
Paisley was made a life peer in 2010 as Baron Bannside. Ian Richard Kyle Paisley was born in Armagh, County Armagh, brought up in the town of Ballymena, County Antrim, where his father James Kyle Paisley was an Independent Baptist pastor who had served in the Ulster Volunteers under Edward Carson, his mother was Scottish. Paisley married Eileen Cassells on 13 October 1956, they had five children, daughters Sharon and Cherith and twin sons and Ian. Three of their children followed their father into politics or religion: Kyle is a Free Presbyterian minister, he had a brother, an evangelical fundamentalist. Paisley saw himself as an Ulsterman. However, despite his hostility towards Irish republicanism and the Republic of Ireland, he saw himself as an Irishman and said that "you cannot be an Ulsterman without being an Irishman"; when he was a teenager, Paisley decided to become a Christian minister. He delivered his first sermon aged 16 in a mission hall in County Tyrone. In the late 1940s he undertook theological training at the Barry School of Evangelism, for a year, at the Reformed Presbyterian Theological Hall in Belfast.
In 1951, a congregation of the Presbyterian Church in Ireland was forbidden by church authorities to hold a meeting in their own church hall at which Paisley was to be the speaker. In response, the leaders of that congregation left the PCI and began a new denomination, the Free Presbyterian Church of Ulster, with Paisley, just 25 years old at the time. Paisley soon became the leader of the Free Presbyterian Church and was re-elected every year, for the next 57 years; the Free Presbyterian Church is a fundamentalist, evangelical church, requiring strict separation from "any church which has departed from the fundamental doctrines of the Word of God." At the time of the 1991 census, the church had about 12,000 members, less than 1 percent of the Northern Ireland population. Paisley promoted a form of Biblical literalism and anti-Catholicism, which he described as "Bible Protestantism"; the website of Paisley's public relations arm, the European Institute of Protestant Studies, describes the institute's purpose as to "expound the Bible, expose the Papacy, to promote and maintain Bible Protestantism in Europe and further afield."
Paisley's website describes a number of doctrinal areas in which he believes that the "Roman church" has deviated from the Bible and thus from true Christianity. Over the years, Paisley would write numerous books and pamphlets on his religious and political views, including a commentary on the Epistle to the Romans. Paisley set up his own newspaper in February 1966, the Protestant Telegraph, as a mechanism for further spreading his message. In the 1960s, Paisley developed a relationship with the fundamentalist Bob Jones University located in Greenville, South Carolina. In 1966, he received an honorary doctorate of divinity from the institution and subsequently served on its board of trustees; this relationship would lead to the establishment of the Free Presbyterian Church of North America in 1977. His honorary doctorate, along with his political obstinacy, led to Paisley's nickname of "Dr. No"; when Princess Margaret and the Queen Mother met Pope John XXIII in 1958, Paisley condemned them for "committing spiritual fornication and adultery with the Antichrist".
When Pope John died in June 1963, Paisley announced