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
Margaret Hilda Thatcher, Baroness Thatcher, was a British stateswoman who served as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom from 1979 to 1990 and Leader of the Conservative Party from 1975 to 1990. She was the longest-serving British prime minister of the 20th century and the first woman to hold that office. A Soviet journalist dubbed her "The'Iron Lady'", a nickname that became associated with her uncompromising politics and leadership style; as Prime Minister, she implemented policies known as Thatcherism. She studied chemistry at Somerville College and worked as a research chemist, before becoming a barrister. Thatcher was elected Member of Parliament for Finchley in 1959. Edward Heath appointed her Secretary of State for Education and Science in his Conservative government. In 1975, Thatcher defeated Heath in the Conservative Party leadership election to become Leader of the Opposition, the first woman to lead a major political party in the United Kingdom, she became Prime Minister after winning the 1979 general election.
Thatcher introduced a series of economic policies intended to reverse high unemployment and Britain's struggles in the wake of the Winter of Discontent and an ongoing recession. Her political philosophy and economic policies emphasised deregulation, flexible labour markets, the privatisation of state-owned companies, reducing the power and influence of trade unions. Thatcher's popularity in her first years in office waned amid recession and rising unemployment, until victory in the 1982 Falklands War and the recovering economy brought a resurgence of support, resulting in her decisive re-election in 1983, she survived an assassination attempt in the Brighton hotel bombing in 1984. Thatcher was re-elected for a third term in 1987, but her subsequent support for the Community Charge was unpopular, her views on the European Community were not shared by others in her Cabinet, she resigned as Prime Minister and party leader in November 1990, after Michael Heseltine launched a challenge to her leadership.
After retiring from the Commons in 1992, she was given a life peerage as Baroness Thatcher which entitled her to sit in the House of Lords. In 2013, she died of a stroke in London at the age of 87. Always a controversial figure, she is nonetheless viewed favourably in historical rankings of British prime ministers, her tenure constituted a realignment towards neoliberal policies in the United Kingdom. Margaret Hilda Roberts was born on 13 October 1925, in Lincolnshire, her parents were Alfred Roberts, from Northamptonshire, Beatrice Ethel, from Lincolnshire. She spent her childhood in Grantham. In 1938, prior to the Second World War, the Roberts family gave sanctuary to a teenage Jewish girl who had escaped Nazi Germany. Margaret, with her pen-friending elder sister Muriel, saved pocket money to help pay for the teenager's journey. Alfred Roberts was an alderman and a Methodist local preacher, brought up his daughter as a strict Wesleyan Methodist, attending the Finkin Street Methodist Church.
He stood as an Independent. He served as Mayor of Grantham in 1945–46 and lost his position as alderman in 1952 after the Labour Party won its first majority on Grantham Council in 1950. Margaret Roberts attended Huntingtower Road Primary School and won a scholarship to Kesteven and Grantham Girls' School, a grammar school, her school reports showed continual improvement. She was head girl in 1942–43. In her upper sixth year she applied for a scholarship to study chemistry at the University of Oxford's Somerville College, a women's college at the time, but she was rejected and was offered a place only after another candidate withdrew. Roberts arrived at Oxford in 1943 and graduated in 1947 with Second-Class Honours, in the four-year Chemistry Bachelor of Science degree, specialising in X-ray crystallography under the supervision of Dorothy Hodgkin, her dissertation was on the structure of the antibiotic gramicidin. Thatcher did not devote herself to studying chemistry as she only intended to be a chemist for a short period of time.
While working on the subject, she was thinking towards law and politics. She was prouder of becoming the first Prime Minister with a science degree than becoming the first woman, as Prime Minister attempted to preserve Somerville as a women's college. During her time at Oxford, she was noted for her isolated and serious attitude, her first boyfriend, Tony Bray, recalled that she was "very thoughtful and a good conversationalist. That's what interested me, she was good at general subjects". Her enthusiasm for politics as a girl made him think of her as "unusual". Bray met Roberts' parents and described them as "slightly austere" and "very proper". At the end of the term at Oxford, Bray became more distant and hoped for their relationship to "fizzle out". Bray recalled that he thought Roberts had taken the relationship more than he had done; when asked about Bray in life, Thatcher prevaricated but acknowledged the circumstances between herself and Bray. Roberts became President of the Oxford University Conservative Association in 1946.
She was influenced at university by political works such as Friedrich Hayek's The Road to Serfdom, which condemned economic intervention by government as a
The Loyal Orange Institution, more known as the Orange Order, is a Protestant fraternal order based in Northern Ireland. It has lodges in the Republic of Ireland, a Grand Orange Lodge in the Scottish Lowlands and other lodges throughout the Commonwealth, as well as in the United States and Togo; the Orange Order was founded in County Armagh in 1795, during a period of Protestant–Catholic sectarian conflict, as a Masonic-style fraternity sworn to maintain the Protestant Ascendancy. It is headed by the Grand Orange Lodge of Ireland, established in 1798, its name is a tribute to the Dutch-born Protestant king William of Orange, who defeated the army of Catholic king James II in the Williamite–Jacobite War. Its members are referred to as Orangemen; the order is best known for its yearly marches, the biggest of which are held around 12 July. The Orange Order is a conservative British unionist organisation with links to Ulster loyalism, it campaigned against Scottish independence in 2014. The Order sees itself as defending Protestant civil and religious liberties, whilst critics accuse the Order of being sectarian and supremacist.
As a strict Protestant society, it does not accept non-Protestants as members unless they convert and adhere to the principles of Orangeism, nor does it accept Protestants married to Catholics. Although most Orange marches are without incident, marches through Catholic and Irish nationalist neighbourhoods are controversial and have led to violence; the Orange Institution commemorates the civil and religious privileges conferred on Protestants by William of Orange, the Dutch prince who became King of England and Ireland in the Glorious Revolution of 1688. In particular, the Institution remembers the victories of William III and his forces in Ireland in the early 1690s the Battle of the Boyne. Since the 1690s commemorations—state-sponsored and those held by the lower classes—had been held throughout Ireland celebrating key dates in the Williamite War such as the Battle of Aughrim, Battle of the Boyne, Siege of Derry and the second Siege of Limerick; these followed a tradition started in Elizabethan England of celebrating key events in the Protestant calendar.
By the 1740s there were organisations holding parades in Dublin such as the Boyne Club and the Protestant Society, both seen as forerunners to the Orange Order. Throughout the 1780s, sectarian tension had been building in County Armagh due to the relaxation of the Penal Laws. Here the number of Protestants and Catholics were of equal number, competition between them to rent patches of land near markets was fierce. Drunken brawls between rival gangs had by 1786 become sectarian; these gangs reorganised as the Protestant Peep o' Day Boys and the Catholic Defenders, with the next decade in County Armagh marked by fierce sectarian conflict between both groups, which escalated and spread into neighbouring counties. In September 1795, at a crossroads known as "The Diamond" near Loughgall and Protestant Peep o' Day Boys gathered to fight each other; this initial stand-off ended without battle when the priest that accompanied the Defenders persuaded them to seek a truce, after a group called the "Bleary Boys" came from County Down to reinforce the Peep o' Day Boys.
When a contingent of Defenders from County Tyrone arrived on 21 September, they were "determined to fight". The Peep o' Day Boys regrouped and opened fire on the Defenders. According to William Blacker, the battle was short and the Defenders suffered "not less than thirty" deaths. After the battle had ended, the Peep o' Days marched into Loughgall, in the house of James Sloan they founded the Orange Order, to be a Protestant defence association made up of lodges; the principal pledge of these lodges was to defend "the King and his heirs so long as he or they support the Protestant Ascendancy". At the start the Orange Order was a "parallel organisation" to the Defenders in that it was a secret oath-bound society that used passwords and signs. One of the few landed gentry that joined the Orange Order at the outset, William Blacker, was unhappy with some of the outcomes of the Battle of the Diamond, he says that a determination was expressed to "driving from this quarter of the county the entire of its Roman Catholic population", with notices posted warning them "to Hell or Connaught".
Other people were warned by notices not to inform on local Orangemen or "I will Blow your Soul to the Low hils of Hell And Burn the House you are in". Within two months, 7,000 Catholics had been driven out of County Armagh. According to Lord Gosford, the governor of Armagh: It is no secret that a persecution is now raging in this country... the only crime is... profession of the Roman Catholic faith. Lawless banditti have constituted themselves judges... and the sentence they have denounced... is nothing less than a confiscation of all property, an immediate banishment. A former Grand Master of the Order called William Blacker, a former County Grand Master of Belfast, Robert Hugh Wallace have questioned this statement, saying whoever the Governor believed were the "lawless banditti", they could not have been Orangemen as there were no lodges in existence at the time of his speech. According to historian Jim Smyth:Later apologists rather implausibly deny any connection between the Peep-o'-Day Boys and the first Orangemen or less plausibly, between the Orangemen and the mass wrecking of Catholic cottages in Armagh in the months following'the Diamond' – all of them, acknowledge the movement's lower class origins.
The Order's three main founders were James Wils
Ulster nationalism is a school of thought in Northern Ireland politics that seeks the independence of Northern Ireland from the United Kingdom without joining the Republic of Ireland, thereby becoming an independent sovereign state separate from both. Independence has been supported by groups such as Ulster Third Way and some factions of the Ulster Defence Association. However, it is a fringe view in Northern Ireland, it is neither supported by any of the political parties represented in the Northern Ireland Assembly nor by the government of the United Kingdom or the government of the Republic of Ireland. Although the term Ulster traditionally refers to one of the four traditional provinces of Ireland which contains Northern Ireland as well as parts of the Republic of Ireland, the term is used within unionism and Ulster loyalism to refer to Northern Ireland. There has been a number of proposals in terms of the government including the Republic of Northern Ireland which will be led by a President, Vice-President, Chief Secretary and Solicitor-General as the leaders of State and Government.
Some claim that in the Republic proposal there will be devolved state governments. In November 1921, during negotiations for the Anglo-Irish Treaty, there was correspondence between David Lloyd George and Sir James Craig, respective prime ministers of the UK and Northern Ireland. Lloyd George envisaged a choice for Northern Ireland between, on the one hand, remaining part of the UK under the Government of Ireland Act 1920, while what had been Southern Ireland became a Dominion. Craig responded that a third option would be for Northern Ireland to be a Dominion in parallel with Southern Ireland and the "Overseas Dominions", saying "while Northern Ireland would deplore any loosening of the tie between Great Britain and herself she would regard the loss of representation at Westminster as a less evil than inclusion in an all-Ireland Parliament". Ulster nationalism has its origins in 1946 when W. F. McCoy, a former cabinet minister in the government of Northern Ireland, advocated this option, he wanted Northern Ireland to become a dominion with a political system similar to Canada, New Zealand and the Union of South Africa, or the Irish Free State prior to 1937.
McCoy, a lifelong member of the Ulster Unionist Party, felt that the uncertain constitutional status of Northern Ireland made the Union vulnerable and so saw his own form of limited Ulster nationalism as a way to safeguard Northern Ireland's relationship with the United Kingdom. Some members of the Ulster Vanguard movement, led by Bill Craig, in the early 1970s published similar arguments, most notably Professor Kennedy Lindsay. In the early 1970s, in the face of the British government prorogation of the government of Northern Ireland, Craig and others argued in favour of a unilateral declaration of independence from Great Britain similar to that declared in Rhodesia a few years previously. Lindsay founded the British Ulster Dominion Party to this end but it faded into obscurity around 1979. Whilst early versions of Ulster nationalism had been designed to safeguard the status of Northern Ireland, the movement saw something of a rebirth in the 1970s following the 1972 suspension of the Parliament of Northern Ireland and the resulting political uncertainty in the region.
Glenn Barr, a Vanguard Unionist Progressive Party Assemblyman and Ulster Defence Association leader, described himself in 1973 as "an Ulster nationalist". The successful Ulster Workers Council Strike in 1974, was described by the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland Merlyn Rees as an "outbreak of Ulster nationalism". Labour Prime Minister Jim Callaghan thought an independent Ulster might be viable. After the strike loyalism began to embrace Ulster nationalist ideas, with the UDA in particular advocating this position. Firm proposals for an independent Ulster were produced in 1976 by the Ulster Loyalist Central Co-ordinating Committee and in 1977 by the UDA's New Ulster Political Research Group; the NUPRG document, Beyond the Religious Divide, has been republished with a new introduction. John McMichael, as candidate for the UDA-linked Ulster Loyalist Democratic Party, campaigned for the 1982 South Belfast by-election on the basis of negotiations towards independence. However, McMichael's poor showing of 576 votes saw the plans abandoned by the UDA soon after, although the policy was still considered by the Ulster Democratic Party under Ray Smallwoods.
A short-lived Ulster Independence Party operated, although the assassination of its leader, John McKeague, in 1982 saw it disappear. While Ulster nationalism went into something of a decline in loyalist circles following the South Belfast by-election, the issue became a matter of policy for the Official National Front, as the Political Soldier wing of the British National Front was known. During the 1980s the group produced a document entitled Alternative Ulster – Facing Up to the Future, which laid out plans for how independence could be achieved and how the independent state would function. Arguing that Ulster represented a nation distinct from the rest of Ireland, Great Britain, they called for an independent state to be run by a series of Community Councils, with an economy based on distributism. Despite the plans, the NF never had more than minor support in the region and the plans failed to reach a wider audience; the idea enjoyed something of a renaissance in the aftermath of the Anglo-Irish Agreement, with the Ulster Clubs amongst those to consider the notion.
After a series of public meetings
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
Royal Ulster Constabulary
The Royal Ulster Constabulary was the police force in Northern Ireland from 1922 to 2001. Following the awarding of the George Cross in 2000, its formal title became the Royal Ulster Constabulary, GC, it was founded on 1 June 1922 as a successor to the Royal Irish Constabulary. At its peak the force had around 8,500 officers with a further 4,500 who were members of the RUC Reserve. During the Troubles, 319 members of the RUC were killed and 9,000 injured in paramilitary assassinations or attacks by the Provisional IRA, which made the RUC, by 1983, the most dangerous police force in the world in which to serve. In the same period, the RUC killed 55 people; the RUC was superseded by the Police Service of Northern Ireland in 2001. The former police force was renamed and reformed, as is provided for by the final version of the Police Act 2000; the RUC has been accused by republicans and Irish nationalists of one-sided policing and discrimination, as well as collusion with loyalist paramilitaries. Conversely, it was praised as one of the most professional policing operations in the world by British security forces.
The allegations regarding collusion prompted several inquiries, the most recent of, published by Police Ombudsman Nuala O'Loan. The report identified police, CID and Special Branch collusion with loyalist terrorists under 31 separate headings, in her report on the murder of Raymond McCord and other matters, but no member of the RUC has been charged or convicted of any criminal acts as a result of these inquiries. Ombudsman Dame Nuala O'Loan stated in her conclusions that there was no reason to believe the findings of the investigation were isolated incidents. Under section 60 of the Government of Ireland Act 1920, Northern Ireland was placed under the jurisdiction of the Royal Irish Constabulary. On 31 January 1921, Richard Dawson Bates, the first Minister of Home Affairs for Northern Ireland, appointed a committee of inquiry on police organisation in Northern Ireland, it was asked to advise on any alterations to the existing police necessary for the formation of a new force. An interim report was published on 28 March 1922, the first official report of the new Parliament of Northern Ireland, it was subsequently accepted by the Northern Ireland Government.
On 29 April 1922, King George V granted to the force the name Royal Ulster Constabulary. In May, the Parliament of Northern Ireland passed the Constabulary Act 1922 and the RUC came into existence on 1 June; the headquarters of the force was established at Waring Street, in Belfast. The uniform remained the same as that of the RIC - a dark green, as opposed to the dark blue worn by the other British police forces and the Garda Síochána. A new badge of the Red Hand of Ulster on a St George's Cross surrounded by a chain was designed but proved unpopular and was never uniformly adopted; the harp and crown insignia of the Order of St Patrick, as worn by the RIC, was adopted. From the beginning it had a dual role, unique among British police forces, of providing a normal law enforcement police service while enforcing the new Northern Ireland entity in the face of considerable opposition, both armed and unarmed. To this end, its members were armed; the RUC was limited by statute to a 3,000-strong force.
A third of positions within the force were reserved for Roman Catholics, a reflection of the denominational proportions of the population of Northern Ireland at that time. The first two thousand places were filled and those reserved for Catholics were filled by ex-RIC men fleeing north. Due to reluctance by the political establishment to employ too many Catholics, the force abandoned this policy; as a result, representation of Catholics in the RUC never exceeded 20%. In addition, many Roman Catholics who joined the force during the troubles were targeted for murder or ostracised by their own community. By the 1960s, representation of Catholics in the RUC had fallen to 12%; the RUC were supported by the Ulster Special Constabulary, a volunteer body of part-time auxiliary police established before the Northern Ireland government was set up, given uniforms and training. The RUC's senior officer, the Inspector General, was appointed by the Governor of Northern Ireland and was responsible to the Minister of Home Affairs in the Northern Ireland government for the maintenance of law and order.
The polarised political climate in Northern Ireland resulted in violence from both sides of the political and religious divide. The lawlessness that affected Northern Ireland in the period of the early 1920s, the problems it caused for the police, are indicated in a police report drawn up by District Inspector R. R. Spears in February 1923. Referring to the situation in Belfast after July 1921 he stated:For twelve months after that, the city was in a state of turmoil; the IRA was responsible for an enormous number of murders, bombings and incendiary fires. The work of the police against them was, however hampered by the fact that the rough element on the Protestant side entered into the disturbances, met murder with murder and adopted in many respects the tactics of the rebel gunmen. In the endeavour to cope with the warring factions the police efforts were nullified, they were quite unable to rely on the restraint of one party. About 90 police officers were killed between 1922 in what would become Northern Ireland.
William Frederick "Willie" Frazer is an Ulster loyalist activist and advocate for victims of Irish republican violence in Northern Ireland. He was the leader of the pressure group Families Acting for Innocent Relatives, he was a leader of the Love Ulster campaign and more the Belfast City Hall flag protests. William Frazer grew up in the village of Whitecross, County Armagh, Northern Ireland, as one of nine children, with his parents Bertie and Margaret, he is an ex-member of the Territorial Army, a member of the Free Presbyterian Church of Ulster. He played Gaelic football up to U14 level. Frazer described his early years as a “truly cross-community lifestyle”. Growing up, he was a fan of wrestling, his father, a part-time member of the British Army's Ulster Defence Regiment and a council worker, was killed by the Provisional Irish Republican Army on 30 August 1975. The family home had been attacked with petrol bombs and gunfire which Frazer claimed were IRA men, due to Bertie's UDR membership.
Frazer has stated that his family was well respected in the area including by "old-school IRA men" and received Mass cards from Catholic neighbours expressing their sorrow over his father's killing. Frazer believes. Over the next ten years four members of Frazer's family who were members or ex-members of the Royal Ulster Constabulary or British Army were killed by the IRA. An uncle of Frazer's, a member of the UDR was wounded in a gun attack. Soon after his father's death, the IRA began targeting Frazer's older brother, a UDR member. Like many South Armagh unionists, the family moved north to the village of Markethill. After leaving school, Frazer worked as a plasterer for a period before serving in the British Army for nine years. Following this he worked for a local haulage company set up his own haulage company, which he sold. During the Drumcree conflict, Frazer was a supporter of the Portadown Orange Order who were demanding the right to march down the Garvaghy Road against the wishes of local residents.
Frazer was president of his local Apprentice Boys club at the time. For a brief period after selling his haulage firm Frazer ran "The Spot", a nightclub in Tandragee, County Armagh, which closed down after two Ulster Protestant civilians, in the club, Andrew Robb and David McIlwaine, were stabbed to death in February 2000 by the Ulster Volunteer Force, after one of them had made derogatory remarks about dead UVF Mid-Ulster Brigade leader Richard Jameson. Frazer was confronted in an interview on BBC Radio Ulster about the murders by the father of one of the victims, Paul McIlwaine. During the Smithwick Tribunal it was alleged by a member of Garda Síochána that Frazer was a part of a loyalist paramilitary group called the Red Hand Commando. Frazer denied the allegations. Frazer applied for a licence to hold a firearm for his personal protection and was turned down, a chief inspector said, in part because he was known to associate with loyalist paramilitaries. FAIR, founded by Frazer in 1998, claims to represent the victims of IRA violence in South Armagh.
It has been criticised by some for not doing the same for victims of loyalist paramilitary organisations or for those killed by security forces. In the past, Frazer had said of loyalist paramilitary prisoners that "they should never have been locked up in the first place", that he had "a lot of time for Billy Wright", he has defended security force collusion with loyalist paramilitaries, stating in an interview with Susan McKay: "If you were in the UDR and your brother was shot, are you telling me you wouldn't?... See if a Paki comes from India and kills a Provo? I'm going to shake his hand."In February 2006, Frazer was an organiser of the Love Ulster parade in Dublin that had to be cancelled due to rioting. In January 2007, Frazer protested outside the Sinn Féin Ard Fheis in Dublin that voted to join policing structures in Northern Ireland, he "expressed outrage at the idea that the'law-abiding population' would negotiate with terrorists to get them to support democracy and order."In January 2007 Frazer dismissed Police Ombudsman Nuala O'Loan's report into security force collusion with loyalist paramilitaries.
In March 2010, he claimed to have served a civil writ on deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness, of Sinn Féin, seeking damages arising from the killing of Frazer's father by the Provisional IRA. Both Sinn Féin and the courts denied that any such writ had been served, but in June 2010 Frazer announced that he would seek to progress his claim in the High Court. There has since been no report of any such litigation. Frazer had picketed McGuinness's home in Derry in 2007 to demand support for calls for Libya to compensate victims of IRA attacks. Accompanied by two other men Frazer attempted to post a letter to the house but was confronted by local residents and verbally abused; when McGuinness stood for election in the 2011 Irish presidential election Frazer announced that he and FAIR would picket the main Sinn Féin election events. He said, "If the people of the South want a terrorist to represent them around the world as their president heaven help them." In the event, however, no such pickets took place.
In September 2010 the Special EU Programmes Body revoked all funding to FAIR due to "major failures in the organisation's ability to adhere to the conditions associated with its funding allocation" uncovered following a "t