Clones, County Monaghan
Clones is a small town in western County Monaghan, Ireland. The area is part of the Border Region, earmarked for economic development by the Irish Government due to its below-average economic situation; the town was badly hit economically by the partition of Ireland in 1921 because of its location on the border with County Fermanagh in Northern Ireland. The creation of the Irish border deprived it of access to a large part of its economic hinterland for many years; the town had a population of 1,680 at the 2016 census. Clones was spelt Clonis and Clownish; these are anglicised versions of the Irish Cluain Eois, meaning "Eos's meadow". However, it is said that the ancient name was Cluan Inis, "island of retreat," it having been nearly surrounded by water. Clones was the site of a monastic settlement in the kingdom of Dartraige Con-innsi, founded by Tigernach in the 6th century, until the dissolution of the monasteries by Henry VIII. St. Tigernach or Tierney's abbey, built in the early 6th century was dedicated to St. Peter and St. Paul.
Tigernach became Bishop of Clogher and removed that see to Clones, where he died of the plague in 550. The abbot was first mitred abbot of Ireland; the ruins of a 12th-century abbey building can still be found in the town, along with a sarcophagus reputed to have been built to house the remains of Saint Tighearnach, a 9th-century round tower and high cross. In 2016, a forgotten 17th Century plantation castle was discovered behind an area walled off to prevent accidental falls from a steep drumlin; the site was purchased by Fáilte, a support group for prisoners, arranging further archaeological work. In February 1922, just after the partition of Ireland, Clones was the scene of a confrontation between the Ulster Special Constabulary and the Irish Republican Army; the Special Constabulary were a temporary, armed police force raised in Northern Ireland to put down IRA guerrillas there. Since the end of the Irish War of Independence in July 1921, the IRA were acting as the de facto army of the Provisional Government of the Irish Free State.
A unit of Special Constabulary was travelling by train to Belfast, but was stopped by an IRA unit at Clones while they were changing trains. The IRA men demanded that they surrender and a gun battle broke out. An IRA officer was killed. Nine other USC men were injured and the rest surrendered; the incident, known as the'Clones Affray' at the time, threatened to cause the collapse of the Anglo-Irish Treaty and prompted the British government to suspend the withdrawal of British troops from the Free State. During The Troubles on 28 December 1972 on the same day as the Belturbet bombing in County Cavan which killed two teenagers and injured several other people a car bomb, in a blue Morris 1100 car on Fermanagh Street in Clones exploded at 10:01 pm, which injured two men; the bombings are believed to be the work of the terrorist organization the Ulster Volunteer Force. See Annals of Inisfallen. AI806.1 Kl. Gormgal son of Dindathach, abbot of Ard Macna and Cluain Eóis, rested. Clones was linked by rail to Dundalk from 1855, Enniskillen from 1859, Cavan from 1862 and Armagh from 1863.
Clones railway station was opened on 26 June 1858 by the Enniskillen Railway. From 1876 all of these lines were part of the Great Northern Railway; the partition of Ireland in 1922 made Clones a border post on the railway, which combined with road competition to cause the Great Northern to decline. In 1954 the governments of the Republic and Northern Ireland jointly nationalised the GNR and in 1957 Northern Ireland made the GNR close its lines from Armagh and Enniskillen to Clones; this made it impractical to continue services on the Cavan and Dundalk lines so the GNR withdrew passenger services on those lines as well, leaving Clones with no passenger trains and a freight service truncated at the border. The GNR closed Clones station to passenger traffic on 14 October 1957. In 1958 the two states partitioned the GNR between the Ulster Transport Authority and CIÉ. CIÉ withdrew freight services from the Cavan line in 1959 and from the Dundalk line in 1960, leaving Clones with no railway at all.
CIÉ closed Clones freight depot on 1 January 1960. The national inland waterways agency, Waterways Ireland, is planning to restore the Ulster Canal from the Newtownbutler area of Lough Erne to Clones. Birthplace of world featherweight champion boxer Barry McGuigan,'The Clones Cyclone'. Author Patrick McCabe is from the country. Parts of Neil Jordan's 1997 film adaptation of the book were filmed in the town. McCabe is honorary patron of the Clones Film Festival, which takes place annually on the October bank holiday weekend. Writer and playwright Eugene McCabe comes from the town and is known for his television dramas and novels such as Death and Nightingales. Clones was the birthplace of poet Thomas Bracken, who wrote "God Defend New Zealand", one of the national anthems of New Zealand. General Joseph Finegan, who commanded the Confederate Army to victory at the 1864 Battle of Olustee in Florida during the American Civil War, was born at Clones on 17 November 1814, it is the home town of noted boxer Kevin McBride.
Birthplace of John Joseph Lynch, first Archbishop of Toronto. Burial place of Roger Boyle, at the church. Birthplace of John George Bowes, Mayor of Toronto. Footballer Jonathan Douglas grew up in Clones. Birthplace of notorious cannibal convict Alexander Pearce, executed in Van Diemen's Land in 1824. Birthplace of James Graham, an Irish non-commissioned officer in the British Army du
Belfast is a city in the United Kingdom, the capital city of Northern Ireland, standing on the banks of the River Lagan on the east coast of Ireland. It is second-largest on the island of Ireland, it had a population of 333,871 as of 2015. By the early 19th century, Belfast became a major port, it played a key role in the Industrial Revolution, becoming the biggest linen-producer in the world, earning it the nickname "Linenopolis". By the time it was granted city status in 1888, it was a major centre of Irish linen production, tobacco-processing and rope-making. Shipbuilding was a key industry. Belfast as of 2019 has a major aerospace and missiles industry. Industrialisation and the inward migration it brought made Belfast Ireland's biggest city and it became the capital of Northern Ireland following the Partition of Ireland in 1922, its status as a global industrial centre ended in the decades after the Second World War of 1939–1945. Belfast suffered in the Troubles: in the 1970s and 1980s it was one of the world's most dangerous cities.
However, a survey conducted by a finance company and published in 2016 rated the city as one of the safest within the United Kingdom. Throughout the 21st century, the city has seen a sustained period of calm, free from the intense political violence of former years, has benefitted from substantial economic and commercial growth. Belfast remains a centre for industry, as well as for the arts, higher education and law, is the economic engine of Northern Ireland. Belfast is still a major port, with commercial and industrial docks, including the Harland and Wolff shipyard, dominating the Belfast Lough shoreline, it is served by two airports: George Best Belfast City Airport and Belfast International Airport 15 miles west of the city. The Globalization and World Cities Research Network listed Belfast as a Gamma global city in 2018; the name Belfast is derived from the Irish Béal Feirsde, spelt Béal Feirste. The word béal means "mouth" or "rivermouth" while feirsde/feirste is the genitive singular of fearsaid and refers to a sandbar or tidal ford across a river's mouth.
The name would thus translate as " mouth of the sandbar" or " mouth of the ford". This sandbar was formed at the confluence of two rivers at what is now Donegall Quay: the Lagan, which flows into Belfast Lough, its tributary the Farset; this area was the hub. The Irish name Béal Feirste is shared by a townland in County Mayo, whose name has been anglicised as Belfarsad. An alternative interpretation of the name is "mouth of of the sandbar", an allusion to the River Farset, which flows into the Lagan where the sandbar was located; this interpretation was favoured by John O'Donovan. It seems clear, that the river itself was named after the tidal crossing. In Ulster-Scots, the name of the city has been variously translated as Bilfawst, Bilfaust or Baelfawst, although "Belfast" is used. Although the county borough of Belfast was created when it was granted city status by Queen Victoria in 1888, the city continues to be viewed as straddling County Antrim and County Down; the site of Belfast has been occupied since the Bronze Age.
The Giant's Ring, a 5,000-year-old henge, is located near the city, the remains of Iron Age hill forts can still be seen in the surrounding hills. Belfast remained a small settlement of little importance during the Middle Ages. John de Courcy built a castle on what is now Castle Street in the city centre in the 12th century, but this was on a lesser scale and not as strategically important as Carrickfergus Castle to the north, built by de Courcy in 1177; the O'Neill clan had a presence in the area. In the 14th century, Cloinne Aodha Buidhe, descendants of Aodh Buidhe O'Neill, built Grey Castle at Castlereagh, now in the east of the city. Conn O'Neill of the Clannaboy O'Neills owned vast lands in the area and was the last inhabitant of Grey Castle, one remaining link being the Conn's Water river flowing through east Belfast. Belfast became a substantial settlement in the 17th century after being established as a town by Sir Arthur Chichester, it was settled by Protestant English and Scottish migrants at the time of the Plantation of Ulster.
In 1791, the Society of United Irishmen was founded in Belfast, after Henry Joy McCracken and other prominent Presbyterians from the city invited Theobald Wolfe Tone and Thomas Russell to a meeting, after having read Tone's "Argument on Behalf of the Catholics of Ireland". Evidence of this period of Belfast's growth can still be seen in the oldest areas of the city, known as the Entries. Belfast blossomed as a commercial and industrial centre in the 18th and 19th centuries and became Ireland's pre-eminent industrial city. Industries thrived, including linen, rope-making, heavy engineering and shipbuilding, at the end of the 19th century, Belfast overtook Dublin as the largest city in Ireland; the Harland and Wolff shipyards became one of the largest shipbuilders in the world, employing up to 35,000 workers. In 1886 the city suffered intense riots over the issue of home rule. In 1920–22, Belfast became the capital of the new entity of Northern Ireland as the island of Ireland was partitioned.
The accompanying conflict cost up to 500 lives in Belfast, the bloodiest sectarian strife in the city until the Troubles of the late 1960s onwards. Belfas
A barrister is a type of lawyer in common law jurisdictions. Barristers specialise in courtroom advocacy and litigation, their tasks include taking cases in superior courts and tribunals, drafting legal pleadings, researching the philosophy and history of law, giving expert legal opinions. Barristers are recognised as legal scholars. Barristers are distinguished from solicitors, who have more direct access to clients, may do transactional-type legal work, it is barristers who are appointed as judges, they are hired by clients directly. In some legal systems, including those of Scotland, South Africa, Pakistan, India and the British Crown dependencies of Jersey and the Isle of Man, the word barrister is regarded as an honorific title. In a few jurisdictions, barristers are forbidden from "conducting" litigation, can only act on the instructions of a solicitor, who performs tasks such as corresponding with parties and the court, drafting court documents. In England and Wales, barristers may seek authorisation from the Bar Standards Board to conduct litigation.
This allows a barrister to practise in a'dual capacity', fulfilling the role of both barrister and solicitor. In some countries with common law legal systems, such as New Zealand and some regions of Australia, lawyers are entitled to practise both as barristers and solicitors, but it remains a separate system of qualification to practise as a barrister. A barrister, who can be considered as a jurist, is a lawyer who represents a litigant as advocate before a court of appropriate jurisdiction. A barrister presents the case before a judge or jury. In some jurisdictions, a barrister receives additional training in evidence law and court practice and procedure. In contrast, a solicitor meets with clients, does preparatory and administrative work and provides legal advice. In this role, he or she may draft and review legal documents, interact with the client as necessary, prepare evidence, manage the day-to-day administration of a lawsuit. A solicitor can provide a crucial support role to a barrister when in court, such as managing large volumes of documents in the case or negotiating a settlement outside the courtroom while the trial continues inside.
There are other essential differences. A barrister will have rights of audience in the higher courts, whereas other legal professionals will have more limited access, or will need to acquire additional qualifications to have such access; as in common law countries in which there is a split between the roles of barrister and solicitor, the barrister in civil law jurisdictions is responsible for appearing in trials or pleading cases before the courts. Barristers have particular knowledge of case law and the skills to "build" a case; when a solicitor in general practice is confronted with an unusual point of law, they may seek the "opinion of counsel" on the issue. In most countries, barristers operate as sole practitioners, are prohibited from forming partnerships or from working as a barrister as part of a corporation. However, barristers band together into "chambers" to share clerks and operating expenses; some chambers grow to be large and sophisticated, have a distinctly corporate feel. In some jurisdictions, they may be employed by firms of solicitors, banks, or corporations as in-house legal advisers.
In contrast and attorneys work directly with the clients and are responsible for engaging a barrister with the appropriate expertise for the case. Barristers have little or no direct contact with their'lay clients' without the presence or involvement of the solicitor. All correspondence, invoices, so on, will be addressed to the solicitor, responsible for the barrister's fees. In court, barristers are visibly distinguished from solicitors by their apparel. For example, in Ireland and Wales, a barrister wears a horsehair wig, stiff collar, a gown. Since January 2008, solicitor advocates have been entitled to wear wigs, but wear different gowns. In many countries the traditional divisions between barristers and solicitors are breaking down. Barristers once enjoyed a monopoly on appearances before the higher courts, but in Great Britain this has now been abolished, solicitor advocates can appear for clients at trial. Firms of solicitors are keeping the most advanced advisory and litigation work in-house for economic and client relationship reasons.
The prohibition on barristers taking instructions directly from the public has been abolished. But, in practice, direct instruction is still a rarity in most jurisdictions because barristers with narrow specializations, or who are only trained for advocacy, are not prepared to provide general advice to members of the public. Barristers have had a major role in trial preparation, including drafting pleadings and reviewing evidence. In some areas of law, still the case. In other areas, it is common for the barrister to receive the brief from the instructing solicitor to represent a client at trial only a day or two before the proceeding. Part of the reason for this is cost. A barrister is entitled to a'brief fee' when a brief is delivered, this represents the bulk of her/his fee in relation to any trial, they are usually entitled to a'refresher' for each day of the trial after the first. But if a case is settled before the trial, the barrister is not needed and the brief fee would be wast
Commonwealth of Nations
The Commonwealth of Nations known as the Commonwealth, is a unique political association of 53 member states, nearly all of them former territories of the British Empire. The chief institutions of the organisation are the Commonwealth Secretariat, which focuses on intergovernmental aspects, the Commonwealth Foundation, which focuses on non-governmental relations between member states; the Commonwealth dates back to the first half of the 20th century with the decolonisation of the British Empire through increased self-governance of its territories. It was created as the British Commonwealth through the Balfour Declaration at the 1926 Imperial Conference, formalised by the United Kingdom through the Statute of Westminster in 1931; the current Commonwealth of Nations was formally constituted by the London Declaration in 1949, which modernised the community, established the member states as "free and equal". The human symbol of this free association is the Head of the Commonwealth Queen Elizabeth II, the 2018 Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting appointed Charles, Prince of Wales to be her designated successor, although the position is not technically hereditary.
The Queen is the head of state of 16 member states, known as the Commonwealth realms, while 32 other members are republics and five others have different monarchs. Member states have no legal obligations to one another. Instead, they are united by English language, history and their shared values of democracy, human rights and the rule of law; these values are enshrined in the Commonwealth Charter and promoted by the quadrennial Commonwealth Games. The countries of the Commonwealth cover more than 29,958,050 km2, equivalent to 20% of the world's land area, span all six inhabited continents. Queen Elizabeth II, in her address to Canada on Dominion Day in 1959, pointed out that the confederation of Canada on 1 July 1867 had been the birth of the "first independent country within the British Empire", she declared: "So, it marks the beginning of that free association of independent states, now known as the Commonwealth of Nations." As long ago as 1884 Lord Rosebery, while visiting Australia, had described the changing British Empire, as some of its colonies became more independent, as a "Commonwealth of Nations".
Conferences of British and colonial prime ministers occurred periodically from the first one in 1887, leading to the creation of the Imperial Conferences in 1911. The Commonwealth developed from the imperial conferences. A specific proposal was presented by Jan Smuts in 1917 when he coined the term "the British Commonwealth of Nations" and envisioned the "future constitutional relations and readjustments in essence" at the Paris Peace Conference of 1919, attended by delegates from the Dominions as well as Britain; the term first received imperial statutory recognition in the Anglo-Irish Treaty of 1921, when the term British Commonwealth of Nations was substituted for British Empire in the wording of the oath taken by members of parliament of the Irish Free State. In the Balfour Declaration at the 1926 Imperial Conference and its dominions agreed they were "equal in status, in no way subordinate one to another in any aspect of their domestic or external affairs, though united by common allegiance to the Crown, associated as members of the British Commonwealth of Nations".
The term "Commonwealth" was adopted to describe the community. These aspects to the relationship were formalised by the Statute of Westminster in 1931, which applied to Canada without the need for ratification, but Australia, New Zealand, Newfoundland had to ratify the statute for it to take effect. Newfoundland never did, as on 16 February 1934, with the consent of its parliament, the government of Newfoundland voluntarily ended and governance reverted to direct control from London. Newfoundland joined Canada as its 10th province in 1949. Australia and New Zealand ratified the Statute in 1947 respectively. Although the Union of South Africa was not among the Dominions that needed to adopt the Statute of Westminster for it to take effect, two laws—the Status of the Union Act, 1934, the Royal Executive Functions and Seals Act of 1934—were passed to confirm South Africa's status as a sovereign state. After the Second World War ended, the British Empire was dismantled. Most of its components have become independent countries, whether Commonwealth realms or republics, members of the Commonwealth.
There remain the 14 self-governing British overseas territories which retain some political association with the United Kingdom. In April 1949, following the London Declaration, the word "British" was dropped from the title of the Commonwealth to reflect its changing nature. Burma and Aden are the only states that were British colonies at the time of the war not to have joined the Commonwealth upon independence. Former British protectorates and mandates that did not become members of the Commonwealth are Egypt, Transjordan, Sudan, British Somaliland, Bahrain, Oman and the United Arab Emirates; the postwar Commonwealth was given a fresh mission by Queen Elizabeth in her Christmas Day 1953 broadcast, in which she envisioned the Commonwealth as "an new conception – built on the highest qualities of the Spirit of Man: friendship and the desire for freedom and peace". Hoped for success was reinforced by such achievements as climbing Mount Everest in 1953, breaking the four-minute mile in 1954
John "Big John" McMichael was a leading Northern Ireland loyalist who rose to become the most prominent and charismatic figure within the Ulster Defence Association as the Deputy Commander and leader of its South Belfast Brigade. He was commander of the organisation's cover name, the "Ulster Freedom Fighters", overseeing an assassination campaign against prominent republican figures whose details were included in a notorious "shopping list" derived from leaked security forces documents; the UDA used the UFF name when it wished to claim responsibility for attacks, thus allowing it to remain a legal paramilitary organisation until August 1992 when it was proscribed by the British Government. McMichael held political office as leader of the Ulster Democratic Party from 1981 until his death, he was killed outside his home by a booby-trap car bomb, carried out by the Provisional IRA. John McMichael was born in Lisburn, County Antrim on 9 January 1948, one of the children of John and Annie McMichael.
He came from a working-class background, was brought up in the Church of Ireland religion. He had married twice and was the father of two sons and Saul. McMichael, who owned and operated the "Admiral Benbow" pub in his native Lisburn rose to prominence in the UDA in the 1970s as the commander of the South Belfast Brigade and a member of its Inner Council, where he became known for his belief in the unique identity of Ulster Protestants, as well as his talent as an organiser, he had taken over command of the South Belfast UDA from Sammy Murphy, who had led the Sandy Row unit. According to McDonald and Cusack, Murphy appeared to have been a commander rather than brigadier. Described as the UDA's most "effective and strategic leader", McMichael helped establish a political think tank called the New Ulster Political Research Group in 1977, served as its chairman, he assisted in the composition of a document entitled Beyond the Religious Divide which promoted independence for Northern Ireland along with a constitutional Bill of Rights—acceptable to both nationalists and unionists—as the "only hope of achieving a united Northern Ireland".
This was the first step on the UDA's road to political development. He was a supporter of the ideas of Ian Adamson a paediatrician, subsequently a Unionist politician, who self-funded a series of books and pamphlets about the alleged ancient origins of Ulster people as a separate ethnic group to the Irish. By 1979 he had emerged as the leading figure within the UDA and the organisation's most charismatic senior member. According to the Belfast Telegraph, he drew up a'shopping list' of targets that he felt the UDA should eliminate. Information about the individuals had been supplied to the UDA by individuals within the security forces who leaked the information. McMichael hand-picked his own squad for this task and throughout 1980 a number of the targets were assassinated; the new commando unit, known internally in the UDA as the Ulster Defence Force, carried out four murders in 1979, three of which were from the "shopping list". McMichael turned his attention to members of the Relatives' Action Committee and on his orders Irish Independence Party leader John Turnley and Irish Republican Socialist Party activist Miriam Daly, both prominent within this republican prisoners' rights group, were killed.
Rodney McCormick, a less prominent IRSP member, was killed in Larne soon afterwards before McMichael's team struck again, killing Irish republican Ronnie Bunting and his friend Noel Lyttle at Bunting's Ballymurphy home on 15 October 1980. However the attacks came to an end in 1981, following an ambush by the Parachute Regiment after a failed attempt by the UFF on the lives of Michael McAliskey and his wife, during which the three-man unit were captured and imprisoned. McAliskey survived as did his wife, shot seven times in front of his children at his home in Coalisland, County Tyrone on January 16, 1981. McMichael himself was arrested in April 1981 in the wake of a Royal Ulster Constabulary raid on UDA headquarters, he was brought before the court as it was alleged he and his men had organised the McAliskey shootings. Raymond Murray in his book SAS in Ireland claimed that McAliskey's shooting was planned in a room above McMichael's "Admiral Benbow" pub. Charges relating to McMichael's involvement, as well as his possession of classified information in the form of the details of republican activists leaked to him, were dropped along with similar charges against fellow arrestees Sammy McCormick, John McClatchey, Eddie Martin and Bobby McDevitt.
McMichael's "shopping list" was published in the press soon after the failed assassination attempt on McAliskey leaked by his internal opponents within the UDA. Michael Farrell was named as the next target, although he moved to Dublin before any attack could occur; the IRA responded to the revelations by killing two prominent Unionist figures, James Stronge and his father Norman at their Tynan Abbey home. McMichael would return to the idea at times and during the mid to late 1980's had Michael Stone working directly under him as a lone gunman with a remit to kill alleged republicans. McMichael came to support the ideas of republican Danny Morrison regarding the Armalite and ballot box strategy and felt that the UDA should build up a political wing to this end; as a result, following the murder of Robert Bradford, he stood as the Ulster Loyalist Democratic Party candidate in the by-election for Bradford's South Belfast seat and ran the most high-profile ULDP campaign seen, calling for a long term strategy of negotiated independence for Nort
Ulster Political Research Group
The Ulster Political Research Group is an advisory body connected to the Ulster Defence Association, providing advice to them on political matters. The group was permanently founded in January 2002, is a successor to the Ulster Democratic Party; the group had its origins in the earlier New Ulster Political Research Group, set up, on the initiative of UDA chairman Andy Tyrie, in January 1978 under the chairmanship of Glen Barr as a reaction to antagonism that had grown between the UDA and Ian Paisley after the paramilitary group had supported a failed strike organised by Paisley the previous year. Barr's old friends Tommy Lyttle and Harry Chicken both took up seats on the NUPRG whilst South Belfast Brigadier and Tyrie's deputy John McMichael was appointed secretary of the new body. After a few months McMichael wrote about the progress of the group in the UDA's Ulster magazine and stated that they had examined the case for direct rule from Westminster and found it to be wholly unsatisfactory.
According to McMichael the future lay in "a special type of negotiated independence". Tyrie began to argue for independence and Barr, who had advocated this Ulster nationalism for some time, gave indications to Magill magazine that this was the direction in which the NUPRG was going, their March 1979 report, Beyond the Religious Divide, argued the case for independence and provided an outline of the workings of such a state, basing it on the US model of a Supreme Court, written constitution and bill of rights and the separation of the executive and judicial arms of government. The document called for a power-sharing arrangement that would take account of the wishes of the Catholic minority; the group fielded three candidates in the 1981 local elections, with one of them holding the seat that he had won in a by-election three months before the local elections. However the NUPRG were disbanded soon afterwards and replaced with the Ulster Loyalist Democratic Party, a group that took Beyond the Religious Divide as the basis of its ideology.
The Ulster Democratic Party, which had succeeded the earlier Ulster Loyalist Democratic Party, dissolved in 2001 and the UPRG was re-established soon afterwards. The UPRG came to wider prominence in 2003 after West Belfast brigadier Johnny Adair had been expelled from the movement and the UDA leadership decided to present a more civilian face. On 22 February 2003 a new one-year ceasefire extension was announced at a hotel in east Belfast but this was presented as a UPRG event, with journalists' questions being answered by the likes of Frank McCoubrey, Sammy Duddy, Frankie Gallagher, Jim Wright and Tommy Kirkham, all of whom had emerged as the leading figures in the group; the ceasefire was indefinitely extended in January 2004 and once again it was left to the UPRG to make the announcement. Although the UPRG is not a registered political party some members have gained elected office. McCoubrey was a UPRG member of Belfast City Council ostensibly as an independent until joining the Democratic Unionist Party in November 2012, whilst Kirkham is registered as the leader of the Ulster Protestant League, a title he has never used in elections.
In October 2006, the UDA South East Antrim Brigade announced it would not for now give its support to the UPRG, but would henceforth align itself with a new body named Beyond Conflict, founded by Tommy Kirkham and other UDA leading members. After this announcement, tabloid media reported that Beyond Conflict stated that it could take eight million pounds and five years after the South East Antrim Brigade would cease all activity; the report was repudiated by academics who say the figure was never justified by facts. In March 2007 the British government announced plans to give £1 million to a Farset Youth and Community Development project designed to move the UDA away from paramilitarism; the announcement followed an initiative by the UPRG to consult with UDA activists, culminating in the publication of a business plan to facilitate a Conflict Transformation Initiative. The move was supported by Chief Constable Hugh Orde, seen to shake hands with Jackie McDonald, a senior loyalist believed to be the UDA's leading figure in the south of the city, in direct contrast to the statement by leading Police Service of Northern Ireland officer Det Supt Esmond Adair, who claimed that the UDA was still involved in extortion.
This led Margaret Ritchie Minister for Social Development to say that she would pull the plug on the £1.2m project run by Farset, if the UDA did not begin to decommission in 60 days. She further called on the group to begin a meaningful dialogue with the Independent International Commission on Decommissioning, the group responsible for overseeing decommissioning and led by General John de Chastelain. McDonald had stated that he was reluctant to see the UDA decommission because of the threat posed by dissident republican groups; however McDonald was credited with convincing the UDA to go through with the process when the UDA decommissioned in 2010. Notes Bibliography Wood, Ian S. Crimes of Loyalty: A History of the UDA, Edinburgh University Press, 2006'Common Sense' A 1987 UPRG document Beyond Conflict homepage
Parliament of Northern Ireland
The Parliament of Northern Ireland was the Home Rule legislature of Northern Ireland, created under the Government of Ireland Act 1920, which sat from 7 June 1921 to 30 March 1972, when it was suspended with the introduction of Direct Rule. It was abolished under the Northern Ireland Constitution Act 1973; the Parliament of Northern Ireland was bicameral, consisting of a House of Commons with 52 seats, an indirectly elected Senate with 26 seats. The Sovereign was represented by the Governor, who granted royal assent to Acts of Parliament in Northern Ireland, but executive power rested with the Prime Minister, the leader of the largest party in the House of Commons; the House of Commons had 52 members, of which 48 were for territorial seats and four were for graduates of Queen's University, Belfast. The Government of Ireland Act prescribed that elections to the House of Commons should be by single transferable vote, though the Parliament was given power to alter the electoral system from three years after its first meeting.
The STV system was the subject of criticism from grassroots Unionists but because the three-year period ended during the Labour government of 1924, the Stormont government decided not to provoke the known egalitarian sympathies of many Labour backbenchers and held the second election on the same basis. The loss of eight Unionist seats in that election caused great acrimony and in 1929 the system was changed to first-past-the-post for all territorial constituencies, though STV was retained for the university seats. In the 1925 election however, Republicans lost four seats and a substantial proportion of votes. Nationalists gained the same number of seats that Republicans had lost, but had only gained a small percentage of votes, it had been felt by some that Northern Ireland should use the same first-past-the-post system, in place in the rest of the UK. By the time the first-past-the-post system was implemented for the 1929 election, the Republicans had few or no candidates and pro-separatist electors were represented solely by the Nationalist Party.
Despite the change in the electoral system and accusations of gerrymander, the Nationalist Party lost 9.5% share of the vote, but still gained a seat. The more moderate Northern Ireland Labour Party and Ulster Liberal Party both gained in vote share but lost seats; the boundary changes for 1929 were not made by an impartial boundary commission but by the Unionist government, for which it was accused of gerrymandering. The charges that the Stormont seats were gerrymandered against Nationalists is disputed by historians, though it is agreed that losses under the change to single-member constituency boundaries were suffered by independent unionists, the Liberals and the Northern Ireland Labour Party. Population movements were so small that these boundaries were used everywhere until the Parliament was dissolved in 1972. In 1968 the government abolished the Queen's University constituency and created four new constituencies in the outskirts of Belfast where populations had grown; this change helped the Unionists, as they held only two of the University seats but won all four of the newly created seats.
There had, long been calls from outside Unionism to abolish the graduate franchise and to have "one person one vote". The Senate was a last-minute addition to the Parliament, after the original plans for a single Senate covering both the Stormont and Dublin Parliaments were overtaken by events. Twenty-four senators were elected by the House of Commons using the single transferable vote; the elections were carried out after each general election, with 12 members elected for two parliaments each time. The other two seats were held ex officio by the Mayor of Londonderry; the Senate had the same party balance as the House of Commons, though abstaining parties and small parties were not represented. Because of this, its dependence on the House of Commons for election, it had no political impact; the British monarch was to have been represented in both Northern Ireland and Southern Ireland by the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland. However, the replacement of Southern Ireland by the Irish Free State led to the abolition of the post of Lord Lieutenant.
Instead, a new office – Governor of Northern Ireland – was created on 12 December 1922. The Parliament met in Belfast's City Hall but moved to the Presbyterian Church's Assembly's College, where it remained during the period 1921–1932; the Commons met in the Senate in the Chapel. In 1932, Parliament moved to the new purpose-built Parliament Buildings, designed by Sir Arnold Thornely, at Stormont, on the eastern outskirts of the city. "Stormont" came to be a synecdoche referring both to the Parliament itself and to the Northern Ireland government. Stormont was given power to legislate over all aspects of Northern Ireland life, with only a few matters excluded from its remit: succession to the Crown, making of peace or war, armed forces, naturalization, some central taxes and postal services were the most important; the Parliament did not try to infringe the terms of the Government of Ireland Act. This was the Local Government Act which abolished proportional repr