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Unionism in Ireland
Ireland
is a political ideology that favours the continuation of some form of political union between the islands of Ireland
Ireland
and Great Britain. Since the partition of Ireland, unionism in Ireland
Ireland
has focused on maintaining and preserving the place of Northern Ireland
Ireland
within the United Kingdom. In this context, a distinction may be made between the unionism in the province of Ulster and unionism elsewhere in Ireland. Today in Northern Ireland, unionist ideology is expressed in a number of ways: voting for political candidates who espouse unionism, participation in unionist culture, and preferences for particular newspapers or sports teams. Irish nationalism
Irish nationalism
is opposed to the ideology of unionism. Most unionists come from Protestant backgrounds; most nationalists come from a Roman Catholic background. Exceptions to these generalisations exist: there are Protestant nationalists and there are Catholic unionists.[1]

Contents

1 History 2 Unionism and British identity 3 Religion 4 Terminology

4.1 Unionists and loyalists 4.2 Nationalists and republicans 4.3 Unionists and the British monarchy

5 After 1801

5.1 Origins of unionism in Ireland 5.2 Home Rule 5.3 Northern Ireland 5.4 The Troubles

6 Ties to Unionism in Scotland 7 Unionism and religion

7.1 Political Unionism

8 Southern Irish Unionism 1891–1922 9 See also

9.1 Unionism in Northern Ireland 9.2 Southern unionism 9.3 Wider interests 9.4 Unionist political parties

10 References 11 Further reading

11.1 Articles 11.2 Books and reports

12 External links

History[edit] The political relationship between England and Ireland
Ireland
dates from the 12th century with the establishment of the Lordship of Ireland. After almost four centuries of the Lordship, the declaration of the independence of the Church of England
Church of England
from papal supremacy and the rejection of the authority of the Holy See
Holy See
required the creation of a new basis to legitimise the continued rule of the English monarch in Ireland. In 1542, the Crown of Ireland
Ireland
Act was passed by both the English and Irish Parliaments. The Act established a sovereign Kingdom of Ireland
Ireland
with Henry VIII
Henry VIII
as King of Ireland. Both parliaments later passed the Acts of Union 1800
Acts of Union 1800
by which a new state was created - the United Kingdom
United Kingdom
of Great Britain
Great Britain
and Ireland. In 1922, twenty-six counties of Ireland
Ireland
gained autonomy from the U.K. as the Irish Free State; in 1949, the State was declared to be a Republic and the last vestiges of royal power were abolished. The Republic of Ireland
Ireland
left the Commonwealth of Nations. The remaining six counties of the island of Ireland
Ireland
constituted the territory of Northern Ireland. In 1927, the realm, consisting of combined territories of Northern Ireland
Ireland
and Great Britain, was renamed the " United Kingdom
United Kingdom
of Great Britain
Great Britain
and Northern Ireland". Today, unionism is almost exclusively an issue for Northern Ireland. It is concerned with the governance of and relationship between Northern Ireland
Ireland
and Great Britain. Unionism and British identity[edit] Irish unionism is often centred on an identification with Protestantism, especially in the sense of Britishness,[2] although not necessarily to the exclusion of a sense of Irishness or of an affinity to Northern Ireland
Ireland
specifically.[3] Unionism emerged as a unified force in opposition to William Ewart Gladstone's Home Rule Bill of 1886.[4][5] Irish nationalists believed in separation from Great Britain, whether through repeal of the 1800 Act of Union, "home rule", or complete independence. Unionists believed in maintaining and deepening the relationship between the various nations of the United Kingdom of Great Britain
Great Britain
and Ireland. They expressed pride in symbols of Britishness. A key symbol for unionists is the Union Flag.[6] Unionist areas of Northern Ireland
Ireland
often display this and other symbols to show the loyalty and sense of identity of the community.[7] Unionism is also known for its allegiance to the person of the British monarch, both historically[8] and today.[9] Religion[edit] Historically, most unionists in Ireland
Ireland
have been Protestants
Protestants
and most nationalists have been Catholics, and this remains the case. However, a significant number of Protestants
Protestants
have adhered to the nationalist cause, and likewise with Catholics and unionism. These phenomena continue to exist in Northern Ireland. Both unionism and nationalism have had sectarian and anti-sectarian elements. While nationalism has had a number of Protestant leaders (for instance, Henry Grattan, Theobald Wolfe Tone, Charles Stewart Parnell, Douglas Hyde, and Ivor Bell), unionism was invariably always led by Protestant leaders and politicians. After a decades-long ban, Catholics were once more permitted to join the UUP in the 1960s[10][11] but their continued dearth, particularly among the leadership, meant the UUP were still vulnerable to accusations of sectarianism. Only one Catholic, G. B. Newe, served in the Government of Northern Ireland
Ireland
(Newe was specially recruited to boost cross-community relations in the last UUP government in the 1970s). Catholics had been allowed to be members of the UUP as recently as the 1920s, and included Denis Henry (the first Lord Chief Justice of Northern Ireland), who was a member of the UUP from its foundation in 1905 and was a UUP MP for South Londonderry. UUP leader and Nobel Peace Prize-winner David Trimble
David Trimble
suggested that Northern Ireland
Ireland
had been a "cold house" for Catholics in the past. Terminology[edit] Unionists and loyalists[edit] People espousing unionist beliefs are sometimes referred to as loyalists. The two words are sometimes used interchangeably, but the latter is more often associated with particularly hardline forms of unionism. In some cases it has been associated with individual or groups who support or engage in political violence. Most unionists do not describe themselves as loyalists. In Irish, the terms aontachtóir (from aontacht, "union") and dílseoir (from dílis, "loyal") are used.[12] Nationalists and republicans[edit] A similar distinction exists in relation to Irish nationalists. Mainstream nationalists, such as the supporters of the Social Democratic and Labour Party (SDLP) and the main parties in the Republic of Ireland, are generally referred to by that term. The more militant strand of nationalism, which includes groups such as Sinn Féin and 32 County Sovereignty Movement, is known as republicanism. In the Republic of Ireland, the republican tradition has moderated and moved into the mainstream. Today the republican party, Fianna Fáil, has little in common with militant republicans other than certain ideological and historical perspectives. In Irish, the terms poblachtánach (from poblacht, "republic") and náisiúnach (from náisiún, "nation") are used.[13] Unionists and the British monarchy[edit] Unionism has traditionally been associated with strong loyalty to the British monarchy. Four members of the current Royal Family hold titles with roots in Northern Ireland: the Duke of York
Duke of York
(Baron Killyleagh), the Earl of Ulster, the Duke of Kent
Duke of Kent
(Baron Downpatrick) and the Duke of Cambridge (Baron Carrickfergus). Older Irish royal titles included Lord of Ireland, Duke of Connaught and Strathearn, Earl of Athlone
Earl of Athlone
and Baron Arklow. The Queen is still technically Sovereign of the Order of St Patrick, the highest Irish order of chivalry, and the Norroy and Ulster
Ulster
King of Arms is an officer in the College of Arms
College of Arms
in London. After 1801[edit] Division between Catholics and Protestants
Protestants
in Ireland
Ireland
pre-dates the conflict over the Union. To some extent, it can be traced back to the wars of religion, land, and power arising out of the 16th and 17th century Plantations of Ireland. In the 18th century, Ireland
Ireland
was ruled by a Protestant-only Irish Parliament, autonomous in some respects from Britain. Catholics and Presbyterians were denied full political and economic rights under the Penal Laws. Origins of unionism in Ireland[edit] At the time of the Act of Union in 1800, the Protestant community was divided over whether to support the Act. The Union came in the aftermath of the 1798 Rebellion, in which elements of Irish Protestants
Protestants
– particularly Presbyterians – had supported republican United Irishmen
United Irishmen
and others had been mobilised to defend the status quo in the Yeomanry
Yeomanry
and Orange Order. Others still, parliamentary 'patriots' such as Henry Grattan
Henry Grattan
did not support the rebellion but had lobbied for more independence for Ireland
Ireland
and for equal rights for Catholics.[14] The Act of Union was first proposed in the Irish Parliament in 1799 but defeated by 111 votes to 116. The idea of Union was supported in Parliament by those whose main concern was security in the wake of the 1798 rebellion and the need for the 40,000 strong British military garrison to remain. It was opposed by two distinct groups. On one side, by those known as the 'ultra Protestants', who feared that direct British rule would mean reforms that would give Catholics equal rights and overturn Protestant supremacy in Ireland, and from the other side by the 'patriot' tendency led by Henry Grattan
Henry Grattan
who wanted to defend Ireland's constitutional independence and were also worried about the effect that a Union would have on Irish trade. Lord Castlereagh managed to tip the balance in favour of the Union by offering titles, land and in some cases cash payments to Parliamentarians. The Act was passed at the second attempt in 1800.[15] The Orange Order
Orange Order
was split over the Union and adopted a policy of neutrality to avoid a split.[16] Conversely, the Catholic Bishops and much of the Catholic middle class initially accepted the Union, as it promised to undo the last of the Penal Laws. However, what radically changed the balance of forces for and against the Union was Catholic Emancipation
Catholic Emancipation
in 1829. This enabled Catholics to hold public office for the first time since the 1690s. It now meant that an Irish Parliament, even one elected under strict property requirements, would have a majority of Catholic voters and potentially of Catholic representatives. For this reason, most Protestants
Protestants
in Ireland
Ireland
opposed the agitation, under Daniel O'Connell
Daniel O'Connell
and the Repeal Association
Repeal Association
for Repeal of the Union or restoration of the Irish Parliament, in the 1830s and 1840s. The Orange Order, by this stage committed to the Union, increased its membership to over 100,000 by 1835 and "working class Protestants...developed effective militant politics of their own".[17] The political representative of Unionism was the Irish Conservative Party – which urged the suppression of O'Connell's 'monster meetings' for Repeal. The British Conservative government eventually agreed to this in October 1843, banning a proposed mass meeting for Repeal at Clontarf, Dublin and deploying troops and a warship to prevent it.[18] The Conservative Party successfully mobilised Protestant voters against Repeal, by such means as signing on more freemen of the cities (hereditary trade guilds, open only to Protestants
Protestants
from the 1690s to the 1840s) to get around the greater number of Catholic property holders.[19] The Conservative Party remained the largest in Irish politics until 1859. The final challenge to the Union in this era was the Young Irelander Rebellion of 1848, which largely failed to come off and was suppressed after minor military action. Home Rule[edit]

The political union is symbolised by the Westminster Parliament

"Home Rule" was the name given to the policy of establishing a devolved parliament to govern Ireland
Ireland
as an autonomous region within the United Kingdom. Home Rule was supported from the 1860s onwards by mainstream nationalist leaders such as Isaac Butt, William Shaw, Charles Stewart Parnell, John Redmond
John Redmond
and John Dillon, and it became the aim of the Nationalist Party, subsequently known as the Home Rule League and the Irish Parliamentary Party, which was the largest political party in Ireland
Ireland
from the 1880s until the end of the First World War. Unionists comprised the opposition to Home Rule. They believed that an Irish Parliament dominated by Catholic nationalists would be to their economic, social and religious disadvantage, and would move eventually towards total independence from Britain. In most of Ireland, Unionists were members of the governing and landowning classes and the minor gentry, but Unionism had a broad popular appeal among Protestants
Protestants
of all classes and backgrounds in northeastern Ireland. This part of the island had become industrialised, and had an economy that closely resembled that of Britain. A series of British governments introduced Home Rule Bills in the British Parliament. The 1886 Bill was rejected by the House of Commons, and managed to destroy the Liberal government in the process: Whig and Radical elements left the Liberal Party to form the Liberal Unionist Party, which allied itself with the Conservative Party. Eventually, the two middle-class parties merged into the Conservative and Unionist Party (generally known as the Conservative Party), which remains Britain's dominant right-of-centre party. The Ulster
Ulster
Unionist Labour Association, known as "Labour Unionists", represented the working class. The 1893 Bill passed the Commons but was rejected by the House of Lords, which had a permanent and large Conservative majority. Political Unionism crystallised around the Protestant areas in the northern part of Ireland. By the early 20th century, the Irish Unionist Party had become predominantly associated with this territory, and in 1905 the Ulster
Ulster
Unionist Council was founded, which in turn produced the Ulster
Ulster
Unionist Party, which replaced the IUP in northeastern Ireland.[citation needed] In the period up to 1920, most of the IUP's leadership (including the Earl of Midleton and the Earl of Dunraven and Mount-Earl) came from other parts of Ireland, and its most prominent leader, Sir Edward Carson, opposed not merely Home Rule but also any attempt to partition Ireland. In 1911, the House of Lords' veto over legislation was removed, and it became clear that a Home Rule Bill would finally be enacted. Unionists, particularly in northern Ireland, mounted a campaign against Home Rule, drawing up a "Solemn League and Covenant" and threatening to establish a Provisional Government in Belfast
Belfast
if Home Rule were imposed upon them. They set up a militia called the Ulster Volunteers and imported 25,000 rifles from Germany. By mid-1914, 90,000 men had joined the Volunteers.[citation needed] On the eve of the First World War, the Government of Ireland
Ireland
Act 1914 passed into law. The War, however, prevented it from coming into force. The Easter Rising
Easter Rising
of 1916 and the events that followed it led to the enactment of a fourth Home Rule Bill after the War, known as the Government of Ireland
Ireland
Act 1920. This was heavily influenced by the Unionist leader Sir Edward Carson, and provided six of the nine counties of Ulster
Ulster
with its own devolved parliament independent from that of the rest of the island ("Southern Ireland"). The 1914 Act had provided for a similar partition as a temporary measure, for an unspecified length of time. In the end, only Northern Ireland
Ireland
became a functioning entity, as the Irish War of Independence
Irish War of Independence
began in 1919 with nationalist rebels boycotting both Northern and Southern parliaments, preferring their own rebel parliament, however in Northern Ireland, a minority of members (12 out of 52 members of the House of Commons) boycotted the Parliament.

Sir Edward Carson
Sir Edward Carson
signing the Ulster
Ulster
Covenant

Unionists opposed Home Rule for several reasons:

Landowners in southern and western Ireland
Ireland
feared that a nationalist assembly would introduce property and taxation laws contrary to their interests. Some feared that Home Rule would become "Rome Rule" under an oppressive and socially dominant Roman Catholic Church. They feared that they would experience discrimination, including legal disabilities analogous to those imposed on Catholics and dissenting Protestants
Protestants
under the old Penal Laws. Some identified strongly with the Crown and British rule and wished to see both continue unchanged in Ireland. Some, particularly in northern Ireland, viewed the rest of the island as economically backward, and feared that a parliament in Dublin would impose economic tariffs against industry. Again, primarily in the industrialised north and Dublin, many viewed Ireland's economic interests as tied to Britain and her export markets, which would be adversely affected by independence.

Not all Protestants
Protestants
supported Unionism. Some – notably Charles Stewart Parnell – were nationalists, while by contrast some middle-class Catholics supported the maintenance of the union. In addition, Unionism received the support in the period from the 1880s until 1914 from leading mainland Conservative politicians, notably Lord Randolph Churchill
Lord Randolph Churchill
and future prime minister Bonar Law. Churchill coined the well-known slogan " Ulster
Ulster
will fight and Ulster
Ulster
will be right". Northern Ireland[edit]

The Union Flag
Union Flag
represents England, Wales, Northern Ireland
Ireland
and Scotland united together

The Ulster
Ulster
Banner – the flag of the former Government of Northern Ireland
Ireland
1953–72

St Patrick's Cross represents Ireland
Ireland
in the Union Flag

The creation of Northern Ireland
Ireland
under the Government of Ireland
Ireland
Act 1920 and the later creation of the Irish Free State
Irish Free State
in the remainder of the island separated southern and northern unionists. The exclusion of three Ulster
Ulster
counties, County Donegal, County Monaghan
County Monaghan
and County Cavan, from 'Northern Ireland' left unionists there feeling isolated and betrayed. They established an association to persuade their fellow unionists to reconsider the border, but to no avail. Many assisted in the policing of the new region, serving in the B-Specials while continuing to live in the Free State.[20] Unionists were in the majority in four counties of the Ulster
Ulster
(Antrim, Londonderry, Down and Armagh), and formed a large minority in the remaining counties of Fermanagh
Fermanagh
and Tyrone. Sir Edward Carson
Sir Edward Carson
had expressly urged the new Prime Minister, Sir James Craig, to ensure absolute equality in the treatment of Catholics, so to guarantee the stability of the new state. Discrimination, however, took place, particularly in the areas of housing, employment and local government representation, with the former Northern Irish prime minister, Lord Brokeborough proclaiming that the new entity was "a Protestant state for a Protestant people". The extent of such discrimination is disputed,[21] and there was also widespread poverty among Protestants: for example, recovery operations in working-class areas after the Belfast Blitz
Belfast Blitz
of 1941 revealed that both communities had disadvantaged elements. Nobel Peace Prize
Nobel Peace Prize
winner and former Ulster
Ulster
Unionist Party leader David Trimble
David Trimble
has admitted that Northern Ireland
Ireland
was a "cold house" for Catholics for most of the 20th century. Many unionists, particularly in the Democratic Unionist Party, deny that organised discrimination took place and attribute the poverty suffered by both communities to wider economic conditions. The Troubles[edit] Main article: The Troubles

Ulster
Ulster
Defence Association mural in Shankill, Belfast

By the 1960s, the reforms of Prime Minister Terence O'Neill, designed to create a more equitable society between unionists and nationalists, resulted in a backlash led by fundamentalist Protestant minister Ian Paisley. Nationalists launched a Civil Rights movement in the mid-1960s with key demands made on matters such as one man, one vote. With attacks on Northern Ireland's infrastructure by loyalists, and the resignation of a relative from the Cabinet over the principle of One man One Vote, O'Neill resigned on 2 April 1969[22] to be replaced by Chichester Clark. In August 1969, following the annual Apprentice Boys of Derry
Apprentice Boys of Derry
parade in the city, serious rioting took place in Derry[23] and Belfast.[24] The Civil Rights movement responded by calling marches across Northern Ireland
Ireland
to further stretch police resources[25] and on 14 August the British Government allowed the deployment of the Prince of Wales's Own Regiment in Derry
Derry
to relieve the Police.[26] The following day the deployment was extended to Belfast.[27] Early the next year Chichester Clark flew to London to request more military support in an attempt to stem the increasing violence. Receiving much less than he had requested, he resigned and was replaced by Brian Faulkner. By 1972 the situation in Northern Ireland
Ireland
had deteriorated considerably, and on 30 January thirteen civilians on a Civil Rights march in Derry
Derry
were killed by the Parachute Regiment on Bloody Sunday. Three months later the Parliament of Northern Ireland
Ireland
and government were suspended, and later abolished, and replaced by Direct Rule.[28] Within Unionism, Ian Paisley
Ian Paisley
had entered electoral politics and quickly merged his Protestant Unionist Party into the new Democratic Unionist Party with former UUP MPs Desmond Boal
Desmond Boal
and John McQuade.[29] The new party quickly began to win support from the UUP, and since 1975 polled at least 10% of the vote at elections.[30] A power-sharing government between nationalists and unionists in 1974 was brought down by the Ulster
Ulster
Workers' Council Strike. Faulkner as a result lost the support of his party, where he was replaced as leader by Harry West, and formed his own Unionist Party of Northern Ireland. West subsequently resigned and was replaced by Jim Molyneaux
Jim Molyneaux
in 1979. Secretary of State Jim Prior
Jim Prior
made another attempt at restoring devolution by introducing a plan for rolling devolution through an assembly between 1982 and 1986 but this was boycotted by nationalists. Violence intensified throughout this period. After nearly three decades of conflict, a ceasefire and intense political negotiations produced the Belfast
Belfast
Agreement on 10 April 1998 (also known as the "Good Friday Agreement"), which again attempted with mixed success to produce a power-sharing government for Northern Ireland
Ireland
with cross-community support. The Ulster
Ulster
Unionist Party (UUP) supported the agreement but it was opposed by the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) and other smaller parties. Ties to Unionism in Scotland[edit] There is some degree of social and political co-operation between some Scottish unionists and Northern Irish unionists, due to their similar aims of maintaining the unity of their constituent country with the United Kingdom. For example, the Orange Order
Orange Order
parades in Orange Walks in Scotland and Northern Ireland. However, many unionists in Scotland shy away from connections to unionism in Ireland
Ireland
in order not to endorse any side of a largely sectarian conflict. This brand of unionism is largely concentrated in the Central Belt
Central Belt
and west of Scotland. Loyalists in Scotland are seen as a militant or extreme branch of unionism. Orangism in west and central Scotland, and opposition to it by Catholics in Scotland, can be explained as a result of the large amount of immigration from the Republic and Northern Ireland. Songs and symbols of unionism, particularly of the Northern Irish variety, are used by many supporters of Rangers F.C., an association football club in Glasgow, Scotland. Both Rangers and its main rival Celtic F.C., which has Irish Roman Catholic roots, have a reputation for sectarian clashes and bitter opposition to each other, frequently characterised by religious taunts, chants and other provocations. This behaviour by some supporters is condemned by the management of the clubs. Despite the symbols associated with the clubs, not all Rangers supporters can be automatically classified as unionists, nor all Celtic supporters as nationalists. Unionism and religion[edit] Most Unionists in Northern Ireland
Ireland
are Protestants
Protestants
and most Nationalists are Catholics, but this generalisation (which is evident in the work of some commentators) is subject to significant qualifications. The Ulster
Ulster
Unionist Party, for example, has some Catholic members and supporters, such as Sir John Gorman, a respected former MLA. Polls taken over the years have suggested that as many as one in three Catholics could be considered Unionist, though this may not translate into support for Unionist parties at election time and the size of the foregoing figure has been questioned. In a more general sense, Catholics cannot be assumed to be hostile to the institutions of the Union: many Catholics serve in the Police Service of Northern Ireland
Ireland
and the British Army, just as their predecessors served in the RIC and the RUC, in the face of sometimes violent opposition from militant nationalists. The PSNI attempted to maintain a 50% quota for Catholic officers until April 2011.[31] On the Nationalist side, the Social Democratic and Labour Party
Social Democratic and Labour Party
(SDLP) has attracted a number of sympathetic Protestants. Northern Ireland
Ireland
has an increasing number of inhabitants who are neither Catholic nor Protestant, either being adherents of other religions or being non-religious. Increasingly, the trend has been to ignore the question of religion, particularly as the numbers of practising churchgoers on both sides have been in decline.

2006 Public Support for Unionism in Northern Ireland[32]

Indicator Survey Date Overall % Protestant % Catholic % No religion %

Support for the union as long-term policy[33] 2006 54 85 22 46

Unionist personal identity[34] 2006 36 69 3 17

British personal identity[35] 2006 39 63 11 35

Support for unionist political party[36] 2006 32 63 2 20

For some years, there has been a perception both in Britain and in Ireland
Ireland
that the Catholic birthrate will guarantee a Catholic – and hence supposedly Nationalist – majority in Northern Ireland
Ireland
at some point in the first half of the 21st century. However, a strong decline in the Catholic birthrate may slow down or even reverse the growth in the Catholic population (which may in turn be balanced by an increased rate of emigration of young Protestants, often to study and work in Great Britain). Recent influxes of immigrants, especially from Eastern Europe, are also having a significant effect on the demographic balance, although how many choose to reside permanently in Northern Ireland
Ireland
or take an interest in the political scene remains to be seen. Political Unionism[edit]

Recent Unionist Electoral Performance in Northern Ireland

Level Election Total seats Unionist seats Unionist poll Unionist % vote

House of Commons[37] 2017 18 11 398,921 49.2%

Northern Ireland
Ireland
Assembly[38] 2017 90 40 363,763 44.7%

Northern Ireland
Ireland
Assembly[39] 2016 108 56 335,533 48.5%

House of Commons[40] 2015 18 11 349,715 49.6%

Local Government[41] 2014 462 239 310,883 49.5%

European Parliament[42] 2014 3 2 329,688 52.7%

Northern Ireland
Ireland
Assembly[43] 2011 108 56 318,915 48.2%

House of Commons[44] 2010 18 9 340,620 50.5%

European Parliament[45] 2009 3 2 237,436 49.0%

Northern Ireland
Ireland
Assembly[46] 2007 108 55 329,826 47.8%

House of Commons[47] 2005 18 10 371,888 51.8%

Northern Ireland
Ireland
currently has a number of pro-union political parties, the largest of which is the traditionalist Democratic Unionist Party led by Arlene Foster, followed by the more moderate Ulster
Ulster
Unionist Party led by Robin Swann. Both parties are active across Northern Ireland. On a smaller level, the Progressive Unionist Party, which is the political wing of the Ulster
Ulster
Volunteer Force (UVF) paramilitary group, attracts some support in the greater Belfast
Belfast
area. Traditional Unionist Voice is opposed to the current constitutional arrangements in Northern Ireland
Ireland
following the Belfast
Belfast
Agreement and St Andrews Agreement. The pluralist Conservative Party is currently allied to the Ulster
Ulster
Unionist Party. While the Alliance Party supports the status quo position of Northern Ireland, it does not define itself as Unionist. Moderate unionists who support the principle of Equal Citizenship between Northern Ireland
Ireland
and Great Britain
Great Britain
have campaigned for mainstream British political parties to organise and contest elections in Northern Ireland. Equal citizenship pressure groups have included the Campaign for Equal Citizenship (CEC), Labour Representation Campaign, Democracy Now and, currently, Labour - Federation of Labour Groups. Momentum for this concept picked up after the Conservative Party Conference voted in favour of working in Northern Ireland
Ireland
in 1989. No Conservative has been elected in Northern Ireland
Ireland
since the 1997 local government elections.[48] Under legal pressure from local trade unionists, Labour accepted members from Northern Ireland
Ireland
in October 2002[49] and in September 2006 agreed to organise through a forum.[50] The Liberal Democrats have a branch in Northern Ireland
Ireland
but do not contest elections, but are affiliated with the Alliance Party.[51] Pro-union parties and independents contest elections and represent their constituents at a number of different levels. There is a unionist presence at election time in all parliamentary constituencies. A Unionist win is a virtual certainty in ten constituencies: East Antrim, North Antrim, South Antrim, Belfast North, Belfast
Belfast
East, North Down, Lagan Valley, East Londonderry, Strangford, Upper Bann. In 2007, twenty peers in the House of Lords
House of Lords
owed their peerages to a direct connection with Northern Ireland,[52] usually through a political party. Of these there are eight Ulster
Ulster
Unionists (sitting as Cross-benchers), three Democratic Unionist Party
Democratic Unionist Party
(DUP), two Conservative, two Labour and one Liberal Democrat, with the rest independent. As well as the two Unionist MEPs in the European Parliament, DUP MP Nigel Dodds
Nigel Dodds
is also an alternate member of the UK Parliament delegations to the Council of Europe
Council of Europe
and Western European Union[53] and Unionists also participate in the EU Committee of the Regions.[54] Unionist candidates stand for election in most district electoral areas (small areas which make up district councils) in Northern Ireland. Exceptions, in 2005, were Slieve Gullion in South Armagh, Upper and Lower Falls in Belfast, Shantallow, Northland and Cityside in Derry
Derry
– all of which are strongly nationalist. Likewise, nationalist parties and candidates did not contest some areas in North Antrim, East Antrim, East Belfast, North Down and the Strangford constituency which are strongly unionist and therefore unlikely to return a nationalist candidate. Local government in Northern Ireland
Ireland
is not entirely divided on nationalist-unionist lines and the level of political tension within a council depends on the district that it represents and its direct experience of the Troubles. Southern Irish Unionism 1891–1922 [edit] Main article: Irish Unionist Alliance
Irish Unionist Alliance
§ Southern Unionists

Satellite view of Great Britain
Great Britain
and Ireland.

After 1890, and particularly during the period from the start of the First World War
First World War
to the mid-1920s, the number of Unionists in what is now the Republic of Ireland
Ireland
declined to a point where their numbers were widely regarded as almost insignificant.[55] This is attributed to a number of factors:

Land reform
Land reform
from the 1870s to the 1900s, arranged by the Land Commission. This broke up many of the large Protestant-owned estates, many of whose former owners chose in the 1920s to use their compensation money to settle in Britain, often in other estates that they owned there. The disestablishment of the Church of Ireland
Ireland
in 1871. This led the Church to sell many of its properties, in the process laying off many Protestant workers who subsequently moved away. The Irish War of Independence
Irish War of Independence
and its aftermath. During the War, some elements of the Irish Republican Army
Irish Republican Army
(IRA) allegedly conducted a campaign of murder and ethnic cleansing against Unionists in parts of the country such as Cork. Historians disagree as to whether such murders were isolated incidents or parts of a wider organised campaign.[citation needed] Attacks continued in the 1920s against many Unionists who had assisted the British in the War, and in the process 300 historic homes were burned. Such attacks were said to be reprisals for the British forces' destruction of the homes and property of republicans, actual or suspected. Emigration. Large numbers of Unionists left Ireland
Ireland
(voluntarily or otherwise) in the years before and after independence, mainly for Northern Ireland, Great Britain
Great Britain
and Canada. Assimilation. Many of the Unionists who remained assimilated to some extent into the majority nationalist culture. This was encouraged by the Free State government, and was largely accepted with resignation. The process was accelerated by the pro-Free State stance taken by most Unionists in the Irish Civil War. The process of assimilation had begun prior to Irish independence, with a number of Protestant Nationalists playing leading roles in the Irish nationalist
Irish nationalist
and Gaelic revival movements. Intermarriage and the Ne Temere
Ne Temere
decree. Unionists were and are[citation needed] largely Protestant, and in many mixed households the children were brought up as Catholics, often because of family or community pressure and the 1908 papal Ne Temere
Ne Temere
decree. There was also a surplus of marriageable female Unionists in the aftermath of World War I who could not find Protestant husbands.[56]

The first President of Ireland, Douglas Hyde
Douglas Hyde
(1938–1945) was Protestant, though only two senior Irish politicians attended his Church of Ireland
Ireland
funeral; the Catholic members of the government had to wait on the pavement near the Church to be compliant with Canon law. Some Unionists in the south simply adapted and began to associate themselves with the new southern Irish regime of Cumann na nGaedheal.[citation needed] On 19 January 1922, leading Unionists held a meeting and unanimously decided to support the Free State government.[citation needed] Many gained appointment to the Free State's Senate, including the Earl of Dunraven
Earl of Dunraven
and Thomas Westropp Bennett. Several generations of one Unionist political family, the Dockrells, won election as Teachta Dála (TDs). The Dublin borough of Rathmines
Rathmines
had a unionist majority up to the late 1920s, when a local government re-organisation abolished all Dublin borough councils. Later, the Earl of Granard and the Provost of Trinity College Dublin gained appointment to the President of Ireland's advisory body, the Council of State. Most Irish Unionists, however, simply withdrew from public life, and since the late 1920s there have been no self-professed Unionists elected to the Irish parliament.[57] See also[edit] Unionism in Northern Ireland[edit]

Government of Ireland
Ireland
Act 1920 Politics of Northern Ireland Republic of Ireland– United Kingdom
United Kingdom
border Ulster
Ulster
loyalism Ulster
Ulster
Scots people

Southern unionism[edit]

Anglo-Irish people Reform Group (Ireland) West Brit

Wider interests[edit]

Commonwealth of Nations Scotch-Irish Americans Unionism in England Unionism in Scotland Unionism in the United Kingdom

Unionist political parties[edit]

Conservative Party (UK), officially the Conservative and Unionist Party (1830–present) Liberal Unionist Party
Liberal Unionist Party
(1886–1912) Irish Unionist Alliance
Irish Unionist Alliance
(1891–1922) Ulster
Ulster
Unionist Party (1905–present) Communist Party of Northern Ireland
Ireland
(1941–1970) Northern Ireland
Ireland
Labour Party (1949–1987) Democratic Unionist Party
Democratic Unionist Party
(1971–present) Vanguard Unionist Progressive Party
Vanguard Unionist Progressive Party
(1973–1978) Volunteer Political Party (1974–1975) Unionist Party of Northern Ireland
Ireland
(1974–1981) United Ulster
Ulster
Unionist Party (1975–1984) Progressive Unionist Party (1978–present) Donegal Progressive Party (1970s–2000s) Ulster
Ulster
Popular Unionist Party (1980–1995) Ulster
Ulster
(Loyalist) Democratic Party (1982–2001) UK Independence Party
UK Independence Party
(UKIP 1993–present) UK Unionist Party
UK Unionist Party
(UKUP 1995–2007) United Unionist Coalition
United Unionist Coalition
(1998–present) Northern Ireland
Ireland
Unionist Party (1999–2008) Traditional Unionist Voice (2007–present) NI21 (2013–present)

References[edit]

^ "NI Life and Times Survey 2006". Ark.ac.uk. 17 May 2007. Retrieved 26 September 2011.  ^ Murray, D, "Tracking Progress" Archived 10 September 2008 at the Wayback Machine., Democratic Dialogue, June 1999, pg 2 ^ Southern, N, "Britishness, "Ulsterness" and Unionist Identity in Northern Ireland", Nationalism
Nationalism
and Ethnic Politics, Volume 13, Issue 1 January 2007, pp. 71–102, at p.75. The Unionist politician Ken Maginnis, for example, supports the all- Ireland
Ireland
rugby team. ^ Walker, G, A history of the Ulster
Ulster
Unionist Party, 2004, p. 1 ^ Some supporters of Northern Irish Unionism, most notably the British politician Bonar Law, claimed that there were "Two Nations" in Ireland, one Catholic and one Protestant, and that the Protestant nation had the right to remain under British Rule. (Bew, Paul Ideology and the Irish question: Ulster
Ulster
Unionism and Irish Nationalism, 1912–1916. OUP, 1998, p.64) ^ http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_qn4158/is_20001025/ai_n14358571.  Missing or empty title= (help)[dead link] ^ Wilson, R, "Flagging concern", Democratic Dialogue, July 2000 ^ National Library of Ireland, The 1916 Rising Archived 10 September 2008 at the Wayback Machine. ^ John McGarry, Brendan O'Leary, Wiley-Blackwell, Explaining Northern Ireland, ISBN 978-0-631-18349-5 ^ "A Tragedy of Errors".  ^ "Catholicism in Ulster, 1603-1983".  ^ "Foclóir Polaitíochta - Politics".  ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 18 March 2014. Retrieved 18 October 2013.  ^ Gearoid O Tuathaigh, Ireland
Ireland
before the Famine, 1798–1848, p20-26 ^ O Tuathaigh p29-33 ^ Ian MacBride, Ulster
Ulster
Presbyeterians and the Act of Union, in The Irish Act of Union, p71 ^ K Theodore Hoppen, Ireland
Ireland
since 1800, Conflict and Conformity, p20 ^ O Tuathaigh p169-170 ^ Jacqueline Hill, From Patriots to Unionists, p370-379 ^ "Treat of the experience of Unionists in County Donegal
County Donegal
during the period 1919-22".  ^ "CAIN: Issues - Discrimination: John Whyte, 'How much discrimination was there under the Unionist regime, 1921-1968?'".  ^ Walker, G, A history of the Ulster
Ulster
Unionist Party (Manchester 2004) p 172-173 ^ Generally, unionists prefer to use Londonderry, the official name of the city, whereas nationalists prefer the name 'Derry'. Due to this complexity and potential for problems, uses a consensus where Derry
Derry
is used to refer to the city and Londonderry the county. ^ Hennessey, T, Ulster; the origins of the troubles (Basingstoke, 2005) Chapter seven ^ Patterson, H Ireland
Ireland
Since 1939 (Dublin, 2006) p 212 ^ Bloomfield, K Stormont in Crisis ( Belfast
Belfast
1994) p 114 ^ Public Records Office of Northern Ireland
Ireland
file number CAB/4/1461 ^ Walker, G, A history of the Ulster
Ulster
Unionist Party (Manchester 2004) p 195-197 ^ Moloney & Pollak Paisley (Dublin, 1986) p204 ^ "Northern Ireland
Ireland
Elections". Ark.ac.uk. Retrieved 26 September 2011.  ^ Police (NI) Act 2000 - Review of Temporary Recruitment Provisions ^ "Northern Ireland
Ireland
Life and Times Survey Homepage". Ark.ac.uk. 13 June 2011. Retrieved 26 September 2011.  ^ "NI Life and Times Survey – 2006: NIRELAND". Ark.ac.uk. 17 May 2007. Retrieved 26 September 2011.  ^ "NI Life and Times Survey – 2006: UNINATID". Ark.ac.uk. 17 May 2007. Retrieved 26 September 2011.  ^ "NI Life and Times Survey – 2006: NINATID". Ark.ac.uk. 17 May 2007. Retrieved 26 September 2011.  ^ "NI Life and Times Survey – 2006: NIPARTY". Ark.ac.uk. 17 May 2007. Retrieved 26 September 2011.  ^ "BBC News: Full Northern Ireland
Ireland
Scoreboard". Retrieved 11 June 2071.  Check date values in: access-date= (help) ^ "BBC News: Northern Ireland
Ireland
Assembly results". 3 March 2017.  ^ "BBC News: Northern Ireland
Ireland
Assembly results". 8 May 2016.  ^ "BBC News: Northern Ireland
Ireland
election overview". 11 May 2011.  ^ "BBC News: Northern Ireland
Ireland
election overview". 11 May 2011.  ^ "BBC News: Northern Ireland
Ireland
election overview". 11 May 2011.  ^ "BBC News: Northern Ireland
Ireland
election overview". 11 May 2011.  ^ "BBC News: Full Northern Ireland
Ireland
Scoreboard". Retrieved 4 April 2011.  ^ "BBC News: European election 2009". 8 June 2009.  ^ "BBC News: Northern Ireland
Ireland
election overview". 13 March 2007.  ^ "BBC News: Results: Northern Ireland". 23 May 2005.  ^ Anne Whyte. "North Down council results 1997". Ark.ac.uk. Retrieved 26 September 2011.  ^ "Labour NI recruits on agenda". BBC News. 12 February 2004.  ^ "Labour agrees to organise in NI". BBC News. 27 September 2006.  ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 16 October 2006. Retrieved 31 October 2006.  ^ "Northern Ireland
Ireland
Peers". Archived from the original on 15 May 2008.  ^ [1] Archived 19 October 2006 at the Wayback Machine. ^ http://cormembers.cor.eu.int/cormembers.aspx?critName=&critCountry=GB&critFunction=MEM%7CALT&critGroup=&critDossier=&iaction=Search[permanent dead link] ^ McDowell, R.B. Crisis and Decline: The Fate of the Southern Unionists. The Lilliput Press (1998). ^ See Bence-Jones, Mark Twilight of the Ascendancy" Constable, London 1993 ISBN 978-0-09-472350-4 ^ 1998 Review of "Crisis and Decline; the fate of the Southern Unionists" by Geoffrey Wheatcroft.

Further reading[edit] Articles[edit]

Anonymous (2005) Obelus.org " Ulster
Ulster
Unionism: dead but not gone" Coulter, J. (2005) Open Republic "Revolutionary Unionism" Hastings, M. (2005) The Guardian "The last writhings of a society left beached by history" Langhammer, M. (2005) The North Belfast
Belfast
News "Analysis of the Malaise in Protestant Heartlands." Peacocke, D. (2003) The Observer "A job to be done" Christopher D (2006) "The fate of Cork unionists 1919–1921"[permanent dead link] Wheatcroft, G. (1998) New Statesman " Ethnic cleansing
Ethnic cleansing
in the Free State – Protestants
Protestants
in the Republic of Ireland"

Books and reports[edit]

Alcock, A. (1994) Understanding Ulster
Ulster
(chap 2) The Unloved, Unwanted Garrison – The Unionist Community in Northern Ireland. Lurgan: Ulster
Ulster
Society Buckland, Patrick Irish Unionism I: The Anglo-Irish and the New Ireland, 1885–1922, Dublin: 1972. Buckland, Patrick Irish Unionism II: Ulster
Ulster
Unionism and the Origins of Northern Ireland, 1886–1922, Dublin: 1973. Farrington, C. (2006) Ulster
Ulster
Unionism and the Peace Process in Northern Ireland. Palgrave Macmillan. Cochrane, F. (1997) Unionist Politics and the Politics of Unionism since the Anglo-Irish Agreement. Cork: Cork University Press. Fealty, M., Ringland, T. & Steven D. (2003) A Long Peace? The Future of Unionism in Northern Ireland Jackson, Alvin Colonel Edward Sanunderson: Land and Loyalty in Victorian Ireland, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1995. Jackson, Alvin The Ulster
Ulster
Party: Irish Unionists in the House of Commons, 1884–1911, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1989. McCartney, R. (2001) Reflections on Liberty, Democracy and The Union. Dublin: Maunsel. McDonald, H. (2000) Trimble. Bloomsbury. McDowell, R.B. (1998) Crisis and Decline: The Fate of the Southern Unionists. The Lilliput Press Limited. McIntosh, G. (1999) The Force of Culture: Unionist identities in twentieth-century Ireland. Cork University Press. Porter, N. (1996) Rethinking Unionism: an alternative vision for Northern Ireland. Blackstaff: Belfast. Shirlow, P. & McGovern, M. (1997) Who Are The People?Unionism, Protestantism
Protestantism
and Loyalism in Northern Ireland. Pluto: London Walker, G. (2004) A History of the Ulster
Ulster
Unionist Party. Manchester: Manchester University Press.

External links[edit]

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