CAIN Web Service
Niall O
Political Parties
Loyalist Bands
Loyal Orders
Local and Neighborhood
Anti-Sinn Féin and IRA
Football Supporters
Ulster Scots/ Scotch-Irish
Support in Great Britain
Political Home Pages
Political Organisations
About the Guide

About the Guide



Dealing with dates

A link in this guide does not guarantee that a website is active, only that it was still active on the date it was last viewed. Neither is it possible in most cases to say when a website was first created. Dates are provided here as a limited and flawed record of the existence of these sites. In the example below the three dates together tell us that this site has lasted for over three years. Without these dates this record would not even tell us this much.

An asterisk after a date indicates that information relating to the site was catalogued on that date. This includes information on whether the site has a guestbook, contact details for webmasters, visual features, a short content summary and a range of similar information. This information is not included in this guide but may be included in a full online catalogue of these sites in the future.

In the example above the dates indicate that the site was viewed on three separate occasions and that information relating to the site was catalogued on 6/01 (June 2001) and in 2003. It was viewed on 23/7/04 simply to confirm that it was not defunct by that date.

In some cases two websites with the same title exist at two different web addresses, authored by the same person. In most cases the author has moved to a new web address and neglected to wipe out the old site. Both URLs are given, as in the example below.

There is an unevenness in the way that dates of viewing are recorded. Earlier viewings often only give the month or even the year while later viewings have the exact date.

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The term 'loyalist' is often used as shorthand for loyalist paramilitaries but this is not the sense in which the term is used here. Here it is used to describe a broad political outlook and does not imply support for paramilitary groups.

Londonderry is used in preference to Derry in giving the location of Loyalist bands and Loyal Orders, as this is the preferred self-designation.

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Defunct Sites

Large volumes of material placed online by loyalists and unionists are dissappearing without trace within the space of a year or two. The print equivalents of these materials have been collected diligently by the Linenhall Library Political Collection for many years but there is no concerted effort to systematically archive online materials related to conflict in Northern Ireland. The Internet Archive is doing an excellent job in attempting to archive web materials of all kinds but it simply can't devote care and attention to marginal web-spheres. Its archives of loyalist and unionist sites are the best thing we have at the moment but they are inevitably very patchy.

For many people the Internet means that they no longer need to store information themselves. It's all available, all the time, online. But if online materials are removed, and no-one has printed them out or archived them electronically, they effectively disappear. Not since the days of hand-copied manuscripts has it been so simple for all copies of a document to disappear without a trace.

One of the central purposes of this guide is to raise awareness of the fact that large volumes of politically important and significant materials are disappearing. It is not only the smallest and most marginal sites which are affected. The list of defunct sites includes CRUA, website for the organisers of the Holy Cross School Protest in 2001; ULISnet, the website associated with the LVF; and Swansea Loyal, one of the earliest British Loyalist sites. Thesesites are valuable resources, not just for understanding the way in which the new technologies have been used by those concerned with conflict in Northern Ireland, but for understanding the groups and campaigns with which they are associated. The Internet has become the favored method of publication for many local and marginal political groups. If their websites disappear effectively their publications disappear.

Where a site is defunct, as in the example below, the site URL is included but is not an active link. Many of these domain names have been bought up by companies who use them as advertising platforms, deluging those who connect with pop-up ads. Instead the active link connects to the Internet Archive's copy of the site, where available. These copies are usually incomplete in some respect.

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Image Credit

The header image was created by Lisa Rodgers from photographs taken a few years ago around the Fountain estate in Derry and on Blackwood Street off the upper Ormeau Road in Belfast.

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Document information
Author: Niall O Dochartaigh
First produced: August 2004
Last updated: September 21, 2005