Local and Neighborhood
Loyalist and unionist political and paramilitary organisations have traditionally been highly decentralised. The Ulster Defence Association, for example, originated as an alliance between local vigilante groups and defence associations that emerged in Protestant urban neighborhoods and rural areas in the early 1970s. The Ulster Unionist party allowed a large measure of autonomy to its local branches, one of the reasons why it split so disastrously in the late 1960s and early 1970s. There is often a lack of strong central control and some local websites portray loyalism and unionism in ways that would be unlikely to receive approval at higher levels.
In addition to local loyalist sites the list below includes a number
of neighborhood sites focusing on Protestant interface neighborhoods in
Belfast. The guestbooks of some of these sites provide a
significant new opportunity for hostile communication between
contributors from Catholic and Protestant working-class areas in
Author: Niall O Dochartaigh
First produced: August 2004
Last updated: March 21, 2005; 21/9/05.