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A Glossary of Terms Related to the Conflict



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Page Compiled : Martin Melaugh and Brendan Lynn     [last major update: July 2005]
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A

Abercorn Restaurant
On 4 March 1972 a bomb exploded in the Abercorn Restaurant in central Belfast killing two people and injuring over 130; many of the injured lost limbs. The nature of the bombing and the extent of the injuries suffered meant that the attack left a lasting impression on the public in Northern Ireland. No paramilitary organisation claimed responsibility but it is widely accepted that the Provisional Irish Republican Army (PIRA) was responsible for the bombing.

Abstention Policy / Abstentionist Policy
A traditional policy of Sinn Féin (SF) and the Irish Republican Army (IRA) of abstaining from taking up any seats won at Dáil Éireann or Westminster elections.
See: Abstentionism

"Acceptable Level of Violence"
In December 1971 Reginald Maudling, then British Home Secretary, declared that the situation in Northern Ireland at that time amounted to "an acceptable level of violence". Later Unionist politicians in particular claimed that this term effectively became the security policy of successive British governments who were prepared to countenance paramilitary activity so long as it remained within what it judged to be manageable proportions.

'Active Service Unit' (ASU) (of the IRA)
As part of a major overhaul of its structure in the late 1970s the Irish Republican Army (IRA) chose to reorganise its members into smaller units in order to counteract measures being taken against it by the security forces within Northern Ireland. These small groups became known as 'Active Service Units' (ASU) and often consisted of five to eight members. Within a short period of time the system was adopted by all other paramilitary organisations in the North of Ireland including those on the Loyalist side.

Alliance Party
synonyms: Alliance Party of Northern Ireland (APNI)
A mainly middle-class political party which aims to attract support from both the main communities in Northern Ireland. David Ford has been the leader of the party since October 2001.
See: Abstract of Organisations entry.

An Phoblacht
synonyms: Republican News
The name of a weekly newspaper of the Republican movement. 'An Phoblacht' is an Irish term meaning 'the Republic'.

Ancient Order of Hibernians (AOH)
A Catholic and Nationalist organisation based in Ireland which has traditionally worked in support of the Catholic faith and also supported Irish Nationalism.
See: Abstract of Organisations entry.

Andersontown
A large working-class Catholic area in west Belfast. Many people in the area support the Republican movement.

Anglo-Irish Agreement (AIA)
An agreement, signed on 15 November 1985, between the British and Irish governments. The agreement reasserted the principal of consent for any change in the constitutional position of Northern Ireland. However, it gave the Irish government, for the first time, a consultative role in the administration of Northern Ireland through the Intergovernmental Conference.
See: Key Event entry.

Apprentice Boys of Derry (ABD)
One of the 'Loyal Orders' organisations; the others being the 'Orange Order' and the 'Royal Black Institution'.
See: Abstract of Organisations entry.

Árd Comhairle (of Sinn Féin)
The Irish term (meaning supreme council) for the national executive or ruling central body of Sinn Féin.

Ard Fheis (of Sinn Féin)
Annual conference of Sinn Féin (SF).

Ardoyne
A working-class Catholic area of North Belfast largely surrounded by Protestant districts.
See: Reports

'Armalite and Ballot Box'
The term first arose in 1981 and was used to describe the commitment of the Republican movement to actively engage in the electoral process within Northern Ireland whilst at the same time maintaining its on-going armed campaign at what it saw as the continuing British presence in Ireland.

Army Council (of the Irish Republican Army; IRA)
The commanding body of the Irish Republican Army (IRA).

'Armed Struggle'
Synonyms: 'Armed Campaign'
Armed Struggle was the name given by the Irish Republican Army (IRA) to its campaign of violence against what it saw as the British presence in Ireland.

'Arms Trial'
In the wake of the growing civil unrest in Northern Ireland in the late 1960s the authorities in Dublin came under increasing pressure from the Catholic community to intervene in order to protect them. Whilst reluctant to commit the Irish Army a fund was established to assist Catholic families who had been forced out of their homes. It was later alleged that this fund was used to import arms destined for the Provisional Irish Republican Army (PIRA). As a result a number of individuals, including two members of the Irish government, were charged in connection with this and when the case came to court it became known as the 'Arms Trial'. Although all were later acquitted the whole episode still provokes a great deal of controversy and has become linked to allegations that parts of the Irish political establishment were responsible for the establishment of the PIRA.

Army Convention (of the IRA)
The term given to the gathering of members of the Irish Republican Army (IRA) to debate important changes in its policy. As a large number of members are entitled to attend, and as there is a risk of arrest at such gatherings, it is widely believed that the Army Convention has only met on three occasions (1969, 1986 and 1996) since 'the Troubles' began in Northern Ireland.

Army Council (of the IRA)
Consisting of seven members the Army Council is the supreme executive body of the Irish Republican Army (IRA). In the absence of the Army Convention it is responsible for day-to-day policy and its meetings are chaired by the Chief of Staff of the PIRA.

Army Executive (of the IRA)
The Army Executive consists of twelve members of the Irish Republican Army (IRA) elected by the Army Convention and which in turn elects the movements Army Council. An Army Convention is required to change the membership of the Executive. In addition the Executive advises the Council on the future policy and strategy of the IRA.

Articles 2 and 3 (of the Irish Constitution)
This term refers to articles in the 1937 Bunreacht Na hÉireann (Constitution of Ireland). The original Articles 2 and 3 (in effect until 2 December 1999) laid claim to the whole of the island of Ireland but recognised the border in so far as the laws of the Irish parliament would only apply to the Republic of Ireland.

    Article 2: The national territory consists of the whole island of Ireland, its islands and territorial seas.
    Article 3: Pending the reintegration of the national territory, and without prejudice to the right of the Parliament and Government established by this Constitution to exercise jurisdiction over the whole of that territory, the laws enacted by that Parliament shall have the like area and extent of application as the laws of Saorstát Eireann and the like extra-territorial effect.
As part of the Good Friday Agreement, Articles 2 and 3 of the Constitution of Ireland were changed at 9.20am on 2 December 1999. The new Articles are now:
    Article 2
    It is the entitlement and birthright of every person born in the island of Ireland, which includes its islands and seas, to be part of the Irish nation. That is also the entitlement of all persons otherwise qualified in accordance with law to be citizens of Ireland. Furthermore, the Irish nation cherishes its special affinity with people of Irish ancestry living abroad who share its cultural identity and heritage.
    Article 3
    1. It is the firm will of the Irish nation, in harmony and friendship, to unite all the people who share the territory of the island of Ireland, in all the diversity of their identities and traditions, recognising that a united Ireland shall be brought about only by peaceful means with the consent of a majority of the people, democratically expressed, in both jurisdictions in the island. Until then, the laws enacted by the Parliament established by this Constitution shall have the like area and extent of application as the laws enacted by the Parliament that existed immediately before the coming into operation of this Constitution.
    2. Institutions with executive powers and functions that are shared between those jurisdictions may be established by their respective responsible authorities for stated purposes and may exercise powers and functions in respect of all or any part of the island.


B

'B-Special(s)'
synonyms: Ulster Special Constabulary (USC)
The name given to a part-time force of Ulster Special Constabulary (USC) that was disbanded in 1970. Originally there were three units of the USC, 'A', 'B', and 'C'. The 'A' and 'C' units were disbanded before the beginning of the current conflict.
See: Abstracts of Organisations entry.

Ballygawley
On 20 August 1988 a bus carrying British soldiers was blown up by a landmine planted by the Irish Republican Army (IRA) near Ballygawley, County Tyrone. Eight soldiers were killed and 27 injured.

Ballykelly
On 6 December 1982 a bomb at the Droppin' Well bar in Ballykelly, County Derry, killed 17 people and injured a further 66 people. Among the dead were 11 off-duty members of the British Army. Responsibility for the explosion was later claimed by the Irish National Liberation Army (INLA).

Ballymurphy
A large working-class Catholic estate in the West Belfast. Many people in the area support the Republican movement.

"Bandit Country"
The term was first used by Merlyn Rees, then Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, to describe districts near the border between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland where the security forces considered the threat of attack from the Irish Republican Army (IRA) to be particularly high. In later years the term became synonymous with the area of South Armagh.

'Battle' of the Bogside
On 12 August 1969 serious disturbances broke out following a Loyal Order parade by the Apprentice Boys' of Derry which passed close to the Bogside area of Derry. These disturbances then led to violent clashes between the Catholic residents of the Bogside and members of the Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC) backed by Loyalists. Calm was only restored on 14 August 1969 when British troops were deployed on the orders of the British government. The three days of rioting became known as the 'Battle of the Bogside'.

Battle of the Boyne
The Battle of the Boyne took place in 1690 between the rival armies of the Protestant King William II and his father-in-law, the Catholic King James II. Although the conflict between the two men owed much to the political rivalry in Britain and on continental Europe, it took on great significance in Ireland. This was largely due to the fact that the victory of William II marked a watershed in Irish history in that it secured power for the Protestant ascendency whilst marking the end of the Catholic nobility and gentry in Ireland. The battle itself is celebrated each year on 12 July by parades organised by the Loyal Orders. In recent times these parades have become a contentious issue between the two communities in Northern Ireland. For Protestants the parades are considered to be a celebration of their culture but for Catholics they are judged to be examples of Protestant triumphalism.

Belfast
Belfast is the largest city in Northern Ireland. The name is derived from Irish - Beal Feirste meaning 'mouth of the [river] Farset'. Belfast is the location of Stormont where the devolved administration is seated. Belfast was the scene of much of the conflict associated with 'the Troubles' and 1,541 people were killed in the city between 1969 and 2001. Most of the deaths occured in north and west Belfast (see: Sutton).

Betting Shop Killings / Bookmaker's Shop Killings
On 5 February 1992 five Catholic civilians were killed in a gun attack on a bookmakers (a licensed betting shop) in the Ormeau Road area of Belfast. In a statement claiming responsibility the Ulster Freedom Fighters (UFF), a cover name (pseudonym) used by the Ulster Defence Association (UDA), concluded with the words "Remember Teebane". (See: Teebane)

Beyond the Pale
Although the term is not specific to the Northern Ireland conflict it derives from an earlier period of conflict in Ireland's history. When something is said to be 'beyond the pale' it is taken to mean that it is intolerable or unacceptable. The Pale was a rough fortification built by the English around the Dublin area and marked the limit of English control in Ireland for a number of centuries. The area beyond the fortification, or Pale, was in the control of the native Irish and was seen by the British as being unruly.

Bilateral
Given the difficulties of involving the various parties and groups in political talks in Northern Ireland it has often been the case that discussions have had to be arranged on a bilateral basis (two sided) rather than on an all-inclusive basis.

'Blackman' / 'Blackmen'
A member of the Royal Black Institution, the full title of which is the 'Imperial Grand Black Chapter of the British Commonwealth'. The terms 'Blackman' and 'Blackmen' are commonly used by both unionists and nationalists. The Royal Black Institution is one of 'loyal orders', the other main ones being the Orange Order and the Apprentice Boys of Derry.

'Black Propaganda'
During the conflict in Northern Ireland both the security forces and paramilitary organisations often attempted to spread false accounts and negative versions of events in order to discredit their opponents. This process became known as 'black propaganda'. The term has most often been used by Republicans about the security forces.

'The Blanket'
Refers to the protest against criminal status by Republican prisoners in the Maze Prison between 1976 and 1981. As part of the protest to achieve political status the prisoners refused to wear prison clothing and chose instead to cover themselves with blankets. The protest led to the 'hunger strike' of 1981 during which Bobby Sands and nine other Republican prisoners died.
See: Key Event entry.

"Bloody Awful Country"
On returning to London after his first visit as Home Secretary to Northern Ireland, Reginald Maudling was quoted as saying: "For God's sake bring me a large Scotch ... what a bloody awful country".

'Bloody Friday'
On 21 July 1972 the Provisional Irish Republican Army (PIRA) exploded some 26 bombs across Belfast which killed 9 people and injured more than 130. On 16 April 2002 the IRA issued a statement offering its "sincere apologies and condolences" for the "deaths and injuries of non-combatants". Within this statement was a specific reference to the bombings on 'Bloody Friday'.
See: Key Event entry.

'Bloody Sunday'
On Sunday 30 January 1972 13 people were shot dead by soldiers of the Parachute Regiment of the British Army during an anti-Internment march in Derry. A further 14 people were shot and injured and of these one died in June the same year. Whist the Army claimed they had only fired after being shot at, those involved in the parade denied such claims and maintained that those shot were innocent victims. The events of the day have been the subject of much controversy and as a result two separate inquiries were established by the British government. The first of these by Lord Chief Justice Widgery in 1972 was widely criticised as being flawed and having completely exonerated the soldiers involved. In 1998 following a long campaign a new inquiry set up and chaired by Lord Saville.
See: Key Event entry.

Bogside
A working-class Catholic area in the cityside of Derry. The name originally applied to one street but now includes a large section of the older part of the city. Many people in the area support the Republican movement.

Bombay Street
During sectarian clashes on the night of 15 June 1969 Bombay Street in West Belfast, a Catholic area, was attacked by Protestants and all the houses on the street were burned to the ground. Although the street itself was later rebuilt the events of that night were remembered and used by Republicans as a reason for never again allowing their community to be left defenceless. As a result when the issue of decommissioning of Irish Republican Army (PIRA) weapons was raised in the late 1990s people were urged to 'remember Bombay Street'.

'Border Poll'
Following the suspension of Stormont in March 1972 Edward Heath, then British Prime Minister, promised to hold a referendum to measure support in Northern Ireland for the continuation of the union with the United Kingdom. The 'Border Poll' was held on 8 March 1973. The referendum was largely boycotted by the Nationalist electorate whilst in a turnout of 60% over 98% voted in favour of the existing link with the rest of the United Kingdom. In spite of initial plans to hold regular polls on the constitutional issue none was ever conducted after 1973.

'Border Question'
See: Constitutional Question

Brighton Hotel Bomb
On 12 October 1984 the Irish Republican Army (IRA) exploded a bomb in the Grand Hotel, Brighton, during the Conservative Party conference. Although five people were killed the real target of the attack Margaret Thatcher, then British Prime Minister, escaped without injury.

'Brit(s)'
Colloquial shortening of British. Mostly used in a derogatory manner by Republicans and mainly to refer to the British Army.
See also: British

Britain
Britain, or Great Britain, is a collective term for England, Scotland and Wales. Strictly the term never included Northern Ireland. Northern Ireland is however part of the United Kingdom (of Great Britain and Northern Ireland). Although Northern Ireland is not geographically part of Britain the majority of the population, mainly those who are Protestant and Unionist, very emphatically consider themselves to be British.
See also: British, United Kingdom

British
Refers to those living in Britain or those who have British citizenship. The majority of the population in Northern Ireland, mainly those who are Protestant and Unionist, consider themselves to be British.
See also: Britain

'British Isles'
This was a term used to refer to the group of islands off the north-west coast of Europe comprising Britain, Ireland, and adjacent smaller islands. The term is still widely used in Northern Ireland and Britain. With the independence of the Republic of Ireland the term is no longer strictly accurate and is considered derogatory by some. A more correct term would be the 'British and Irish Isles'.

'British Mainland'
See: 'Mainland'

'Broadcasting Ban'
In 1972 the Irish government, in the wake of the growing unrest in the North of Ireland, chose to ban the broadcasting of interviews involving members of illegal organisations. This was done by means of Section 31 of the 1960 Broadcasting Act which prohibited the broadcasting of any sort of material seen as promoting or inciting crime. On 19 October 1988 Douglas Hurd, then British Home Secretary, announced restrictions under terms of the 1981 Broadcasting Act. These prevented broadcasters from using direct statements by members of specific proscribed organisations and also applied to individuals who were canvassing support for the named organisations. To try to get around these measures broadcasters began to dub an actor's voice to speak the words of paramilitary representatives whilst showing appropriate film footage. In the wake of developments in the 'Peace Process' in the early 1990s both governments moved to lift their respective bans. The first to act was Dublin with Section 31 being repealed at midnight on 19 January 1994 and London lifted its restrictions on 16 September 1994.

Burntollet Bridge
On Saturday 4 January 1969 the People's Democracy (PD) march from Belfast to Derry was ambushed by militant Protestant counter-demonstrators, including off-duty members of the 'B' Specials, at Burntollet Bridge not far from Derry City. The attack produced strong reaction among the Nationalist community in Northern Ireland.
See: Key Event entry.


C

Caledon
On 20 June 1968 Austin Currie, then a Nationalist MP, along with others took possession of a council house in the County Tyrone village of Caledon. The action was in protest against the decision of the local Unionist controlled council to allocate the house to a young unmarried Protestant woman in preference over Catholic families with children.

Cameron Commission
On 15 January 1969 Terence O'Neill, then Northern Ireland Prime Minister, announced the establishment of a commission to inquire into the causes of the unrest and disturbances which had occurred in Northern Ireland since October 1968. Lord Cameron was appointed chairman of the three-man body which began its work in March 1969 and published its final report (referred to as the Cameron Report) on 12 September 1969.

Canary Wharf bombing
The bomb attack in London on Friday 9 February 1996 which killed two people, caused millions of pounds worth of damage, and brought an end to the Irish Republican Army (IRA) ceasefire. The ceasefire had begun on 31 August 1994.

'Carson Trail'
In order to organise opposition to the ongoing Anglo-Irish governmental talks in February 1981 Ian Paisley, then leader of the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP), announced plans to hold a series of public rallies across Northern Ireland. These events became known as the 'Carson Trail' when Paisley and other leading members of the DUP signed a covenant, the 'Ulster Declaration', on 9 February 1981 recalling the campaign led by Sir Edward Carson against the introduction of Home Rule for Ireland in 1912.

Castlereagh
The name of the Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC) holding centre in east Belfast where paramilitary suspects were taken for interrogation.

Catholic
Strictly the term refers to a member of the Holy Roman Catholic and Apostolic Church. The term Catholic is taken to mean all those people who profess themselves to be Catholic or who were originally born into the Catholic community. McGarry and O'Leary (1995) use the term 'cultural Catholics' to refer to all those who were born into the Catholic community whether or not they practise the tenets of the Church. The terms Catholic and Nationalist are often used interchangeably. While it is true that most Catholics are Nationalists this is not true of all Catholics. The term 'Roman Catholic' is used frequently in Northern Ireland but more so by members of the Protestant community. Some Catholics are uneasy with the term 'Roman Catholic' as it implies a subservience which does not take account of the historically unique character of the Catholic Church in Ireland.

Catholic Reaction Force (CRF)
synonyms: Irish National Liberation Army (INLA)
First came to prominence in early 1983 when it issued a number of threats of attacks if Britain did not act against those in the British Army and the Royal Ulster Constabulary who were allegedly involved in the murder of Catholics. The CRF claimed responsibility for the killing of three Protestant church elders at Darkley, County Armagh on 20 November 1983. The CRF at that time was believed to be composed of Irish National Liberation Army (INLA) members from South Armagh and Belfast.

Cheyne Walk
On 7 July 1972 secret talks were held between the British government and Republican leaders at Cheyene Walk, the London home of Paul Channon, a Conservative MP and then a Minister of State at the Northern Ireland Office (NIO).

'Cherry Picking'
The term was used following the Good Friday Agreement (GFA). Cherry picking was used by some pro-Agreement politicians to refer to others who were only prepared to implement certain aspects of the Agreement that served their own purposes.

Civil Disobedience
On occasions during 'the Troubles' in Northern Ireland both communities chose to follow the principles of non-violent resistance ('civil disobedience'). Such activity included marches, sit-down protests, rent or rate strikes, or resignation from public bodies. For Nationalists the tactic was used during the early period of the civil rights campaign in 1969 and later in 1971 against Internment. Unionists used 'civil disobedience' during the Ulster Workers' Council (UWC) Strike in May 1974 and also as part of the campaign against the Anglo-Irish Agreement.

Claudy
On 31 July 1972 three car bombs exploded in the small town of Claudy, County Derry, killing nine people. Although no paramilitary organisation claimed direct responsibility it is widely accepted that the attack was the work of a unit of the Irish Republican Army (IRA) based in south County Derry.

Clontibret
On 7 August 1986 Peter Robinson, then deputy leader of the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP), led several hundred Loyalists across the border into the village of Clontibret, County Monaghan, in order to try to highlight their claims concerning the lack of security along the border. Following disturbances Robinson was arrested and after a brief trial he was found guilty of unlawful assembly and fined 15,000 (Irish Punts).

Collateral Damage
Within the context of Northern Ireland this term was used by some people to refer to accidental killings and damage caused to civilian or business property by paramilitary groups.

Collusion
A number of incidents during the conflict have led to accusations that the security forces actively co-operated with Loyalist paramilitaries in attacks on known Republicans as well as the wider Nationalist community. This alleged co-operation has been termed 'collusion'.
See: Key Issue entry.

Combined Loyalist Military Command (CLMC)
Umbrella organisation of all the main Loyalist paramilitary groups. First emerged in 1991 and played an important role in securing a Loyalist ceasefire in 1994.
See: Abstracts of Organisations entry.

Confidence Building Measures
In the wake of the paramilitary ceasefires in 1994 and the signing of the Good Friday Agreement (GFA) in 1998, there arose demands from the various parties involved for measures to be taken which would convince people that there would be no return to violence and that the Agreement would be honoured. The steps to be taken by each side were known as 'confidence building measures'. Examples were the scaling down of security operations; the early release of paramilitary prisoners; reform of the police and justice system; the ending of punishment beatings; and decommissioning of weapons by the various paramilitary groups.

Consent / Consent Principle
Consent, or Consent Principle, refers to the requirement that a majority of the electorate in Northern Ireland would have to vote in favour of any change to the constitutional position of the region. This principle was incorporated into a number of acts and agreements: the Government of Ireland Act (1920); the Treaty of Peace between Britain and Ireland (6 December 1921); the Northern Ireland (Temporary Provisions) Act (1974); the Anglo-Irish Agreement (15 November 1985); the Downing Street Declaration (15 December 1993); and the Framework Documents (22 February 1995). Republicans consider this principle to be effectively a 'Unionist veto'.
See also: Unionist Veto

The Conservative Party
synonyms: The Conservative and Unionist Party
One of the two main British political parties. The party formed the government of the UK during the years 1979 to 1997.
See: Abstracts of Organisations entry.

Constitutional Conference
Towards the end of 1979 Humphrey Atkins, then Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, outlined plans to organise a meeting of the main political parties in Northern Ireland. The aim was to try to reach some sort of an agreement that would allow devolved power to be restored to local politicians. The talks began on 7 January 1980 but were abandoned in April 1980 when it became clear that the talks stood little chance of success.

Constitutional Convention
A British government White Paper published on 4 July 1974 proposed the election of a Constitutional Convention in order to discuss proposals to restore devolved power to Northern Ireland. The elections for this body were held on 1 May 1975 and it met for the first time on 8 May 1975. After months of debate the Convention produced a report on 20 November 1975. The report was supported by the Unionist majority in the Convention but with the proposals failing to gain any significant backing from the non-Unionist minority it was rejected by the authorities at Westminster. On 3 February 1976 the Convention was recalled by the British government but was finally dissolved on 5 March 1976 after it was judged that it could not reach an agreement acceptable to all the parties.
See: Key Event entry.

'Constitutional Nationalist'
The term refers to any Nationalists who reject the use of physical force as a means of achieving a United Ireland. Instead they would advocate nonviolent or constitutional means to try to persuade their opponents of the merit of reunification.

'Constitutional Question'
synonyms: Border Question
The question relates to the constitutional position of Northern Ireland. That is, whether Northern Ireland should remain part of the United Kingdom, or whether the region should become part of a United Ireland.

Continuity Irish Republican Army (CIRA)
A Republican paramilitary group believed to be formed of disaffected members of the Irish Republican Army (IRA). First came to prominence in July 1996 when it is believed to have been responsible for the bombing of the Kilyhelvin Hotel, Enniskillen, County Fermanagh. Some commentators believe that the CIRA has links with Republican Sinn Féin (RSF).
See: Abstracts on Organisations entry.

Counter Insurgency
In order to combat the activities of paramilitary organisations particularly the Irish Republican Army (IRA) the British Army sought to employ tactics based on the widespread use of military intelligence. These became known as 'counter insurgency' methods.

Creggan
A large working-class Catholic estate in the cityside of Derry. Many people in the area support the Republican movement.
See: 'Creggan: more than a history'

"Crime is Crime is Crime"
The phrase was used by Margaret Thatcher, then British Prime Minister, on 21 April 1981 in connection with those involved in the ongoing Republican hunger strike which sought to restore special category status for those serving sentences on paramilitary-related charges. Replying to a question she stated, "We are not prepared to consider special category status for certain groups of people serving sentences for crime. Crime is crime is crime; it is not political ...".

Cross-Border Bodies
synonyms: Cross-Border Institutions
Institutions which are designed to deal with matters of mutual interest to Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland. These bodies are being considered as part of an overall settlement. There is disagreement on whether or not they should have executive powers.

Cross-Community
The term is used to describe initiatives that involve the two main communities in Northern Ireland - the Catholic / Nationalist community and the Protestant / Unionist community. In particular it refers to attempts to improve community relations by encouraging cross-community contacts.

"Crossroads"
On 9 December 1968 amidst growing street unrest Terence O'Neill, then Prime Minister of Northern Ireland, gave a television address in which he appealed for the civil rights movement to halt street protests so as to give his government time to meet its concerns by way of a reform programme. During the speech he stated: "Ulster stands at the Crossroads".

'Crown Forces'
The term used by Republicans when referring to members of the British security forces.

Crumlin Road / Crumlin Road Jail
The site of a jail in North Belfast in which many paramilitary prisoners were held during 'the Troubles'. It was closed in 1996.


D

The Dáil / Dáil Éireann
Dáil Éireann, or The Dáil, is 'lower house' of the parliament of the Republic of Ireland.
See: Abstracts of Organisations entry.

Darkley
On 20 November 1983 three members of the Mountain Lodge Pentecostal Church, Darkley near Keady, County Armagh, were shot dead and seven others injured. Although the attack was claimed by the 'Catholic Reaction Force' (CRF) it is widely accepted that the CRF was a covername used by the Irish National Liberation Army (INLA).

Darlington Conference
William Whitelaw, then Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, called a three-day conference from 25 to 28 September 1972 in an attempt to find an agreement on a new form of government for Northern Ireland. The talks were held at a location near Darlington, England, but failed to make any progress with a number of the main political parties choosing not to attend.

'Day of Action'
On a number of occasions during the conflict Unionist and Loyalist leaders have attempted to co-ordinate protests in opposition to aspects of the British government's policy in Northern Ireland. These frequently took the form of a 'Day of Action' when measures were undertaken to disrupt day-to-day life in Northern Ireland. On 23 November 1981 there was a 'Day of Action' against what was considered to be an inadequate security policy, and on 3 March 1986 there was a 'Day of Action' against the Anglo-Irish Agreement (AIA). The successes of these events were however often undermined by allegations that threats and intimidation were being used to persuade people to take part.

Death Squad(s)
A term used to describe paramilitaries groups. The term has been used in particular by Republicans as a label for Loyalist paramilitaries who engage in sectarian killings. The term is borrowed from the experience of certain Latin American countries where right-wing paramilitary groups carried out killings with seemingly little interference from government security forces.

'Declaration of Intent to Withdraw'
The central aim of the Republican movement was to force the British government to withdraw from Northern Ireland. During secret talks between the IRA and British officials, and during political negotiations between Sinn Féin and the British government, Republicans attempted to secure a 'declaration of intent to withdraw' from Northern Ireland in the absence of immediate withdrawal.

Decommissioning
Decommissioning in the context of the Irish Peace Process refers to the hand-over, or verified disposal, of weapons by paramilitary groups. The issue has proved to be a stumbling block during the whole process of trying to find a solution to the conflict in Northern Ireland.
See: Brief note on decommissioning; section on the peace process; and the reports and statements by the Independent International Commission on Decommissioning (IICD))

Demilitarisation
Since the emergence of the 'Peace Process' in Northern Ireland in the 1990s Sinn Féin has faced demands that the IRA should decommission its arsenal of weapons. In reply Republicans have argument that there needs to be a complete 'demilitarisation' of the region. This was explained in terms of the removal of the security network which had been built up over twenty-five years since 1969.

'Democratic Deficit'
From March 1972 until November 1999 Northern Ireland was administered from Westminster by means of the Northern Ireland Office (NIO) headed by Secretary of State who was responsible for all matters relating to Northern Ireland. Those MPs from Northern Ireland who had been elected to Westminster had few opportunities to influence legislation which was dealt with separately by way of 'Orders in Council'. This process meant that the opportunities for debate and analysis was greatly restricted. With the powers of local authorities also greatly curtailed, there was a lack of significant input from the people of Northern Ireland on issues related directly to them. This was termed the 'Democratic Deficit'.

Democratic Unionist Party (DUP)
synonyms: Ulster Democratic Unionist Party (UDUP)
One of the two main Unionist parties in Northern Ireland. The party mainly attracts support from working-class Protestants. Ian Paisley has been leader of the DUP since it was formed in 1971.
See: Abstracts of Organisations entry.

Derry
Derry, or Londonderry, is the second largest city in Northern Ireland and is situated in the west of the region close to the border with the Republic of Ireland. The original name of the city was Doire which in the Irish language means oak-grove or place of the oak. The present city was built on the site of an abbey founded by Saint Columba in 546AD. Following the Elizabethan conquest of Ulster and the beginnings of the Jacobean plantation of the region, the name of the city was changed to Londonderry on 29 March 1613. Nationalists have always referred to the city as Derry. Before the beginning of 'the Troubles' most Unionists also referred to the city as Derry. Since the onset of the present conflict the name of the city has been a source of contention with Unionists using the official name. The official name of the city remains Londonderry and can only be changed by royal charter. The name of the city council was changed by a vote in council in 1984 to 'Derry City Council'. Some commentators have adopted a procedure of making a first reference to the city by its official name and each subsequent reference by the name Derry.

Devolution
See: Devolved government

Devolved Government
Any government in Northern Ireland which has substantial legislative and executive powers delegated to it by the Westminster Parliament. The Stormont Parliament (1921 - 1972) had wide ranging powers as did the power-sharing Executive of 1974.

D'Hondt
A system involving a mathematical model in which positions are shared out amongst different parties in the wake of an election with specific appointments made on the basis of proportionality. D'Hondt was introduced into Northern Ireland politics when it was used to determine the composition of the power-sharing executive envisaged under the Good Friday Agreement (1998).

'Diktat'
Loyalist and Unionist opinion in Northern Ireland used the term 'diktat' in connection with the Anglo-Irish Agreement (1985) as they considered it had been imposed on them without their consent.

Diplock Court(s)
In 1972 a committee headed by Lord Diplock was established by the British government to investigate possible changes to the legal procedures used in cases arising out the conflict. Its report was published on 20 December 1972 and amongst its recommendations was that such cases should be heard by a Judge of the High Court, or a County Court Judge, sitting alone with no jury. These proposals were adopted by the authorities in 1973 and such courts became known as 'Diplock Courts'.

Direct Rule
The system of governing Northern Ireland whereby the Westminster Parliament has responsibility, through the Northern Ireland Office (NIO), for legislative and executive control of the region. Direct rule was imposed on Northern Ireland in March 1972, was suspended during the operation of the power-sharing Executive of 1974, and then reimposed until Thursday 2 December 1999 when powers were devolved to the Northern Ireland Assembly under the Good Friday Agreement.
During suspensions of the institutions of government in Northern Ireland, Direct Rule was reimposed on a number of occasions: from midnight Friday 11 February 2000 to midnight on Monday 29 May 2000; for 24 hours beginning at midnight on Friday 10 August 2001; for 24 hours beginning at midnight on Friday 21 September 2001; a fourth, indefinite, period of suspension began at midnight on Monday 14 October 2002.
See: Key Event entry.

'Dirty Protest'
In the late 1970s in their effort to secure a return of special category status Republican paramilitary prisoners in the Maze Prison, outside Belfast, refused to wear prison clothes. As civilian clothes were not allowed under the new rules the Republican prisoners wrapped a blankets around themselves - so started the 'Blanket Protest'. The protest escalated into a 'Dirty Protest' in which prisoners refused to wash, refused to shave or cut their hair, and refused to use the toilets and instead began to smear their own excrement on the walls of their cells. The 'Dirty Protest' later gave way to a series of hunger strikes.
See: Key Event entry.

Discrimination
In the years after partition the Nationalist community in Northern Ireland alleged that it suffered unfair treatment at the hands of Unionist authorities at Stormont and in local government. There were allegations of discrimination based on religion in a range of areas such as the provision of public housing, employment, and the manipulation of electoral boundaries. These allegations of discrimination were to be the catalyst for the emergence of the civil rights movement in the 1960s.
See: Whyte, John. (1983) 'How Much Discrimination was there Under the Unionist Regime, 1921-1968?', in, Gallagher, T. and O'Connell, J. (eds.) Contemporary Irish Studies. Manchester: Manchester University Press.
See: Key Issue entry.

Dissident Republicans
'Dissident Republicans' is a term used (by their oponents) to describe those members of the Republican Movement who disagreed with the direction taken by Sinn Féin during the Peace Process. In particular the decisions to enter Stormont and to support policing and justice in Northern Ireland. The term covers a wide range of opinion from those who support the continuation of an 'armed campaign', to those who maintain they have the right to take up arms but the circumstances are no longer favourable for physical force, to those who advocate peaceful and democratic opposition to Sinn Féin. The paramilitary groupings include: Real Irish Republican Army (RIRA); Continuity Irish Republican Army (CIRA); and Óglaigh na hÉireann (ONH). The political groupings include: Republican Sinn Féin (RSF); Real Sinn Féin (RSF); Thirty-Two County Sovereignty Movement; éirigi; and Republican Network for Unity (RNU).
See: Dissident Republican Groupings, and a Chronology of Dissident Republican Activity, 1994-2011.

Downing Street Declaration
A document issued on 15 December 1993 by the British and Irish governments. A key part of the Peace Process which was eventually to lead to the Irish Republican Army (IRA) ceasefire of 31 August 1994. The document reiterated the fact that the British government had no "selfish strategic or economic interest in Northern Ireland" and, subject to the wish of a majority of the electorate, would introduce legislation enabling a United Ireland.

Drumcree
Since 1995 the district of Drumcree just outside the town of Portadown, County Armagh, has been the scene of a bitter dispute between local Nationalist residents and the Orange Order over a parade from a church service on the first Sunday of July.

Dublin Bombs
During 'the Troubles' Loyalist paramilitaries often extended their campaign into the Republic of Ireland. On 1 December 1972 two people were killed and 127 injured when two car bombs exploded in the centre of Dublin. On 17 May 1974 three separate bombs in different parts of Dublin exploded resulting in 23 people being killed and over 100 injured. On the same day, just over one and half hours later, another Loyalist bomb exploded in the town of Monaghan, this killed five people and left over 300 injured. Later responsibility for these attacks was claimed by the Ulster Volunteer Force (UVF) but allegations have also been made that they were assisted by members of the British security forces.
See: Key Event entry.

Duisberg Meetings
From 14 to 15 October 1988 secret meetings were held in Duisberg, West Germany, between representatives from the Alliance Party of Northern Ireland (APNI), Social Democratic and Labour Party (SDLP), Ulster Unionist Party (UUP), and Democratic Unionist Party (DUP). The purpose was to explore the possibility of all the parties becoming involved in a new round of inter-party negotiations. Little progress was reported from the meetings and they ended without any significant breakthrough.

Dump Arms
Phrase used by the Irish Republican Army (IRA) in its statement of 28 July 2005 formally ending the organisation's armed campaign. The particular sentence read: "All IRA units have been ordered to dump arms."  In this context the word 'dump' was a military term meaning 'store'.  So the instruction required IRA volunteers to return any arms they were holding to storage bunkers which were under the control of IRA Quartermasters.


E

E4A
The name given to an undercover surveillance unit of the Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC). The unit was alleged to have been involved in a number of incidents in the early 1980s when members of Republican paramilitary groups were killed in disputed circumstances. These incidents led to controversy with Republicans claiming that the security forces were operating a 'shoot-to-kill' policy.
See: Abstracts on Organisations entry.

Early Release Scheme
As part of the Good Friday Agreement (GFA) prisoners belonging to paramilitary groups then on ceasefire were freed under terms known as an 'early release scheme'.

Education for Mutual Understanding (EMU)
The Northern Ireland Council for Education Development (NICED) in 1985 set out to investigate the possible ways in which schools could be used to improve community relations within the North of Ireland. As a result a committee was set up to consider this matter and it later proposed changes to the curriculum which were grouped under the title of 'Education for Mutual Understanding'.

Éire
The name, in Irish, given to the Irish State in Article 4 of the 1937 Bunreacht Na hÉireann (Constitution of Ireland). The English equivalent of Éire is Ireland. When Ireland declared itself a Republic on Easter Monday (April 18) 1949 the name of the State became 'Republic of Ireland'. The name Éire correctly refers to the State for the period 1937 to 1949. Some Unionists are accused of using the term in a derogatory manner when referring to the present Republic.
See also: Irish Free State, Republic of Ireland, 'South of Ireland', 'Twenty-Six Counties'

Éire Nua
Was the name given to a policy document of Provisional Sinn Féin (PSF) which advocated that any future political settlement in Ireland should be based on a federal arrangement based on the four provinces of Ireland. In 1981 it was dropped as party policy. However, when Republican Sinn Féin (RSF) was formed in 1986 the new grouping adopted the policy contained in Éire Nua.
See: Sinn Féin (SF) (1979) Éire Nua, The Sinn Féin Policy - The Social, Economic and Political Dimensions (1979). Dublin: Sinn Féin (SF).

Enniskillen Bomb
On 8 November 1987, during the annual Remembrance Day ceremony, a bomb planted by the Irish Republican Army (IRA) exploded close to the War Memorial in the town of Enniskillen, County Fermanagh. As a result of the attack 11 people were killed and over sixty injured. The events of that day became known as the 'Enniskillen Poppy Day Bomb' or the 'Remembrance Day Bomb'.

Exclusion Order(s)
The Prevention of Terrorism Act (1974) contained provisions to allow the authorities in London to exclude anyone from Great Britain (England, Scotland, and Wales) or Northern Ireland, who was suspected of involvement in paramilitary activity in Northern Ireland. Later these so called 'exclusion orders' were refined so that each case would be reviewed every three years. In 1997 they were annulled and subsequently in 1998 allowed to lapse.

Exiled
One of the forms of 'punishment' used by paramilitary organisations on those they suspected of alleged misdemeanours was to force them to leave Northern Ireland. The people thus affected were said to have been 'exiled'.

Extradition
During the conflict the British government on occasions sought to extradite paramilitary suspects, mainly from Republican groups, who had fled chiefly to the Republic of Ireland but also to Europe or America. The issue however proved controversial and defendants often challenged their extradition on the grounds that they would not receive a fair trial under the British legal system. A number of particular cases caused strained relationships between London and Dublin.


F

Falls / Falls Road / The Falls
A large working-class Catholic area in west Belfast. Many people in the area support the Republican movement.

Feakle
The location in County Clare in the Republic of Ireland where from 9-11 December 1974 a group of Protestant churchmen from Northern Ireland met prominent members of the Irish Republican Army (IRA).

Fianna Éireann
The youth wing of the Irish Republican Army (IRA). Mainly use in the past in support of IRA operations.
See: Abstracts on Organisations entry.

Fianna Fáil (FF)
One of the two main political parties in the Republic of Ireland. The party was originally formed from those who opposed the 'Treaty' in 1921.
See: Abstracts on Organisations entry.

Fine Gael (FG)
One of the two main political parties in the Republic of Ireland. Originally formed from the wing of Sinn Féin which supported the 'Treaty' of 1921.
See: Abstracts on Organisations entry.

Firebomb
Paramilitary groups, on both sides, often used firebombs, or incendiary devices, to carry out attacks on commercial and other premises during the conflict in Northern Ireland.

'Flag(s) of Convenience'
The term 'flag of convenience' refers to the practice by certain paramilitary organisations which used cover names (nommes de guerre, pseudonyms) of new, or little known organisations, when claiming responsibility for certain attacks.

'Flashpoint'
Across Northern Ireland certain locations, due to events such as contentious band parades or specific events in the past, are more prone to outbreaks of sectarian violence. These are known simply as 'flashpoints'. These flashpoints often coincide with sectarian interfaces where the two main communities live close to each other.

'Foot Dragging'
During the 'Peace Process' in Northern Ireland Nationalists and Republicans have frequently alleged that the British government and Unionist politicians have deliberately set out to slow down or frustrate political developments. The figure of speech used to describe this is 'foot dragging'.

'For God and Ulster'
This slogan was first used during the Home Rule crisis of 1912 and became the motto of the Ulster Volunteer Force (UVF) which had been founded to resist the introduction of this measure by the British government of the day. In more recent times it has been used as a rallying call, invoking religious fervour and patriotism, for the Protestant community in Northern Ireland to resist any effort to alter the existing constitutional arrangements.

Forum Report / New Ireland Forum Report
The Report produced by the New Ireland Forum of constitutional Nationalist parties held in Dublin Castle during 1984.

'Four Horsemen'
In 1977 a group of leading Irish-American politicians joined together to establish a 'Friends of Ireland' group in order to try to encourage a peaceful resolution to the conflict in Northern Ireland. Amongst those involved were Senator Edward Kennedy, Tip O'Neill the then Speaker of the House of Representatives, Senator Daniel Moynihan, and Hugh Carey the then Governor of New York. Noraid, which viewed the group as a challenge to the Irish Republican cause, coined the phrase the 'four horsemen' to describe their activities. Given the profile of such figures its influence grew and it was later credited with moving American opinion away from supporting the use of violence in Northern Ireland. In addition they sought to encourage the incumbent President of the United States to take a much more active role in Irish affairs.

Framework Documents
On 22 February 1995 the British and Irish governments launched proposals to break the political stalemate in Northern Ireland. The proposals were contained in two documents entitled 'A New Framework For Agreement', and 'A Framework For Accountable Government In Northern Ireland'. Together these were known as the 'Framework Documents'.
See:
British Government. (1995), The Framework Documents - A Framework For Accountable Government In Northern Ireland, (22 February 1995). London: Prime Minister's Office.
British and Irish Governments. (1995), The Framework Documents - A New Framework For Agreement, (22 February 1995). London: Prime Minister's Office.

'Free Derry Corner'
In the summer of 1969 after widespread civil unrest across Northern Ireland the security forces were prevented from entering a number of Catholic districts in Belfast and Derry due to the erection of barricades. These barricades were manned and the areas enclosed by the barriers were referred to as 'no-go areas'. One of the most famous of these was the Bogside in Derry which became know as 'Free Derry'. On a gable wall of a terrace of houses in the area a slogan was painted declaring: 'You are Now Entering Free Derry'. The gable wall of the house stood at the corner of Lecky Road and Fahan Street and the site became known as Free Derry Corner. Despite the later demolition of the terrace of houses the gable wall was retained and continues to stand as a local landmark.

Free State
See: Irish Free State


G

Garda Siochana
The police force of the Republic of Ireland.

Gerrymandering
In the context of Northern Ireland this term was used to describe the claim that after 1921 the Unionist authorities deliberately manipulated electoral boundaries, particularly at local government level, for political purposes. The gerrymandering of electoral boundaries was one of the main issues raised by the civil rights movement in the late 1960s.

Gibraltar
On 6 March 1988 three members of the Irish Republican Army (IRA) were killed by undercover members of the Special Air Service (SAS) in Gibraltar. Controversy later arose when it was discovered that the three were unarmed and did not have any explosives as originally suggested by the British government.

Good Friday Agreement (GFA) / Belfast Agreement
On Good Friday, 10 April 1998, after almost two years of negotiations the Northern Ireland multi-party talks resulted in a political agreement between the parties present at the negotiations. The Agreement was later referred to as the 'Good Friday Agreement'. The Agreement has also been referred to as 'the Belfast Agreement', and 'the Stormont Agreement', and the 'Agreement Reached in the Multi-Party Negotiations'.
See: Key Event entry.

Government of Ireland Act
The Government of Ireland Act was passed by the Westminster Parliament in 1920. The Act partitioned Ireland and established two different jurisdictions, that of Northern Ireland (consisting of six counties) and the Irish Free State (consisting of the remaining twenty-six counties).

Great Britain
Great Britain, or Britain, is a collective term for England, Scotland and Wales. Strictly the term never included Northern Ireland. Northern Ireland is however part of the United Kingdom (of Great Britain and Northern Ireland). Although Northern Ireland is not geographically part of Britain the majority of the population, mainly those who are Protestant and Unionist, very emphatically consider themselves to be British.
See also: British, United Kingdom

Green
Adjective used to imply a Nationalist bias.

'Green Book'
Refers to the title of the manual given to all members of the Irish Republican Army (IRA) and contains all the rules and instructions of the organisation.
See: Coogan, Tim Pat. (1993) 'The Green Book: I', in, 'The IRA'. London: HarperCollins.

Greysteel
On 30 October 1993 seven people were killed and thirteen were injured in a gun attack on the Rising Sun Bar in the village of Greysteel, County Derry. In claiming responsibility for the attack the Ulster Freedom Fighters (UFF), a cover name (pseudonym) used by the Ulster Defence Association (UDA), stated that it had been carried out in retaliation for the Shankill Road bomb which took place on 23 October 1993.


H

H-Block(s)
In 1976 the British government opened eight new prison blocks at the Maze Prison, just outside Belfast, to house the increasing number of people convicted on paramilitary-related charges. The new cells were referred to as 'H-Blocks' because the plan of the blocks resembled the letter 'H'. The building of the new prison blocks signalled the intention of the authorities to introduce a new prison regime and to end the existing system, known as 'political status' or 'special category status'. This new regime was to lead to an increasingly bitter campaign by prisoners to reverse the decision and this culminated in the hunger strikes of 1980 and 1981.
See also: 'The Maze'

Handler(s)
Within the British security forces those with responsibility for controlling informers or agents within paramilitary organisations became known as 'handlers'.

Haass Talks (/Haass Panel)
(See: The Panel of Parties in the NI Executive on parades and protests; flags, symbols and emblems, and related matters; and the past.)

Heads of Agreement
On 12 January 1998 the British and Irish governments produced a discussion paper for the parties then involved in the ongoing multi-party talks. Its proper title was the 'Propositions on Heads of Agreement' but it was subsequently referred to as 'Heads of Agreement'.

Hillsborough Declaration
On 1 April 1999 the British and Irish governments issued a declaration in order to break the political stalemate over decommissioning which had postponed the setting up of the executive proposed under the Good Friday Agreement. However the 'Hillsborough Declaration' was virtually rejected by all the main political parties in Northern Ireland.

Home Rule
On three occasions in 1886, 1893 and 1912 the British government attempted to introduce legislation providing for a measure of self-government for the whole of Ireland, known as 'Home Rule'. Whilst largely welcomed by Irish Nationalists, the proposals were completely opposed by Unionist opinion. The attempts in 1886 and 1893 were to fail but the third attempt was to meet with some success as a bill granting 'home rule' became law in 1914. However, it was immediately suspended because of the outbreak of the First World War. By the time the war had ended in November 1918 the mood of Nationalist Ireland had undergone a radical transformation and as a result it was no longer willing to accept what had initially been offered. The consequence of this was that the initial concept of 'home rule' was abandoned by the Brtitish government in a favour of a settlement based on the partitioning of Ireland.

Honeymoon
In the wake of the growing civil unrest in Northern Ireland the arrival of British troops on the streets was largely welcomed by minority Catholic community. This became known as the 'honeymoon period' as within a short time the mood had changed and increasingly the army came to be regarded as maintaining the political and constitutional status quo.

Honeytrap
Term used to describe a practice, prevalent in the early 1970s, when young female members of the Provisional Irish Republican Army (PIRA) were used to befriend off-duty British soldiers. Once this had been done they would be lured to place where they would be abducted and shot.

Human Bomb(s) / Proxy Bomb(s)
On 24 October 1990 the Irish Republican Army (IRA) carried out a series of attacks on the British army using what were referred to as 'human bombs' (or 'proxy bombs'). The term referred to the fact that civilians, who worked in some capacity for the security forces, were forced drive vehicles which had been loaded with explosives to security checkpoints. At the Coshquin checkpoint near Derry five soldiers and the man who was forced to drive the car were all killed. In a second attack, at Killeen near Newry, a soldier was killed. The third bomb, that had been driven to Omagh, County Tyrone, failed to detonate.

Hume-Adams / Hume-Adams Talks
In the early 1990s John Hume, then leader of the Social Democratic and Labour Party (SDLP), and Gerry Adams, then President of Sinn Féin (SF), engaged in a series of discussions in an effort to encourage the prospects of a political settlement. This process became known as the 'Hume-Adams' talks and on 24 April 1993 they released their first joint statement.

Hunger Strike
This term refers to the main hunger strike by Republican prisoners in the Maze Prison during 1981. Ten prisoners died during the strike which was undertaken to achieve 'political status' for Republican prisoners.
See: Key Event entry.

Hunt Report
In 1969 a committee headed by Lord Hunt was established to review policing in Northern Ireland. The report was published on 10 October 1969 and recommended far-reaching reforms.


I

Impasse
On a number of occasions and in various forms, negotiations have taken place in order to secure a political settlement in Northern Ireland. When these became deadlocked without any sign of a breakthrough they were described as having reached an 'impasse'.

Incendiary Device
Some attacks by paramilitary organisations involved attaching an explosive charge to a container of petrol and this became known as an 'incendiary device'. On other occasions cassette incendiaries were used and these consisted of a tape cassette filled with inflammable chemicals attached to a timer, batteries, and a detonator.

Incident Centres
During the Irish Republican Army (IRA) ceasefire of 1975-1976 a number of 'incident centres' were established in Catholic areas. There were conceived as a means of monitoring the ceasefire and in particular dealing with complaints against members of the Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC) and the British Army. The centres were also a means of providing a point of contact between the British government and the Republican movement.
See: Key Event entry.

Informer
Within Northern Ireland context the term 'informer' is used to describe members of paramilitary organisations alleged to have passed on sensitive information to the security forces.

Integration
In political terms 'integration' refers to the demand by elements within the Unionist community for Northern Ireland to be integrated more closely into the administrative and governmental structure of the rest United Kingdom.

Integrated School(s)
The integrated school movement was mainly driven by the desire of parents to have schools which would provide the opportunity for greater cross community contact amongst young people. The first such school, Lagan College, was opened on 1 September 1981.

Interface Areas
The boundary between Catholic (Nationalist) and Protestant (Unionist) areas, especially where two highly segregated areas are situated close to each other, are known as interface areas. In many such areas of Belfast the interface is marked by a physical barrier known as a 'peaceline'.
See: Heatley, Colm. (2004) Interface: Flashpoints in Northern Ireland. Belfast: Lagan Books.

'Interim Settlement'
For the Republican movement the Good Friday Agreement (GFA) is regarded as a means to promote its ultimate political objective of a united Ireland. As such the GFA is described by some Republicans as merely representing as an 'interim solution'.

'Internal Settlement'
Any political settlement whereby Northern Ireland would remain exclusively under the control of the British government. Under this arrangement the Republic of Ireland would have no say in the affairs of Northern Ireland.

Internment
On 9 August 1971 the Northern Ireland government with the support of the authorities in London decided to intern without trial those suspected of paramilitary-related activities without trial. Initially the measure was used exclusively against suspects within the Catholic community.
See: Key Event entry.

Ireland
The name of the whole island consisting of the 26 counties of the Republic of Ireland and the six counties of Northern Ireland. When the present border was drawn the newly independent state consisting of 26 counties was initially called the Irish Free State. It became Éire from 1937 to 1949 after which date it became known as the Republic of Ireland.
See also: Éire, Irish Free State, Northern Ireland, Republic of Ireland

'Irish Dimension'
Refers to any role for the Irish government in the affairs of Northern Ireland. This includes any purely consultative role as in the Anglo-Irish Agreement or any role with executive powers as in the proposed 'cross-border bodies'. The Sunningdale Agreement (1973) had an Irish dimension.

Irish Free State / Free State
The name given to the newly independent Irish state consisting of the 26 counties. The sate was created by the Government of Ireland Act (1920) and the Treaty of Peace between Britain and Ireland (6 December 1921). The name remained until full sovereignty in 1937. The term 'Free State', or 'Free Staters', is still occasionally used by Republicans as a term of derision for political opponents in the Republic of Ireland.
See also: Éire, Republic of Ireland, 'South of Ireland', 'Twenty-Six Counties'

Irish Labour Party (ILP)
The third largest of the political parties in the Republic of Ireland. Founded in 1912.

Irish National Liberation Army (INLA)
One of the main Republican paramilitary groups. Formed in 1975 from disaffected members of the Official Irish Republican Army (OIRA) and members of other Republican organisations. The INLA did not call a ceasefire in 1994.
See: Abstract on Organisations entry.

Irish Republican Army (IRA)
synonyms: Provisional Irish Republican Army; Provisionals, Provos, PIRA
pseudonyms: Direct Action Against Drugs (DAAD)
The main Republican paramilitary group. Formed in 1970 following a split within the Republican movement. Those who remained with the original organisation became the Official Irish Republican Army (OIRA) while the new group was called the Provisional Irish Republican Army (PIRA). Following the OIRA ceasefire of 1972 the Provisionals became known as the IRA.
See: Abstracts of Organisations entry.

Irish Republican Socialist Party (IRSP)
Considered to be the political wing of the Irish National Liberation Army (INLA). Main aim is to establish a 32 county socialist republic in Ireland. The IRSP has been critical of the Irish Republican Army (IRA) ceasefires.
See: Abstracts of Organisations entry.


J

Joint Authority / Joint Sovereignty
In the Report of the New Ireland Forum published on 2 May 1984 one of the proposals for the future governance of Northern Ireland was for joint authority (joint sovereignty) over the region by Britain and the Republic of Ireland.

'Joyriding'
In Northern Ireland the practice of stealing cars in Northern Ireland and then driving them around often at high speeds is referred to as 'joyriding'. Those involved in joyriding have caused the deaths of innocent bystanders and have also come into conflict with the security forces and various paramilitary organisations.

'Jumping Together'
By 1999 the process of establishing the political institutions under the Good Friday Agreement (GFA) had become stalled with Unionists refusing to fully participate due to the absence of decommissioning by Republicans. One solution put forward was that both things should take place at the same time and this was described as 'jumping together'.


K

'Kangaroo Court'
The term 'kangaroo court' is used to describe the process by which people who have fallen foul of paramilitary groups are brought before them to face a 'trial'.

Kincora
In the late 1970s allegations emerged concerning sexual abuse at the Kincora Boys' Home in East Belfast. It was later claimed that those involved included senior figures within the British and Northern Ireland establishment.

'King Rat'
The nickname given to Billy Wright, a prominent Loyalist paramilitary from the Mid Ulster and the alleged leader of the Loyalist Volunteer Force (LVF). On 27 December 1997 he was shot dead in the Maze Prison by the Irish National Liberation Army (INLA) whilst serving an eight year jail sentence.

Kingsmills
On 5 January 1976 ten Protestant civilians were shot dead by the Republican Action Force (RAF) when their minibus was stopped at a bogus security checkpoint at Kingsmills, near Bessbrook, County Armagh. The RAF was believed to be a covername used by some members of the Irish Republican Army (IRA) from south Armagh.

'Kneecapping'
One form of 'punishment' favoured by paramilitary groups. Initially it involved shooting the victim in one or both kneecaps. However later on people who were punished in this way could be shot in the knees, or ankles, or thighs, or elbows, or wrists, or any combination of locations. Often guns were not used and instead victims limbs were broken by sticks or iron bars.


L

The Labour Party / British Labour Party
One of the two main political parties in Britain. The Labour Party formed the government of the United Kingdom (UK) at various times during the conflict.
See: Abstracts of Organisations entry; and
Westminster Governments, Prime Minsters, and Secretaries of State, 1968-present

La Mon
On 17 February 1978 and incendiary device exploded at the La Mon Hotel, Gransha, near Belfast. The Irish Republican Army (IRA) later claimed responsibility for the attack in which twelve people, all Protestant civilians, were killed and 23 badly injured.

Legally-Held Gun(s) / Legally-Held Weapon(s)
Legally-held guns are those for which a fire arms certificate has been issued by the Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) (and formally by the Royal Ulster Constabulary; RUC). In 1995 there were over 130,000 legally-held weapons covered by firearms certificates. 85,000 of these weapons were shotguns. In 2010 it was revealed by the Chief Constable of the PSNI that the number of firearms certificate holders had dropped from 80,809 in 2001 to 61,266 in 2010.
Nationalists in the region have often claimed that the great majority of legally-held weapons are owned by Protestants. In the period after their 'ceasefires' Loyalist paramilitaries used shotguns in a number of attacks because there is no bullet that can be forensically traced to a particular gun.
In a wider context the term was used by Republicans to include those weapons held by the British security forces. At the time of the debate on the decommissioning of paramilitary weapons, particularly those belonging to the Irish Republican Army (IRA), Republicans argued that the issue of weapons held by the security forces in Northern Ireland, together with those for which a fire arms certificate has been issued, also needed to be addressed.

'Legitimate Target(s)'
When justifying an attack on an individual or a particular property paramilitary groups often claim that it was carried out on a 'legitimate target'. For Loyalists this was judged to be anyone or anything seen as a threat to Northern Ireland's constitutional position within the United Kingdom. Whilst for Republicans the term was taken to cover those assisting the British presence in Ireland.

'Log Jam'
Within the context of Northern Ireland the phrase 'log jam' is used when political talks or the political process as a whole becomes stalled.

Londonderry
Londonderry, or Derry, is the second largest city in Northern Ireland and is situated in the west of the region close to the border with the Republic of Ireland. The original name of the city was Doire which in the Irish language means oak-grove or place of the oak. The present city was built on the site of an abbey founded by Saint Columba in 546AD. Following the Elizabethan conquest of Ulster and the beginnings of the Jacobean plantation of the region, the name of the city was changed to Londonderry on 29 March 1613. Nationalists have always referred to the city as Derry. Before the beginning of 'the Troubles' most Unionists also referred to the city as Derry. Since the onset of the present conflict the name of the city has been a source of contention with Unionists using the official name. The official name of the city remains Londonderry and can only be changed by royal charter. The name of the city council was changed by a vote in council in 1984 to 'Derry City Council'. Some commentators have adopted a procedure of making a first reference to the city by its official name and each subsequent reference by the name Derry.

Loughall
On 8 May 1987 eight members of the Irish Republican Army (IRA) were killed by the Special Air Service (SAS) as they were about to launch an attack on the police station in the small village of Loughall, County Armagh. A passing civilian was also shot dead by the SAS in the same incident.

Loughinisland
On 18 June 1994 six people were shot dead and five others injured in a gun attack on the Height's Bar in the village of Loughinisland, County Down. The Ulster Volunteer Force (UVF) later claimed responsibility.

Lower Donegall Street
On 20 March 1972 a PIRA bomb exploded in the Lower Donegall Street area of Belfast killing six people and injuring over 100.

Lower Ormeau Road
A mainly Catholic area in south Belfast which has become the focus of attention because of disputes over parades by the Apprentice Boys of Derry and the Orange Order. Catholic residents have objected to the parades going through the area and a number of parades have been rerouted by the Parades Commission.

Loyal Order(s)
There are three main 'loyal institutions' or 'loyal orders': the Apprentice Boys of Derry, the Loyal Orange Institution (or Orange Order) and the Royal Black Institution.
See: Abstracts of Organisations entries

Loyalist
Strictly the term Loyalist refers to one who is loyal to the British Crown. The term in Northern Ireland context is used by many commentators to imply that the person gives tacit or actual support the use of force by paramilitary groups to 'defend the union' with Britain.

Loyalist Paramilitary Group(s)
Those paramilitary groups which are prepared to use physical violence in an attempt to ensure the continuation of the union between Northern Ireland and Britain. The main Loyalist paramilitary groups still in existence are: the Ulster Defence Association (UDA) and its associated group the Ulster Freedom Fighters (UFF); the Ulster Volunteer Force (UVF) and its associated group the Red Hand Commando (RHC); and the Loyalist Volunteer Force (LVF).

'Lundy'
During the 'Siege of Derry' in 1689 the then military governor of the city, Lieutenant - Colonel Robert Lundy, was viewed by his fellow citizens as a traitor for seeking to surrender to the forces of the Catholic king, James II. Thus the phrase 'Lundy' is commonly used by Protestants as a term of abuse to describe someone from within their own community who they judged to be a traitor to the Loyalist or Unionist cause.


M

MacBride Principles
In 1984 Seán MacBride, a former senior member of the Irish Republican Army (IRA), an Irish cabinet minister, and a past winner of the Nobel Peace Prize, drew up a set of guidelines concerning the issue of fair employment in Northern Ireland. These became known as the 'Mac Bride Principles' and were aimed in particular at companies from the United States who were either already based or considering a location in Northern Ireland. The principles outlined steps that such firms should follow to ensure that they met equitable employment practices. If these were followed in full then they should be permitted to receive support and investment from the US.

McGurk's Bar
On 4 December 1971 a bomb planted by the Ulster Volunteer Force (UVF) exploded in McGurk's Bar, in North Belfast killing fifteen Catholic civilians and injuring thirteen others.
The McGurk's Bar Massacre: "... a family site dedicated to the memory of the innocent victims of McGurk's bar bombing, 4th December 1971".

'Mainland'
synonyms: 'British Mainland'
This term is used to refer to the land mass of England, Scotland, and Wales. The term is widely used but more so by Unionists. It is considered derogatory by many Nationalists as they claim it belittles the island of Ireland because of the conations of it being merely a small off-shore island of Britain.
See also: Britain, United Kingdom

'Majority Community'
Within the context of Northern Ireland the term is often used to describe the Protestant/Unionist community.

Maryfield Secretariat
As part of the Anglo-Irish Agreement (AIA) signed in November 1985 an Anglo-Irish intergovernmental conference, comprising ministers and civil servants, was established. A secretariat was set up to assist with the day-today running of the conference, including those civil servants from the Republic of Ireland, and it was based at the Maryfield complex, County Down - hence the name the 'Maryfield Secretariat'.

'The Maze' (Prison)
'The Maze' is the term used by Nationalists to refer to Her Majesty's Prison the Maze. The prison is located south of Belfast and consists of a series of eight (?) 'H-Blocks', so called because their plan resembles the letter H. The prison was opened in 1976 and was the scene of a number of Republican hunger strikes including the one in 1981 which led to the death of 10 Republican prisoners.

MI5
Synonyms: Security Service
The British Security Service which is responsible for domestic counter-intelligence operations.
See: Abstracts of Organisations entry

'Minority Community'
Within the context of Northern Ireland the term is often used to describe the Catholic/Nationalist community.

'Mistaken Identity'
On many occasions during the conflict in Northern Ireland paramilitary organisations have killed people who were not the intended target. The phrase 'mistaken identity' was applied in such cases by the media.

'Mixed Marriage'
In Northern Ireland the term 'mixed marriage' is taken to mean marriage between a Catholic and a Protestant.

'Modalities'
The term first became widely used during the multi-party negotiations that were to end with the signing of the Good Friday Agreement (GFA) in April 1998. The term refers specifically to the procedural arrangements at these talks which allowed for decisions to be reached and made.

Monaghan Bomb
On 17 May 1974 a bomb exploded in the town of Monaghan, in the Republic of Ireland, killing five people and injuring twenty-eight people. The attack, which was later claimed by the Ulster Volunteer Force (UVF), took place on the same day that the UVF had detonated a series of bombs in Dublin which killed twenty-three people and injured over one hundred.

'Mountain Climber'
Was the name given to a British secret service agent who during the conflict in Northern Ireland acted as a go-between the Irish Republican Army (IRA) and the authorities in London.

MP / Member of Parliament
Those elected to Westminster or Stormont parliaments.

Mull of Kintyre
On 2 June 1994 a Royal Air Force (RAF) helicopter crashed in the Mull of Kintyre, Scotland killing its four RAF aircrew and twenty-five of the highest ranking intelligence officials in Northern Ireland.


N

Nationalist
In Northern Ireland the term is used to describe those who hold a long-term wish for the reunification of Ireland. The majority of those people who are from the Catholic community are Nationalist. It should be noted that not all Nationalists support Republican groups.
See also: Catholic, Republican

'No' Campaign
In the referendum campaign in May 1998 those within the Unionist community opposed to the Good Friday Agreement (GFA) pooled their resources together in order to try to persuade the electorate in Northern Ireland to vote 'no' - hence their campaign was known simply as the 'No' campaign.

'No Claim - No Blame'
In the wake of the peace process and the paramilitary ceasefires of the late 1990s there has been a tendency amongst a number of paramilitary organisations to no longer claim responsibility for acts of violence such as punishment attacks, shootings or bomb explosions. Partly this was a policy designed to avoid any political sanctions being placed on parties associated with the paramilitary groups. This process became known as: 'no claim - no blame'.

'No First Strike Policy'
The term was first used in the wake of the ceasefire by the Combined Loyalist Military Command (CLMC) in October 1994 and was used to suggest that Loyalists would refrain from violent attacks provided that Republican paramilitaries stuck to their ceasefire. Later other organisations such as the Irish National Liberation Army (INLA) adopted this 'no first strike policy'.

'No-go' Areas
During the summer of 1969, following widespread civil unrest, certain Nationalist districts in Belfast and Derry became 'no-go areas' for members of the security forces. For a time the areas were enclosed by barricades. These 'no-go areas' remained in place until the launch of Operation Motorman on 31 July 1972.

'No Guns - No Government'
This slogan was used to sum up demands by elements within the Unionist community that their political leaders should not enter into any power-sharing executive with Sinn Féin (SF) without complete decommissioning by the Irish Republican Army (IRA).

'No Surrender'
A popular slogan used by the Unionist/Loyalist community to sum up their opposition to any attempt to change Northern Ireland's constitutional position within the United Kingdom. The slogan first was used by Protestant defenders during the Siege of Derry in 1689.

'No Talk - No Walk'
Many Catholic residents of areas through which Loyal Order parades pass, have objected to the fact that their community is not consulted about the issue. Local resident groups have made it clear that they would continue to raise objections unless there were face-to-face meetings between residents and representatives of the Loyal Orders. This attitude was summed up by the phrase 'no talk - no walk'.

NORAID (North American Aid)
An organisation in the United States of America (USA) which raised funds on behalf of Irish Republican causes.
See: Abstracts of Organisations entry.

Normalisation
In the wake of the paramilitary ceasefires and the Good Friday Agreement (GFA) the British government announced its intention to reduce the level of security force activity in Northern Ireland. For Nationalists and Republicans there has been widespread criticism that this process, known simply as 'normalisation', has not taken place quick enough. On the other hand Unionist politicians have criticised the policy as having gone too far in the absence of decommissioning and ongoing paramilitary activity in Northern Ireland.

The North of Ireland
The term 'North of Ireland' is often used by the Nationalist and Republican community throughout the island of Ireland when talking about Northern Ireland. The reason for its adoption is largely political in that it emphasises their rejection of partition and asserts the fact that the region is part of a single geographical entity and also their aspiration for it to be part of a single political entity. Many Unionists take exception to the use of the term.
See also: Northern Ireland, 'Province', 'Six Counties', 'Ulster'

North Report
Following the disturbances after the disputed Orange Order march at Drumcree in July 1996 the British government established an independent review of parades. This process was chaired by Sir Peter North and on 30 January 1997 a report was produced which was referred to simply as the 'North Report'. Amongst its recommendations was that an independent commission should be set up to review contentious parades.

Northern Ireland
Northern Ireland is the official name of the region created by the Government of Ireland Act (1920). Northern Ireland is a part of the United Kingdom. The region consists of six (Antrim, Armagh, Derry, Down, Fermanagh, and Tyrone) of the 32 counties of Ireland. Northern Ireland is often referred to as the 'Six Counties' by Nationalists, a term to which many Unionists take exception. The counties of Northern Ireland were (and remain) part of the historical province of Ulster which consisted of nine counties (the other three being Cavan, Donegal, and Monaghan). Most Unionists refer to Northern Ireland as 'Ulster' or the 'Province', two terms which many Nationalists take exception to.
See also: 'North of Ireland', 'Province', 'Six Counties', 'Ulster'

Northern Ireland Civil Rights Association (NICRA)
Formed in 1967 to protest about discrimination against Catholics.
See: Abstracts of Organisations entry.

Northern Ireland Office (NIO)
The Northern Ireland Office (NIO) was responsible for the administration of 'Direct Rule' in Northern Ireland between 30 March 1972 and 2 December 1999. The NIO also takes over the responsibilities of government during any suspension of the Northern Ireland Assembly. The Northern Ireland Office (NIO) has two divisions one in Belfast at Stormont and the other in London. The NIO is headed by a Permanent Secretary but is responsible to the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland. (See the list of previous Secretaries of State.)
See: Abstracts of Organisations entry.

'Not a Bullet, Not an Ounce'
The political implementation of the Good Friday Agreement (GFA) was to become stalled on the issue of decommissioning. At this time graffiti appeared in Republican areas of Belfast which read: "Not a Bullet, Not an Ounce". This appeared to state that no guns, bullets, or explosives (semtex) would be 'handed over' or decommissioned.

'Not an Inch'
A popular slogan amongst the Unionist/Loyalist communities to illustrate their opposition to any change to the constitutional position of Northern Ireland. The slogan dates to the time of the partition of Ireland in the 1920s. It had been proposed that a Boundary Commission would rule on any anomalies that arose from placing the new border along existing county borders. It was anticipated that some areas of the designated Northern Ireland which contained large Catholic populations would be incorporated into the new Irish Free State. However Unionists objected to giving up any territory from the six counties that were to form Northern Ireland and the slogan 'not an inch' was coined.

'Nothing is Agreed Until Everything is Agreed'
This term was first adopted during the Brooke-Mayhew political talks of the early 1990s. It was used in order to try to reassure the participants that the British government would not accept any settlement which was not based on all parties reaching agreement on all the contentious issues.


O

Official Irish Republican Army (OIRA)
synonyms: 'Officials'; 'Stickies'
The Official Irish Republican Army (OIRA) was the term given to the remnants of the IRA following the split in 1970 when many members left to form the Provisional Irish Republican Army (PIRA). The OIRA called a ceasefire in 1972 and has been largely inactive since that date.
See: Abstracts of Organisations entry.

Official Unionisty Party (OUP)
See: Ulster Unionist Party

Oireachtas
The official name of the parliament and senate of the Republic of Ireland.

P. O'Neill
All official statements and documents issued by the Provisional Irish Republican Army (PIRA) carry this signature.

Omagh Bomb
On 15 August 1998 a bomb explosion in the town of Omagh, County Tyrone killing 29 people and injuring 220 others. The death toll represented the single worst incident in Northern Ireland since the beginning of the conflict. Responsibility for the attack was later claimed by the Real Irish Republican Army (RIRA), a dissident Republican organisation which had split from the Provisional Irish Republican Army (PIRA) in the wake of PIRA's involvement in the peace process.
See: Key Event entry.

'Operation Banner'
'Operation Banner' was the name given by the British Army to its military operation in support of police in Northern Ireland. This military operation lasted from 14 August 1969 to 31 July 2007. From 1 August 2007 the British Army garrison in Northern Ireland is expected to number 5,000. (See announcement on normalisation.)
See: Key Event entry.

'On the Runs' / 'OTRs'
'On the Runs' refers mainly to those individuals who were suspected of paramilitary offences but who had not been tried or convicted because they had fled the jurisdiction where the offences were committed. The term almost exclusively applied to people suspected of offences committed by republican paramilitaries, who left Northern Ireland and who mainly resided in the Republic of Ireland. Whereas people who had been convicted and imprisoned for paramilitary offences prior to the Good Friday Agreement of 1998 were eligible for early release, those who had not been brought before a court were not eligible. There were thought to be approximately 180 people in this category. The Report of The Consultative Group on the Past (2009) noted that "prima facie evidence of criminality exists in respect of relatively few people classified as 'on the run'." (p.157). There were also some 20 individuals who had escaped from custory and thus, because they were 'at large', could not be released under the scheme. The issue of OTRs was addressed at the Weston Park talks (see: paragraph 20 of the Implementation Plan, 1 August 2001). Subsequently the British Government introduced the Northern Ireland Offences Bill (November 2005) to deal with OTRs but the proposals were rejected.

'Operation Demetrius' / Internment
On 9 August 1971 Internment was introduced in Northern Ireland by way of an operation launched by the British Army under the codename 'Operation Demetrius'.
See: Key Event entry.

'Operation Motorman'
On 31 July 1972 the British Army launched a large military exercise with the codename 'Operation Motorman' which was aimed at dismantling the 'no-go' areas in Belfast and Derry.

Orange
Adjective used to imply a Unionist bias.

'Orange Card'
As in 'to play the Orange Card'. The term was coined by Randolph Churchill during the first Home Rule crisis. It refers to the use, or threatened use, by Unionist politicians of the massed ranks of the Orange Order during any period of crisis for the union.

Orange Order
synonym: Loyal Orange Institution
The largest of the three main Loyal Orders. The Orange Order was founded on 21 September 1795. It is believed that the Orange Order's membership reached a peak of approximately 70,000 in 1965. In 2012 it was estimated that membership stood at 34,000 (News Letter, 15 Sep 2012). In the past the order had strong links with the Ulster Unionist Party (UUP).
See: Abstracts of Organisations entry, and
Key Issue entry.

'Orangeman' / 'Orangemen'
Terms used to describe members of the Loyal Orange Institution better known as the Orange Order. The terms are commonly used by both Unionists and Nationalists.
See: Abstracts of Organisations


P

'Pan-Nationalist Front' / 'Pan Nationalism'
The term was widely used by Unionist and Loyalist politicians in the period between the signing of the Anglo-Irish Agreement in 1986 and the paramilitary ceasefires of 1994. The term described the series of discussions which began to evolve encompassing the authorities in Dublin, the Social Democratic and Labour Party (SDLP), Sinn Féin (SF), and the Catholic Church. Unionists and Loyalists viewed this as an attempt to weaken and then undermine the status of Northern Ireland within the United Kingdom.

Paramilitary, Paramilitaries
In Northern Ireland the term refers to groupings of people who adopt forms of military organisation in support of political aims. In Northern Ireland a number of paramilitary groups have operated during the period of 'the Troubles'. Most of the groups have been 'proscribed' or deemed illegal but there were a few which were not proscribed or proscribed only after being in existence for a considerable length of time.
See: Guide to paramilitary groups
See also: Loyalist Paramilitary Groups; Republican Paramilitary Groups; terrorist

'Parity of Esteem'
Since the partition of Ireland in the early 1920s many Catholics in Northern Ireland have claimed that they have not been treated in the same manner as their Protestant neighbours in many spheres of society. Many argued that the authorities had a responsibility to ensure that the two communities received fair and equal treatment. Later the phrase 'parity of esteem' was coined to cover this notion. In more recent years sections of the Protestant community have used the phrase to voice concerns that the Catholic community was receiving preferential treatment.

Partition
The division of the island of Ireland into two areas, the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland. Partition was brought about by the Government of Ireland act (1920) and the Treaty of Peace (6 December 1921). Of the 32 counties of Ireland, six were partitioned to become Northern Ireland and the other 26 became the Republic of Ireland.

'Peaceline' / 'Peace Wall'
Peacelines, or peace walls, are physical barriers between the Protestant / Loyalist community and the Catholic / Nationalist community in certain areas in Northern Ireland. The walls are usually constructed of concrete, stone, and / or steel, and can be over 6 metres tall. There were approximately 35 peacelines in existence by 2001. Of these 26 were in Belfast, mainly in the west and north of the city. Outside of Belfast there were 6 peacelines in Derry, 2 in Portadown, and 1 in Lisburn. By 2007 the number of peacelines had grown to 46 walls or fences and 11 gates (Belfast Telegraph 26 April 2007). The 'official' peacelines grew out of barricades that the local communities erected themselves during periods of intense conflict in 1969 (and in later years). When the British Army was deployed in August 1969 it replaced the existing barricades with barbed-wire barriers of its own. It had been hoped that these would only be needed temporarily. However, the barbed-wire barriers were replaced with more permanent structures and over the years new peace walls have been erected and older ones extended in length and height. The peacelines represent the most visible form of the 'sectarian interfaces' between the two main communities in Northern Ireland. Currently (2007) there is no widespread support for the removal of peace walls, indeed there are demands from certain communities for additional walls.
See: Photographs of peacelines.
See also: Additional information on peacelines

'Peace Process'
This phrase refers to the period of intense political activity which led first to the paramilitary ceasefires of 1994, and which then produced the Good Friday Agreement (GFA) in April 1998. The phrase has also been used to cover developments since 1998 such as the attempts to establish the various political institutions covered by the GFA.
See: Key Event entry.

Personation / Impersonation
During elections in Northern Ireland allegations are frequently made of widespread electoral malpractice with individuals making use of another persons' identity in order to vote illegally. This has become known as 'personation'. A system of voter identity cards was introduced to combat the problem.

'Pipe-Bomb'
Improvised (home-made) explosive device that has been used extensively by Loyalist paramilitaries from 1997 to the present. See chronology of 'pipe-bomb' attacks, July 1997 to 13 February 2001.

Police Authority for Northern Ireland (PANI)
The Police Authority for Northern Ireland (PANI) was established in the early 1970s to manage the budget and organise other general support services for the Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC). Like the RUC however it was never widely accepted within the wider Catholic community on the grounds that it lacked real powers to monitor the performance of the police. In the wake of the Good Friday Agreement (1998) an independent international commission was established to recommend reform of the police service in Northern Ireland. One of its recommendations was that the PANI should be replaced with a new body which would have stronger powers. As a result the PANI was dissolved in November 2001 with a new Northern Ireland Policing Board (NIPB) taking its place.

'Political Prisoners'
Up until 1976 all prisoners who had been convicted on charges relating to the conflict in Northern Ireland served their sentences under a distinct prison regime known as special category status. The prisoners viewed themselves as 'political prisoners'. The decision by the British government to remove special category status from those sentenced for paramilitary-related crimes after 1 March 1976 gave rise to protests by prisoners and led directly to the Republican hunger strikes of 1980 and 1918.

Power-Sharing
The arrangement whereby Unionists and Nationalists share the responsibility for the government of Northern Ireland. Usually power is shared on the basis of electoral strength or some other agreed arrangement. There was a short-lived power-sharing Executive which formed part of the devolved government of Northern Ireland during the period 1 January 1974 to 28 May 1974. The experiment collapsed following the Ulster Workers' Council strike. Power-sharing arrangements were also part of the Good Friday Agreement.

'Private Armies'
A term often used in the context of Northern Ireland politics to refer to paramilitary organisations. In particular the term is used about those political parties which are associated with paramilitary groups - it is said these parties have the backing of private armies.

Progressive Unionist Party (PUP)
Loyalist political party which has links to the Ulster Volunteer Force (UVF). David Ervine and Billy Hutchinson are the main spokesmen for the party.
See: Abstracts on Organisations entry.

Proportional Representation (PR)
Proportional Representation (PR) is an electoral system based on Single Transferable Vote (STV) that has been used in Northern Ireland for local government elections, Assembly elections, and European elections (but not Westminster general elections) since 1973.
See: Politics, Political Parties and the Electoral System; and
See also: Northern Ireland Office (1973) Questions & Answers on Proportional Representation.

'Protection Rackets'
One source of funding adopted by paramilitary organisations in Northern Ireland has been to threaten businesses and individuals into paying protection money in order to prevent attacks being carried out against them. Such schemes are commonly referred to as 'protection rackets'.

Protestant
A Protestant is a member of one of the numerous Protestant (including Presbyterian) churches. The three main Protestant churches in Northern Ireland are: Presbyterian, Church of Ireland, and Methodist. The terms Protestant and Unionist are often used interchangeably. While it is true that most Protestants are Unionists there is a small minority who are not.

Protestant Action Force (PAF)
See: Ulster Volunteer Force

Protestant Action Group (PAG)
See: Ulster Volunteer Force

Protestant Telegraph
A weekly newspaper first launched in 1966 by Ian Paisley as a means to publicise his political and religious views. It was published on a regular basis until the early 1980s when it was replaced by another publication, the 'Voice of Ulster'. Towards the end of the 1980s however the Protestant Telegraph again began to be published but on a much more irregular basis.

'Provos'
See: Irish Republican Army

'The Province'
'The Province' is a term frequently used, mostly by Unionists, to describe Northern Ireland, however the term is not accurate. Its use relates to the fact that the six counties that make up the region were (and remain) part of the nine county province of Ulster. Three of the counties of the historical province of Ulster were excluded from Northern Ireland when the new region was established and they are part of the Republic of Ireland. Some Nationalists take exception to the use of the term 'the Province' when referring to Northern Ireland. Historically, the provinces of Ireland were Ulster, Munster, Leinster, and Connacht.
See also: Northern Ireland, 'North of Ireland', 'Six Counties', 'Ulster'

Provisional Irish Republican Army (PIRA)
See: Irish Republican Army

Proximity Talks
Due to the deep seated political and religious differences in Northern Ireland it often proved difficult to organise direct negotiations between opposing factions. In particular Unionist politicians and Unionist or Loyalist groups have refused to meet face-to-face with anyone associated with Sinn Féin or any Republican who served a prison sentence for a paramilitary offence. In attempt to get around use has been made of 'proximity talks' whereby views are exchanged by way of a third party without either side meeting directly. A good example of this in practice was the efforts to mediate a solution to the problem of contentious parades.

'Punishment' Attacks
The term 'punishment' attacks covers shootings or beatings carried out by paramilitary groups on individuals they accuse of being involved in activities that are classified as 'anti-social behaviour' such as drug dealing, theft, and joyriding.


Q

Quangos
Quango is the unofficial term applied to what are known as 'quasi-autonomous non-governmental organisations' or 'non-departmental public bodies'. In essence these are bodies established by the British government and consisting of people appointed by ministers or civil servants. Examples include the Northern Ireland Housing Executive (NIHE), the Health and Social Services Boards (HSSBs) as well as the Education and Library Boards (ELBs).

'Queen's Highway'
A term used by Unionists and Loyalists to refer to the public road system in Northern Ireland. One argument put forward by the various Loyal Orders in relation to contentious parades through Nationalist areas is that they have the right to march anywhere on the 'Queen's highway' within Northern Ireland.

Quis Separabit
This Latin phrase, which translates as 'who will separate us', has become the motto of the Ulster Defence Association (UDA) and appears on their statements, flags, and other emblems, as well as wall murals.


R

Racketeering
In an attempt to finance their operations paramilitary organisations are alleged to be involved in a range of criminal activity where money is obtained illegally. Collectively these various means have become known as 'racketeering'.

Reciprocal
Given the extent of the division between the two communities in Northern Ireland negotiations and political discussions have often proved difficult because of mistrust of the other side. As a result in the talks linked with the 'peace process' linked to the Good Friday Agreement (GFA) the term 'reciprocal' was used to describe the need for concessions on one side to be matched by the other.

Red Hand Commando (RHC)
Small Loyalist paramilitary group which was, at times, closely associated with the Ulster Volunteer Force (UVF).
See: Abstracts on Organisations entry.

Red Hand Defenders (RHD)
The name of a Loyalist paramilitary group which first appeared in 1998. Initially it was believed that the RHD was comprised of dissident members of other Loyalist paramilitary groups who were opposed to the Good Friday Agreement. However, in the middle of 2001 there was further speculation that the RHD was being used as a covername (a pseudonym) by members of the Loyalist Volunteer Force (LVF) and the Ulster Defence Association (UDA) / Ulster Freedom Fighters (UFF).
See: Abstracts on Organisations entry.

'Rent and Rates Strike'
In July 1971 the Social Democratic and Labour Party (SDLP) called for people in Northern Ireland to commence a rent and rates strike in association with a campaign of civil disobedience against the authorities.

Republic of Ireland
The name given to the territory previously called Éire when independent Ireland declared itself a Republic on Easter Monday (April 18), 1949. The state is made up of 26 of the 32 counties of Ireland. [On the CAIN web site the state is referred to as either the "Republic of Ireland" or "the Republic".]
See also: Éire, Irish Free State, 'South of Ireland', 'Twenty-Six Counties'

Republican
Strictly the term refers to a person who supports the style of government based on a republic over a monarchy. In a Northern Ireland context the term Republican is taken to imply that the person gives tacit or actual support to the use of physical force by paramilitary groups with Republican aims. The main aim of Republicans being the establishment of a United (32 county) Ireland.

'Republican Movement'
The 'Republican Movement' is a term used to describe Sinn Féin together with the Irish Republican Army (IRA) and a number of smaller associated groups.

Republican Paramilitary Group(s)
Those paramilitary groups which are prepared to use physical violence in an attempt to achieve a 32 county United Ireland. The main Republican paramilitary groups still in existence are: the Irish Republican Army (IRA) and a group believed to be associated with it Direct Action Against Drugs (DAAD); Continuity Irish Republican Army (CIRA); and the Irish National Liberation Army (INLA).

Republican Sinn Féin (RSF)
A breakaway group from Sinn Féin (SF) which was formed in 1986 in opposition to SF's new policy of ending abstention from the Dáil. RSF opposed the Irish Republican Army (IRA) ceasefires and the Peace Process. Some commentators believe that RSF has links with the Continuity Irish Republican Army (CIRA).
See: Abstracts on Organisations entry.

'Residents' Groups'
In the 1990s as a means to register their opposition to parades by the Loyal Orders through Nationalist areas local residents groups began to be set up. Examples included the Lower Ormeau Road Concerned Community (LOCC), Bogside Residents' Group (BRG), and the Garvaghy Road Residents' Coalition (GRCC). It was alleged by the Loyal Orders and Unionist politicians that such groups were mere 'fronts' for Sinn Féin and as a result they refused to take part in direct talks with them.

Retaliation
During 'the Troubles' in Northern Ireland paramilitary groups often claimed that a particular act of violence was carried out in 'retaliation' for an earlier attack on their community.

Revisionism
This term became widely used to define a new style of research and writing into Irish history which emerged in the latter half of the 20th century and which began to develop alongside the outbreak of the conflict in Northern Ireland. In essence it argued that a much more balanced and critical approach had to be taken in relation to Irish history with the need to consult as wide a range of sources as posssible. To the anger of some it also suggested that Britain was not always at fault for the problems which affected Irish society in the past or in the present.

'Risks for Peace'
In association with the 'peace process' linked with the Good Friday Agreement (GFA) those involved have often urged their political opponents to encourage progress by abandoning their established positions. This is commonly referred to as taking 'risks for peace'.

'Rolling Devolution'
In 1982 the British government proposed to initiate a process whereby devolved power would be returned to local politicians in Northern Ireland by way of an elected assembly. Initially this assembly was to have limited powers but the intention was that additional administrative and legislative powers would be devolved if the assembly commanded cross-community support. The concept was to become widely known as 'rolling devolution'. In the end however the initiative failed to win the support of any significant representative of the Nationalist community and in 1986 the assembly was wound up by the British government.

Roman Catholic
See: Catholic

Royal Black Institution
The full title of the Royal Black Institution is the 'Imperial Grand Black Chapter of the British Commonwealth'. It is one of the three main 'Loyal Orders'.
See: Abstracts of Organisations entry.

Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC)
The Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC) was the name of the Northern Ireland police force from 1 June 1922 to 4 November 2001. The RUC was responsible for dealing with politically motivated crime as well as ordinary law enforcement. During most of the period of its existence the RUC was almost entirely made up of officers drawn from the Protestant community - during the 1990s approximately 93 per cent of officers were Protestant. Many Catholics had little trust in the impartiality of the RUC. On 4 November 2001 the name of the RUC was changed to the Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI).
See: Abstracts of Organisations entry.


S

SAS / Special Air Service
The Special Air Service (SAS) is an elite regiment of the British Army specially trained for covert operations. The SAS has been used on numerous occasions in Northern Ireland and it is the unit against which most of the allegations of carrying out a 'shoot-to-kill' policy are directed.

Sectarian / Sectarianism
In Northern Ireland context sectarianism refers to behaviour, especially violent behaviour, that is motivated by hatred based on religious bigotry. The killing of civilians by Loyalist paramilitaries, or Republican paramilitaries, is usually referred to as sectarian murders. The term sectarian violence is used to differentiate from other types of (non-sectarian) violence for example violent feuds within Loyalism or within Republicanism.

'Sectarian Interface(s)'
Sectarian interfaces are the boundaries where the two main communities live close to each other. Across Northern Ireland these interfaces are more prone to outbreaks of sectarian violence. They are also known as 'flashpoint' areas.

'Securocrats'
A phrase which has become widely used by Republican politicians when talking of those involved in the administration, planning, and organisation of the security policy of the British government in Northern Ireland. Republicans have alleged that such 'securocrats' have been responsible for creating difficulties in the peace process associated with the Good Friday Agreement (GFA).

Segregation
Since the Plantation of Ulster in the early 17th century many aspects of live in the region have been segregated on the basis of religious denomination. Each period of conflict has increased the level of segregation and the most recent 'Troubles' has seen, for example, residential segregation increased to new levels. In addition to where people choose - or are forced - to live, segregation is also experienced in education, business, commerce, sport, leisure activities, etc. Many people in Northern Ireland conduct their entire lives within their own community with little opportunity - or no desire - to meet members of the opposite tradition. The term has also been used within the context of the prison system. Here it is used to describe the demand that those serving sentences on paramilitary-related charges should be completely separated from those associated with opposing paramilitary groups.

"Seismic Shift"
In July 1999 during negotiations aimed at securing the full implementation of the Good Friday Agreement Tony Blair, then British Prime Minister, declared that he had become aware of significant changes in the thinking of the Republican movement particularly on the issue of decommissioning. He went onto state that this represented a "seismic shift".

Self-determination
Within the context of Northern Ireland politics there has always been a divergence of views as to what is understood by the term self-determination. For Nationalists and Republicans it is argued that the right to national self-determination should be applied to the whole island of Ireland, thus increasing the chances of a vote in favour of a united Ireland. Whereas Unionists and Loyalists argue that the term should only be applied to Northern Ireland and thereby guaranteeing that the region remains within the United Kingdom.

'Sell-out'
Since the outset of the conflict in Northern Ireland many within the Unionist and Loyalist communities in Northern Ireland have claimed that the long-term aim of the British government has been to reach a political settlement with the ultimate aim of facilitating a united Ireland. Such a strategy is referred to as a 'sell-out'.

Shankill / Shankill Road
A large Protestant working-class area in west Belfast. The area contains many people who support the aims of Loyalists groups.

Shankill Bomb
On 23 October 1993 ten people were killed when a bomb being planted by the Irish Republican Army (IRA) exploded prematurely as it was being left in a fish shop on the Shankill Road, Belfast. With the exception of one of the bombers who was killed in the attack, the rest of those who died were Protestant civilians. A further 57 people were injured in the attack. The IRA later claimed that the intended target of the bomb was a meeting of Ulster Freedom Fighters (UFF) members that was believed to be taking place in the former Ulster Defence Association (UDA) office above the fish shop. The phrase 'Shankill bomb' was also used for an earlier attack when on 11 December 1971 there was a bomb explosion at furniture shop on the Shankill Road, Belfast. Four people were killed including two small children. The Provisional Irish Republican Army (PIRA) later claimed responsibility.

'Shoot-to-Kill'
The term 'shoot-to-kill' was used most notably following three incidents in late 1982 when members of the Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC) shot dead a number of people in controversial circumstances. The first of these on 11 November 1982 saw three unarmed members of the Irish Republican Army (IRA) killed at a checkpoint near Lurgan, County Armagh; the second on 24 November 1982 involved the death of a Catholic civilian near Craigavon, County Armagh; and the third, the killing on of two members of the Irish National Liberation Army (INLA) at a checkpoint near the city of Armagh on 12 December 1982. Republicans claimed that these killings represented a deliberate policy by the British security forces of 'shoot-to-kill' as opposed to arresting suspects.
See: Rolston, Bill. (2000) 'Shoot to Kill' from: Unfinished Business: State Killings and the Quest for Truth. Belfast: Beyond the Pale.

'Siege Mentality'
This particular phrase is often used by Nationalist and Republican politicians in an attempt to explain the mindset of the Unionist / Loyalist community in Northern Ireland. It refers back to the fact that the minority Protestant population in Ireland has always considered itself 'under siege' from the majority Catholic population.

Sinn Féin (SF)
A Republican political party, the electoral support for which has increased in recent years to between 15 and 17 per cent. Considered to be the political wing of the Irish Republican Army (IRA). The main support for the party is from working-class Catholics. Gerry Adams has been President of Sinn Féin (SF) since 1983.
See: Abstracts of Organisations entry.

'The Six Counties'
This is a term used by Nationalists, particularly Republicans, to describe Northern Ireland. It refers to the fact that the region is made up of six of the 32 counties of Ireland. Many Unionists take exception to the use of the term.
See also: Northern Ireland, 'North of Ireland', 'Province', 'Ulster'

Social Democratic and Labour Party (SDLP)
A Nationalist political party which supports the aim of a United Ireland but only through non-violent means. The party attracts a lot of middle-class Catholic supporters and also some working-class support. John Hume was leader of the Social Democratic and Labour Party (SDLP) from 1979 to 2001 when he stepped down.
See: Abstracts of Organisations entry.

''Soft Landing'
First used widely by politicians and government officials about political developments connected to the Good Friday Agreement. In particular it referred to attempts during times of political difficulties to initiate a series of moves which meant that political institutions could be put into a period of suspension rather than be allowed to collapse entirely.

South of Ireland
A term used by some Nationalists to refer to the Republic of Ireland. The implication in the use of the term is that the person views the Republic of Ireland as an integral indivisible part of Ireland. Some Unionists take exception to the use of the term.
See also: Éire, Irish Free State, Republic of Ireland, 'Twenty-Six Counties'

Special Category Status
During the summer of 1972 William Whitelaw, then Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, granted 'special category status' to those prisoners convicted of paramilitary-related offences. This gave them privileges such as the right to wear their own clothes, to enjoy free association within designated areas, more prison visits, and not to have to carry out any prison work. After a report commissioned by the British government and published in 1975 it was recommended that such a regime should be phased out from 1 March 1976. As a result anyone convicted on terrorist charges after that date was not permitted to avail of the old system. Almost immediately Republican prisoners began a series of campaigns in order to reinstate 'special category status' and this culminated with the hunger strikes of 1980 and 1981.

Special Powers Act
The Civil Authorities (Special Powers) Act was passed by the recently established Northern Ireland parliament in April 1922. Initially seen as a temporary measure to deal with the widespread unrest at the time, the Special Powers Act, as it was commonly referred to, gave substantial and wide ranging powers to the Northern Ireland Minister of Home Affairs. The Act was renewed annually until 1933 when it became a permanent piece of legislation. To the anger and resentment of the Nationalist community it was regarded as being mainly targeted at them and as a result the repeal of the Special Powers Act became one of the main demands of the civil rights movement in the 1960s. Late in 1968 certain sections of it were repealed but it was not fully replaced until after the suspension of the Northern Ireland parliament by Westminster in March 1972. This was done by the passage of the Northern Ireland (Emergency Provisions) Act in August 1973.
See: Northern Ireland. Parliament. (1922) Civil Authorities (Special Powers) Act (Northern Ireland) 1922, (7 April 1922). Belfast: HMSO.

'Splinter Group'
Throughout the conflict in Northern Ireland some of the main political parties as well as the larger paramilitary organisations have been affected by internal dissent leading to small groups of people leaving in protest. On certain occasions those involved have set up rival organisations to the ones they have just left and these are referred to as 'splinter groups'.

'Stakeknife'
The code name of an alleged British army agent operating within the higher echelons of the Republican movement.

'Stalker Affair'
Following a series of controversial shooting incidents involving the Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC) in late 1982, John Stalker, then Deputy Chief Constable of Manchester, was invited in 1984 by the British government to conduct an investigation of the incidents. However, he was later removed from the investigation in order to face unrelated disciplinary charges of which he was completely cleared. Later in a book recounting the events of the period Stalker claimed that he had been a victim of campaign by officials within the British government and the RUC to discredit him. His preliminary report into the shootings has never been published.

Stevens Inquiry
Following allegations of collusion between the security forces in Northern Ireland and Loyalist paramilitary groups Sir John Stephens, then Deputy Chief Constable of Cambrigeshire, was appointed in 1989 by the British government to carry out an investigation. Since then he has published three reports on the matter.

'Stickies'
'Stickies' was the nickname applied to members and supporters of the Official Irish Republican Army (OIRA). It refers to events at a commemoration of the 1916 Easter Rising in 1970 when the OIRA and the Provisional Irish Republican Army (PIRA) held separate parades to the Republican plot in Milltown cemetery in Belfast. Supporters of each organisation also sold paper lapel badges depicting the symbol of the Easter lily. PIRA lapel badges were attached by pins while the Easter lilies sold by the OIRA supporters were self-adhesive hence the term 'stickies'. This term was widely used. OIRA supporters referred to PIRA supporters as 'pin heads' however this term was short-lived.

Stormont
Stormont refers both to the Unionist controlled government of Northern Ireland between 1921 and 1972 and also to the grand buildings in east Belfast in which the government sat between 1932 and 1972.
See: Stormont Parliamentary Papers {external_link}

Strand One / Strand Two / Strand Three
During the series of political negotiations in Northern Ireland in the early 1990s the British government adopted a new approach in which the talks would proceed by way of three distinct strands within which certain issues would be addressed. To begin with Strand One was to involve all the parties apart from the Irish government and look at new structures of government within Northern Ireland. Strand Two would look at the nature of the relationship to be established North - South, that is Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland. Whilst Strand Three would deal specifically with Anglo-Irish relations. Although the discussions in the early 1990s were to end without any agreement when the process was renewed in the wake of the paramilitary ceasefires of 1994 it was subsequently agreed that the new discussions would be based around the three stranded approach.

Substantive
This term fist became widely used during the political talks that were to eventually produce the Good Friday Agreement in April 1998. It was employed to convey the impression that the discussions would have be based around the more important and fundamental issues instead of becoming bogged down in more trivial matters.

Sunningdale Agreement
The name given to the Agreement reached in December 1973 to establish a power-sharing Executive in Northern Ireland and also to set up a Council of Ireland.
See: Key Event entry.

"Sunningdale for Slow Learners"
Seamus Mallon, then deputy leader of the Social Democratic and Labour Party (SDLP), used this phrase when describing the political negotiations which culminated with the signing of the Good Friday Agreement (GFA) in April 1998. He said that the Good Friday Agreement was Sunningdale for slow learners.

Supergrass
During the early 1980s a number of former members of various paramilitary organisations agreed to cooperate with the authorities in Northern Ireland by agreeing to give evidence concerning their paramilitary activities. In return for inducements from the British government, either financial or by way of a reduced prison sentence, information supplied by these 'supergrasses' was used in the courts against their former colleagues. The practice soon became discredited when doubts began to be raised as to whether they were reliable witnesses.


T

Taig(s)
Taig is a derogatory term for Catholics used (mainly) by Loyalists. The origin of the word Taig is unclear, it may derive from a common firstname for Catholic boys or may be a derivation from the surname Teague. The letters 'KAT' are still painted on walls in Northern Ireland and are an acronym for 'Kill All Taigs'. Loyalist prisoners in the Maze prison had a mural in one of the 'H-blocks' which contained the wording: "Yabba-Dabba-Doo, Any Taig Will Do" implying that all Catholics were legitimate targets.

Taoiseach
The official term used to describe the Prime Minister of the Republic of Ireland. The word itself comes from the Irish language and it translates into English as the 'chief'.

TD(s) / Teachta Dála
Member(s) of Dáil Éireann, the Irish Parliament.

Teebane
On 17 January 1992 the Irish Republican Army (IRA) exploded a bomb killing eight Protestant civilians who had been travelling in a minibus past Teebane crossroads between Cookstown and Omagh, County Tyrone. The men had been working at a military base in County Tyrone and were travelling home when the attack occurred.

Terrorist(s) / Terrorism
Terrorist is a term used in Northern Ireland to refer to a member of a paramilitary group. The term has been mainly, but not exclusively, used by Unionists and representatives of the British Government and mainly, but again not exclusively, in connection with Republican paramilitary groups. [The CAIN web site uses the more neutral term of 'paramilitary'.]
See also: Loyalist Paramilitary Groups, Republican Paramilitary Groups, Paramilitary

'the Troubles'
The term 'the Troubles' is a euphemism used by people in Ireland for the present conflict. The term has been used before to describe other periods of Irish history. [On the CAIN web site the terms 'Northern Ireland conflict' and 'the Troubles', are used interchangeably.]

'Tiochaidh ár Lá'
A slogan in Irish commonly used by supporters and members of the Republican movement. It translates into English as 'Our day will come'.

'Totality of Relationships'
On 8 December 1980 an Anglo-Irish summit was held between Charles Haughey, then Irish Prime Minister, and Margaret Thatcher, then British Prime Minister. In his public statements after this meeting Haughey highlighted that both governments had agreed that any political solution in Northern Ireland would have to consider the "totality of relationships within these islands". The phrase was taken to mean that all parties both in Britain and Ireland would have to be involved in such a process and that all issues and problems would have to be addressed by way of open negotiations.

'Tout(s)'
Anyone, from either side of the community, who passes on information to the security forces in Northern Ireland is referred to as an informer or a 'tout'.

Towards a Lasting Peace
The title of a policy document published by Sinn Féin (SF) in February 1992.

Towards a New Ireland
The title of a policy document published by the Social Democratic and Labour Party (SDLP) in 1972.
See: Social Democratic and Labour Party (SDLP). (1972) Towards a New Ireland - Proposals by the Social Democratic and Labour Party (SDLP). Derry: Social Democratic and Labour Party.

'Triple Lock'
This term emerged during the political negotiations in the 1990s involving Northern Ireland politicians and the British and Irish governments. In essence it proposed that three basic conditions had to be met before any final settlement could be agreed. Namely, there had to be an agreement between the political parties within the North of Ireland; any proposal had to win the acceptance of the electorate within Northern Ireland through a referendum; and finally, it had to win the support of the British parliament. Later the concept of 'triple lock' was applied to the political talks that were to culminate with the signing of the Good Friday Agreement (GFA) in April 1998.

TUAS
The term refers to a document produced by the Republican movement in the summer of 1994 in which it set out its objectives in the wake of the ceasefire called by the Irish Republican Army (IRA) on 31 August 1994. For Republicans it was understood to mean 'Totally Unarmed Struggle' whilst political opponents and critics suggested that it really stood for 'Tactical Use of Armed Strategy'.
See: Republican Movement. (1994) The 'TUAS' Document, [An internal Republican Movement document that is thought to date from the summer of 1994]. Dublin: Sunday Tribune.

'Twenty-Six Counties'
This is one of the terms used by some Nationalists, particularly Republicans, to describe the Republic of Ireland. It refers to the fact that the state is made up of twenty-six of the 32 counties of Ireland. Many people take exception to the use of the term.
See also: Éire, Irish Free State, Republic of Ireland, 'South of Ireland'

'Twin Track Initiative'
On 28 November 1995 the British and Irish governments launched a renewed effort in to end the political stalemate in Northern Ireland. This became known as the 'twin track initiative' and it involved making progress simultaneously on the decommissioning issue and on all-party negotiations.


U

Ulster
This is a term frequently used, mostly by Unionists, to describe Northern Ireland. It refers to the fact that the six counties that make up Northern Ireland were (and remain) part of the province of Ulster. Some people, mainly Nationalists, take exception to the use of the term.
See also: Northern Ireland, 'North of Ireland', 'Province', 'Six Counties'

Ulster Defence Association (UDA)
pseudonyms: Ulster Freedom Fighters (UFF)
The largest of the Loyalist paramilitary groups. Formed in 1970 and not proscribed (declared illegal) until 1992. The UDA has used the covername of Ulster Freedom Fighters (UFF) to claim many sectarian killings.
See: Abstracts of Organisations entry.

Ulster Defence Regiment (UDR)
A regiment of the British Army which was recruited in 1972 from within Northern Ireland. Most of the initial membership of UDR was composed of prior members of the 'B-Specials'. The regiment was almost entirely Protestant. The regiment was eventually merged with the Royal Irish Rangers to form the Royal Irish Regiment.
See: Abstracts of Organisations entry.

Ulster Democratic Party (UDP)
Loyalist political party which had links to the Ulster Defence Association (UDA) and the Ulster Freedom Fighters (UFF). Garry McMichael was the main spokesman for the party.
See: Abstracts on Organisations entry.

Ulster Freedom Fighters (UFF)
A Loyalist paramilitary group. A covername used by the Ulster Defence Association (UDA).
See: Abstracts on Organisations entry.

Ulster Says 'No'
In the wake of the signing of the Anglo-Irish Agreement in November 1985 Unionists began a campaign of opposition against it and one of the slogans used was Ulster says 'No'.

Ulster Unionist Party (UUP)
synonyms: Official Unionist Party (OUP)
The largest of the Unionist parties. The Ulster Unionist Party (UUP) mainly attracts middle-class Protestant support. The party has close links with the Orange Order. David Trimble has been leader of the UUP since 1995.
See: Abstracts of Organisations entry.

Ulster Volunteer Force (UVF)
pseudonyms: Protestant Action Force (PAF), Protestant Action Group (PAG), Red Hand Commando (RHC)
The second largest of the Loyalist paramilitary groups after the Ulster Defence Association (UDA) / Ulster Freedom Fighters (UFF). The modern UVF was formed in 1965 and was responsible for the first bomb attacks during the current 'Troubles'. It is believed to be associated with the Red Hand Commando (RHC).
See: Abstracts of Organisations entry.

'Ulsterisation'
In the mid-1970s, as part of a major overhaul of its security policy in Northern Ireland, the British government moved to reduce the role of the British Army in favour of the locally recruited Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC) and Ulster Defence Regiment (UDR). This process was referred to as 'Ulsterisation' as it put the local recruits, who were overwhelmingly Protestant, into the front line in the fight against Republican paramilitaries.

Unionist
In Northern Ireland the term is used to describe those who wish to see the union with Britain maintained. The majority of those people who are from the Protestant community are Unionist. It should be noted that not all Unionists support Loyalist groups.
See also: Protestant, Loyalist

'Unionist Veto'
Term used by Nationalists to refer to the fact that the 'consent principal' gives the Unionist majority in Northern Ireland an effective veto over the future of the region.
See also: Consent Principal

United Kingdom
A collective term that includes Britain and Northern Ireland. In other words, England, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland. Beginning with the kingdom of England, it was created by three acts of union: with Wales in 1536, Scotland in 1707, and (the whole of) Ireland in 1801. Political union between Britain and Ireland was secured by the Union Bill which was approved on 1 January 1801, so the term United Kingdom originally applied to the whole of Ireland and Britian. Since the independence of the Republic of Ireland the term United Kingdom now refers to the United Kingdom of Britain and Northern Ireland.
See also: Britain


V

Veto
In the context of Northern Ireland the term 'veto' is often used by opposing politicians to allege that political progress is being blocked by members of the other community. In particular it has been used by Republicans who argue that the British government has given Unionists a veto over any movement towards a united Ireland.


W

Warrington
On 20 March 1993 a bomb planted by the Irish Republican Army (IRA) exploded in a shopping centre in the town of Warrington, England, killing two young boys and injuring 56 other people.

Warrenpoint
On 27 August 1979 the Irish Republican Army (IRA) launched a number of attacks on the British Army near the town of Warrenpoint, County Down, in which eighteen members of the Parachute Regiment were killed.

'Washington Three' (conditions)
During a visit to Washington on 7 March 1995 Sir Patrick Mayhew, then Secretary of Sate for Northern Ireland, set out three conditions that the Irish Republican Army (IRA) would have to accept before the British government would allow the entry of Sinn Féin (SF) into the proposed political negotiations. These were subsequently referred to as the 'Washington Three' conditions and included the following requirements: a willingness by the PIRA to "disarm progressively" (decommission their illegal weapons); an agreement on the method of decommissioning; and that there had to be a start a start to the process of decommissioning before any talks could begin.

Way Forward
In April 1984 weeks before the publication of the 'New Ireland Forum Report' the Ulster Unionist Party (UUP) published a policy document the 'Way Forward' which outlined its proposals for a political settlement in Northern Ireland. In addition on 2 July 1999 the title, the 'Way Forward', was used by the British and Irish governments for a joint paper produced by them. It was hoped that it would lay the basis for breaking the political stalemate that had developed over decommissioning and the granting of devolved power to the institutions proposed under the Good Friday Agreement (GFA).

West 'Brit' / West British
A derogatory term used by Nationalists or Republicans when talking of someone who they would see as Irish but who would classify themselves as British.

Westminster
Refers to the parliament of the United Kingdom based in the Palace of Westminster in London.

Workers' Party
A Republican political party which has its origins in the Official Sinn Féin (OSF) movement. Strongly socialist and anti-sectarian.
See: Abstracts on Organisations entry.


X


Y

'Yellow Card'
All serving British soldiers in Northern Ireland were issued with instructions setting out the conditions and circumstances in which it is acceptable for them to use their weapons. The instructions were written on a yellow coloured card and hence were known as the 'yellow card'.

'Yes' Campaign
During the referendum campaign on the Good Friday Agreement (GFA) in April and May 1998 those who supported the GFA came together in a 'Yes' campaign in order to persuade the electorate in Northern Ireland to vote 'Yes' for the GFA.

Young Citizens' Volunteers (YCV)
This term first emerged in 1912 but during 'the Troubles' in Northern Ireland it was the title used by the youth wing of the Ulster Volunteer Force (UVF).

'Young Militants'
The title given to the youth wing of the Ulster Defence Association (UDA).

'Young Turks'
The phrase 'Young Turks' was first used to refer to a group of Republicans from Northern Ireland who emerged from the mid-1970s onwards and who became closely associated with the policies and leadership of Gerry Adams. The term was also used in connection with younger members of the Ulster Defence Association (UDA).


Z


This is a third draft of a glossary of terms that are found on the CAIN web site. Anyone reading about the Northern Ireland conflict will come across many words and terms which require some explanation. In the above section the reader will find: explanations of terms used throughout the CAIN Internet site which may cause confusion; alternative terms for, say, the same organisation; and words which have a political context or overtone.

While the CAIN site uses some terms in preference to others, as mentioned above, none of the text in scanned documents, or in quoted passages, has been changed - the terms used by the original authors are unaltered. The reader should also consult the 'Abstracts on Organisations' for further information.

A useful reference is:
'An Alphabetical Listing of Word, Name and Place in Northern Ireland' by Seamus Dunn & Helen Dawson (2000)


CAIN contains information and source material on the conflict and politics in Northern Ireland.
CAIN is based within the University of Ulster.


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