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Abstracts on Organisations - 'N'

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Compiled: Martin Melaugh ... Additional Material: Brendan Lynn and Fionnuala McKenna
Material is added to this site on a regular basis - information on this page may change

initial letter of the name of the organisation

National Coalition Building Institute (NCBI) NI
This organisation was formed in 1988 by a group of trainers who wished to use NCBI models for prejudice reduction in workshops in Northern Ireland.

National Council for Civil Liberties (NCCL)
synonyms: Northern Ireland Council for Civil Liberties (NICCL)
(See: Liberty.)

National Council of YMCA's of Ireland
The Young Men's Christian Association (YMCA) developed in London as a prayer fellowship. The movement in Ireland seeks to promote mutual respect and tolerance. It operates a number of cross-community schemes.

National Democratic Party (NDP)
A political party which operated mainly in Belfast during the years 1965 to 1970. The party from the National Unity movement which pressed for reform of the Nationalist Party. The NDP had little electoral success. Many of those involved in the NDP joined the Social Democratic and Labour Party (SDLP) when it formed.

National H-Block / Armagh Committee
A pressure group set up to campaign on behalf of political status for Republican prisoners. This group took over from the early Relatives Action Committee. The NH/AC was particularly active during the 1980 and 1981 hunger strikes. The chairman was Fr Piaras Ó Duill, and the main spokesperson was Bernadette McAliskey.

National Peace Council (NPC)
The NPC is an umbrella organisation for peace groups. The Northern Ireland Working Group of the NPC brings together representatives from member organisations to exchange information and to develop ways to co-ordinate their work in the region.

National Union of Students/Union of Students in Ireland (NUS/USI)
The NUS/USI was established in 1972 under a unique arrangement where both the British and Irish national student unions jointly organise in Northern Ireland to promote student unity across the sectarian divide.
NUS/USI represents the interests of over 115,000 students in Northern Ireland and campaigns on their behalf in many different fields. It also provide an infrastructure which helps individual student unions to develop their own work through its research, training and development functions.
[Web Site]

Nationalist Party (NP)
The NP was the main Nationalist party in Northern Ireland during most of the years of Unionist government at Stormont. For most of the period the NP refused to act as official opposition to the Stormont government. The NP had its origins in the old Irish Parliamentary Party. Although the NP was trying to reform itself into a constituency based political party which addressed a wide range of social issues, it was overtaken by the events of the civil rights period. The NP lost most of its support to the Social Democratic and Labour Party (SDLP) which was formed in August 1970. The last election the NP was involved in was the 1973 Assembly Election but it won no seats. The last leader of the NP was Eddie McAteer.

Lynn, Brendan. (1997) '1964-1969: Eclipse', in, Holding the Ground: The Nationalist Party in Northern Ireland, 1945-1972

Natural Law Party (NLP)
A quasi political party which believed that the Northern Ireland conflict could be solved if people practise transcendental meditation and 'yogic flying'. The party was launched in 1992 and entered candidates in Northern Ireland elections until 1999 without any success.
[Web Site]

New Agenda (NA) 1992
The name initially adopted by the Democratic Left Party when it broke away from the Workers' Party in February 1992.
(See: Democratic Left.)

New Agenda (NA) 1998
An umbrella group representing civic leaders from business, trade unions, the churches and the voluntary sector in Northern Ireland. The group was formed on 24 February 1998 (?). The group support the multi-party talks process and have urged the public in Northern Ireland to play a greater role in the search for a peaceful settlement.

New Consensus Group (NCG)
A group founded in 1989 in the Republic of Ireland which campaigned for the setting up of a devolved government in Northern Ireland, increased integrated education, and a Bill of Rights for the region. The group claims to draw support from all the main political parties in the Republic of Ireland.

New Ireland Forum (NIF)
The NIF was established in April 1983 by Garret Fitzgerald in an attempt to seek an agreed approach on Northern Ireland among nationalists on the Island. The four main Nationalist parties attended: Fianna Fáil (FF), Fine Gael (FG), Irish Labour Party (ILP), and the Social Democratic and Labour Party (SDLP). The attempt at a joint approach was not, however, fully achieved. The NIF produced a report in May 1984. The report advanced the option of a United Ireland, but also detailed a federal arrangement and joint authority between the British and Irish governments. Although the report was rejected by Margaret Thatcher, then British Prime Minister, it did pave the way for the Anglo-Irish Agreement of November 1985.

New Ireland Group (NIG)
synonyms: New Ireland Movement
This organisation was founded by John Robb in 1982. The group campaigned for a new approach to Northern Ireland arguing that both the British and Irish should forego their claims of sovereignty and sponsor a new constitutional convention in the region.

New Ireland Movement (NIM)
(See: New Ireland Group.)

[new] Irish Republican Army (IRA)
See: Irish Republican Army (IRA)

New Ulster Movement (NUM)
The New Ulster Movement was formed early in 1969 and campaigned for political, economic and social reforms in Northern Ireland. Among its ideas were a community relations commission, a central housing authority, and the abolition of the 'B-Specials'. Published a pamphlet in 1971, The Reform of Stormont, calling for a power-sharing government. Many of its members went on to join the Alliance Party of Northern Ireland (APNI).

Selection of Publications produced by New Ulster Movement included:
New Ulster Movement. (1971). 'The Reform of Stormont', (June 1971). Belfast: NUM.
New Ulster Movement. (1971). 'A commentary on the Programme of Reforms for Northern Ireland', (August? 1971). Belfast: NUM.
New Ulster Movement. (1971). 'The Way Forward [in Northern Ireland]', (November 1971). Belfast: NUM.
New Ulster Movement. (1971). New Ulster Movement Annual Report, 1970-71, (December 1971), [PDF File; 41KB].
New Ulster Movement. (1972). Northern Ireland and the Common Market, (January 1972). Belfast: NUM.
New Ulster Movement. (1972). Two Irelands or One?, (May 1972). Belfast: NUM.
New Ulster Movement. (1972). Violence and Northern Ireland, (June 1972). Belfast: NUM.
New Ulster Movement. (1972). A New Constitution for Northern Ireland, (August 1972). Belfast: NUM.
New Ulster Movement. (1972). New Ulster Movement Annual Report, 1971-72. (December? 1972), [PDF File; 44KB]. Belfast: NUM.

New Ulster Political Research Group (NUPRG)
A group set up by the Ulster Defence Association (UDA) in January 1978. In March 1979 the NUPRG published a plan for a negotiated independent Northern Ireland. The NUPRG fielded three candidates during the 1981 District Council elections. The NUPRG was replaced by the Ulster Loyalist Democratic Party in June 1981.

NIACRO - Community Relations Project
This project developed out of the work of the Northern Ireland Association for the Care and Resettlement of Offenders (NIACRO) in the Portadown / Craigavon area. The project involves activities in the areas of 'understanding divisions' and 'cultural diversity', and cross-community contact schemes.

Nonviolent Action Training Project (NAT)
The main aim of NAT is to encourage groups to explore imaginative, effective and non-violent ways of working in the context of Northern Ireland.

synonyms: Irish Northern Aid Committee
(See: Irish Northern Aid Committee.)

North and West Belfast Parades Forum
synonyms: North and West Belfast Parades and Cultural Forum
This is an umbrella group which is comprised of: Unionist politicians (including the Ulster Unionist Party, UUP, and the Democratic Unionist Party, DUP), the Orange Order, community representatives, and representatives of Loyalist paramilitaries (the Ulster Volunteer Force, UVF, and Ulster Defence Association, UDA). The group was formed in 2004(?). The group campaigns in support of the Orange Order's demand to be allowed to parade along contentious routes through Catholic areas. The group was involved in the disputed Whiterock parade on 10 September 2005 which resulted in days of serious violence.

North Down and Ards Loyalist Support Group (NDALSG)
(or North Down and Ards Orange Support Movement)
A group which first came to public attention when it held a rally on 21 (?) March 1997 in support of the right of the Loyal Orders to parade over their "traditional routes". The march was particularly directed at the situation in Dunloy, County Antrim, where the Orange Order were being prevented from marching my the residents of the village.

Northern Consensus Group (NCG)
A group, mainly made up of professional Catholics and Protestants, which has argued for a political solution within Northern Ireland involving both communities in government.

Northern Ireland Affairs Select Committee
A body to scrutinise matters relating to Northern Ireland was first proposed by the Proceedure Committee of the House of Commons in 1990 but it was not until December 1993 that John Major, then British Prime Minister, agreed to its establishment. This gave rise to allegations by nationalist and republican opinion in Northern Ireland that it was a concession to the Ulster Unionist Party (UUP), who had longed campaigned for its establishment, in order that the UUP would support Major's Government in important parliamentary votes. In spite of these protests, its creation was agreed by a majority of the House of Commons in March 1994 and it met for the first time in May 1994. On the committee sits members drawn from the main political parties in Britain as well as representatives from those parties in Northern Ireland who take their seats at Westminster.

Northern Ireland Association for the Care and Resettlement of Offenders (NIACRO)
An organisation devoted to reintegrating offenders into society.
[Web Site]

Northern Ireland Children's Enterprise (NICE)
NICE began work in 1977 when it took groups of Catholic and Protestant children to America on holiday. NICE aims to promote peace, reconciliation and mutual understanding by providing opportunities for young people to meet together in a secure environment.
[Web Site]

Northern Ireland Children's Holiday Scheme (NICHS)
A holiday scheme for disadvantaged Catholic and Protestant children and young people. The scheme began life in Liverpool in 1972 but moved its base to Northern Ireland in 1973. The main aim is to improve tolerance and mutual understanding across the sectarian divide. The NICHS has two residential centers in the northern part of Ireland.

Northern Ireland Civil Rights Association (NICRA)
The main organisation involved in the Civil Rights movement from the late 1960s to the 1970s. The NICRA grew out of the work of the Campaign for Social Justice (CSJ) and was modelled on the National Council for Civil Liberties based in London. The first committee of the NICRA was made up of representatives of trade unions and some of the political parties. The NICRA had a number of main aims: universal adult suffrage in local government elections; the end to 'gerrymandered' electoral boundaries; the allocation of public housing to be on the basis of need; repeal of the Special Powers Act; the disbanding of the 'B-Specials'; the end to discrimination in employment; and a system to deal with complaints of discrimination. The NICRA began to lobby for support for its aims but quickly resorted to protest action on the streets of Northern Ireland. The NICRA was asked to support a march in Derry on 5 October 1968. Although the march was banned those taking part tried to proceed along the advertised route but were stopped by a line of Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC) officers. The police baton charged the crowd and, when the television pictures were seen later in the day, riots broke out in a number of areas of Northern Ireland. This event sparked the current period of 'the Troubles'. The NICRA was engaged in the campaign of civil disobedience against the introduction of internment. Following the shooting of 28 people, 14 of whom died, at a civil rights march in Derry on 'Bloody Sunday' on 30 January 1972, the use of street protest was severely curtailed.

Selection of Publications produced by the Northern Ireland Civil Rights Association:
Northern Ireland Civil Rights Association (NICRA). (1973). Proposals for Peace, Democracy and Community Reconciliation. Belfast: Northern Ireland Civil Rights Association.
Civil Rights Association (CRA). (1972). Massacre at Derry. Derry: Northern Ireland Civil Rights Association.
Northern Ireland Civil Rights Association (NICRA). (1973). Information Sheet on Women Internees (5 typed pages). Belfast: Northern Ireland Civil Rights Association.
Northern Ireland Civil Rights Association (NICRA). (1978). 'We Shall Overcome' . . . . The History of the Struggle for Civil Rights in Northern Ireland 1968 - 1978. Belfast: Northern Ireland Civil Rights Association.

See also:
Chapter 4, in, Purdie, Bob. (1990). 'Politics in the Streets: The origins of the civil rights movement in Northern Ireland'. Belfast: Blackstaff Press

Northern Ireland Community Relations Commission (NICRC)
The Community Relations Commission was established by act of Parliament in 1969 to foster harmonious relations in the region. The Commission comprised ten members, of whom two were ex-officio, and the rest divided equally between Catholic and Protestant. In April 1974 Ivan Cooper, then Minister for Community Relations in the Assembly announced that the Commission was to be wound up. In the event the Assembly collapsed on 28 May 1974 and the CRC was formally abolished in 1975 by an order in council.

Selection of Publications by the Northern Ireland Community Relations Commission:
Northern Ireland Community Relations Commission (NICRC). (1971). Northern Ireland Community Relations Commission, (September? 1971). [Leaflet], [PDF; 392KB]. Belfast: NICRC.
Northern Ireland Community Relations Commission (NICRC). (1970). Our Job is Community Relations, [December 1970]. Belfast: NICRC.
Northern Ireland Community Relations Commission (NICRC). (1971). Northern Ireland Community Relations Commission First Annual Report. Belfast: NICRC.
Northern Ireland Community Relations Commission (NICRC). (1971). Flight: A Report on Population Movement in Belfast during August 1971. Belfast: NICRC Research Unit.
The Northern Ireland Community Relations Commission. (1971-). Community Forum, Vol.1, No.2, 1971, [Front Cover]. Community Forum, (Quarterly): 1971-1974. Belfast: The Northern Ireland Community Relations Commission.

Northern Ireland Council for Integrated Education (NICIE)
The Northern Ireland Council for Integrated Education (NICIE) was established in 1987 as a voluntary organisation to develop, support and promote Integrated Education in Northern Ireland. NICIE provides support and advice to those parents who wish to open new integrated schools or transform existing segregated schools. The organisation grew out of an amalgamation of bodies promoting integrated education. The NICIE web site contained the following note: "The underpinning principles of Integrated Education is that by bringing Catholic, Protestant and children of other faiths together in a shared learning environment, they can learn to understand, respect and tolerate their differences. By choosing an Integrated Education, children and their parents are contributing to the peace and reconciliation process in Northern Ireland."
[Web Site]

Northern Ireland Council for Voluntary Action (NICVA)
The NICVA is an intermediary body, between government and the voluntary sector, which has the main aim of developing the voluntary sector in Northern Ireland. The NICVA began an anti-sectarian project in 1991.
[Web Site]

Northern Ireland Forum (NIF)
The Forum was established following the forum election in May 1996. Representatives were elected to the Forum on the basis of party strength at the election. All the parties with the exception of Sinn Féin initially took part in the Forum. On 13 July 1996 the Social Democratic and Labour Party left the Forum in protest at the action of the authorities in relation to the Drumcree 'stand-off'. Representatives of the political parties entitled to be at the Forum are also entitled to take part in the multi-party talks at Stormont.
[Web Site]

Northern Ireland Housing Executive (NIHE)
The NIHE is a central agency with the main responsibility of providing public sector housing in Northern Ireland. It was established in 1971 following many complaints from Catholics about the lack of impartiality among Unionist controlled local housing authorities. The NIHE inherited a situation where there was a large shortage of housing and also where 20 per cent of existing dwellings were unfit for human habitation. During the 1970s and 1980s there was large capital investment in housing in the region. Public housing, as a issue of contention between the two communities, has dropped well down the political agenda.
[Web Site]

Northern Ireland Housing Trust (NIHT)
The NIHT was established in 1945 with a remit to build public sector housing 'for workers' in co-ordination with local authorities. The Trust was established to try to boast house building but ran into deliberate obstruction by a number of Unionist controlled local authorities. These authorities were worried about the impact of new housing, and thus new voters, in marginal constituencies. There is evidence that the NIHT favoured 'careful' tenants who were in employment a combination which left the Trust open to some accusations of discrimination against Catholics. The responsibilities of the NIHT were taken over by the Northern Ireland Housing Executive in October 1971.

Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission (NIHRC)
The Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission is a body which was provided for in the Good Friday Agreement of 1998 and which was formally established under the Northern Ireland Act 1998 on 1 March 1999. It comprised a full-time Chief Commissioner and nine part-time Commissioners, all of whom were appointed initially for a three-year period. The first Chief Commissioner was Professor Brice Dickson. The other first Commissioners were Ms Christine Bell. Mrs Margaret-Ann Dinsmore QC, Mr Tom Donnelly MBE JP DL, Rev Harold Good OBE, Professor Tom Hadden, Ms Angela Hegarty, Ms Patricia Kelly, Ms Iñez McCormack, and Mr Frank McGuinness. As a body independent of government the work of the NIHRC includes matters such as promoting and protecting human rights within Northern Ireland. In addition it is also involved in advising the British government in bringing forward a Bill of Rights for Northern Ireland.
[Main Entry]
[Web Site]

Northern Ireland Labour Party (NILP)
The NILP was a socialist political party founded in 1924 which attracted most of its support from the working-class of Belfast. The party avoided the constitutional issue until 1949 when its annual conference voted for the Union with Britain. Following that decision the party attracted more Protestants but had difficulty in getting the same level of support from Catholic voters. The NILP reached its peak of support during the period of 1958 to 1965. The establishment of the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) in September 1971 and the Social Democratic and Labour Party (SDLP) in August 1970 marked the beginning of the end for the NILP. The remainder of the party joined with other labour supporters in forming Labour '87 in 1987.

Selection of Publications produced by Northern Ireland Labour Party:
Northern Ireland Labour Party (NILP). (1973). Labour Belfast Manifesto: Belfast Council Elections 1973, (Local Government Election 1973). Belfast: NILP.

Northern Ireland Mixed Marriage Association (NIMMA)
The Northern Ireland Mixed Marriage Association was established in 1974. Its main objective is: "Supporting couples who are united in love across traditional Christian divisions and promoting acceptance of these relationships within Northern Ireland society". In Northern Ireland the term 'mixed marriage' is taken to mean marriage between a Catholic and a Protestant.
[Web Site]

Northern Ireland Office (NIO)
The NIO is a ministerial department within the British government. The Secretary of State has a seat at the British Cabinet. The 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 responsibilities of the NIO include: political, constitutional and security matters. 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.) In the absence of a devolved assembly in the region the NIO was also responsible for the operation of the ten (previously six) Northern Ireland Departments. The NIO is supported by three agencies and public bodies: Boundary Commission for Northern Ireland; Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission; and Parades Commission for Northern Ireland.
[Web Site]

Northern Ireland Policing Board (NIPB)
The Northern Ireland Policing Board (NIPB) is the group that holds the Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) to public account. The NIPB began its functions when the name of the former Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC) was changed to the PSNI on 4 November 2001. The NIPB replaced the former Police Authority. The establishment of the NIPB was one of the recommendations of the report of the Patten Commission on the future of policing which was published on 9 September 1999. The NIBP is made up of nine independent members and 10 nominated by political parties. The nine independent members were announced on 29 September 2001 as: Desmond Rea (Prof.) chairman, Denis Bradley vice-chairman, Viscount Brookeborough, Brian Dougherty, Barry Gilligan, Tom Kelly, Pauline McCabe, Rosaleen Moore, and Suneil Sharma. The first official meeting of the NIPB took place on 7 November 2001.

See also: List of publications

[Web Site]

Northern Ireland Unionist Party (NIUP)
The NIUP was formed in January 1999 after an internal dispute over policy within the United Kingdom Unionist Party (UKUP). As a result four of the then five UKUP Assembly members left and set up the NIUP. The NIUP was launched by former Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) activist and UKUP co-founder Cedric Wilson (leader) and consisted initially of himself and three other Northern Ireland Assembly members elected for other parties, namely Paddy Roche (deputy leader), Norman Boyd, and Roger Hutchinson, with Clifford Smith as party secretary. Hutchinson was expelled from the grouping in December 1999 upon accepting membership of two Assembly committees, which Wilson and the others had decided to refuse; thereafter Hutchinson sat as an Independent Unionist. The NIUP was strongly opposed to the Good Friday Agreement (GFA) and contested the elections to the Northern Ireland Assembly in November 2003 but failed to have any of its candidates elected.
[Web Site]

Northern Ireland Victims Commission
The Commission was set up in October 1997by Marjorie (Mo) Mowlam, then Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, to investigate how the victims of 'the Troubles' should be remembered. Headed by Sir Kenneth Bloomfield, a former Head of the Northern Ireland Civil Service, the Commission began its work and consulted with a broad range of interested parties. In its published report, 'We Will Remember Them' (1998), a series of recommendations were made to the British government.
[Web Site]

Northern Ireland Women's Coalition (NIWC) (1996-2006)
The NIWC was formed in 1996 as a cross-community party with an agenda of "reconciliation through dialogue, accommodation and inclusion". In addition the party was also keen to encourage and promote the participation of women in politics as well establishing their overall contribution to Northern Ireland society in general. Within a very short period of its formation the party nominated 70 candidates in the Northern Ireland Forum elections on 30 May 1996 and had two people elected (Pearl Sagar and Monica McWilliams). This enabled the NIWC to participate in the multi-party talks that began in June 1996 and which were to culminate in April 1998 with the Good Friday Agreement (GFA). The NIWC also campaigned for a 'Yes' vote in the subsequent Referendum campaign in May 1998 and in the elections to the Northern Ireland Assembly on 25 June 1998 won two seats(Monica McWilliam and Jane Morrice) to the Northern Ireland Assembly. During the life time of the Assembly (1998-2003) the NIWC fully supported the GFA and this was to be illustrated in November 2001 when the party's two Assembly members were re-designated as unionists to allow for the re-election of David Trimble as First Minister. At the Assembly elections in November 2003 the NIWC polled badly and lost its two seats. The party's final remaining elected representative lost her seat on North Down Borough Council in 2005. On 11 May 2006 the NIWC was officially wound up at a function held in Belfast.

Fearon, Kate. (1999) Women's Work: The Story of the Women's Coalition.

[Web Site]

Northern Ireland Voluntary Trust (NIVT)
(See: Community Foundation for Northern Ireland.)

An orgainsation set up to support victims of the conflict. (xx)
(See: Details on vicitims organisations.)

(xx)     Indicates that an entry is being prepared.
(?)     Information is a best estimate while awaiting an update.
(??)     Information is doubtful and is awaiting an update.
[Main Entry]     Indicates that a longer separate entry is planned in the future.

For related and background information see also:

  • The list of acronyms associated with 'the Troubles'.
  • The glossary of terms related to the conflict.
  • The biographies of people who were prominent during 'the Troubles'.
  • The chronology of the conflict.

The information in the abstracts has been compiled from numerous primary and secondary sources. The best general sources for additional information are:

initial letter of the name of the organisation

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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