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Abstracts on Organisations - 'A'

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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

Action Against Drugs (AAD)
A group which is believed to have formed in 2012 (?). It claimed responsibility for the killing of alleged drug dealer Danny McKay on 25 October 2012. During the investigation into the killing of Kevin McGuigan on 5 May 2015, the PSNI stated that: "Our assessment is that AAD is a group of individuals from a variety of backgrounds – some criminals, some violent dissident republicans and some former members of the Provisional IRA" (See: PSNI statement, 20 August 2015).
(See also: Direct Action Against Drugs; and Republican Action Against Drugs)

Advisory Committee
Consisting of eleven individuals drawn from across Northern Ireland society, this body was established in 1972 to advise William Whitelaw, then Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, after the introduction of direct rule from Westminster. It carried out this task until the setting up of the Northern Ireland Assembly (1973-74).

All Children Together (ACT)
A group established in 1972 which sought the introduction of integrated education in Northern Ireland. Following the Education Reform (Northern Ireland) Order 1989 the group has sought to inform parents of the opportunities for establishing new integrated schools. ACT also helps support existing schools as well as newly formed parents groups.

Alliance Party of Northern Ireland (APNI)
Political party based in Northern Ireland, which was formed in April 1970. Currently aligned with the Liberal Democrat Party in Britain. Supports union with Britain but would accept formal links with the Republic of Ireland. Described as being moderate and attracts mainly middle-class support from the two main communities in Northern Ireland. Involved in the talks process that was to produce the Good Friday Agreement (GFA) in April 1998 and subsequently supported the 'Yes' campaign in the referendum campaign in May 1998. Although it fielded candidates in all eighteen constituencies in the elections to the Northern Ireland Assembly in June 1998, the party only gained 6.5 per cent of the vote and six seats. It failed to gain a seat in the Executive but during the Assembly term (1998-2003) it remained committed to the GFA. This was illustrated in November 2001 when three of the party's assembly members were re-designated as unionists to allow for the re-election of David Trimble as First Minister. At the delayed Assembly elections in November 2003 it managed to retain its six seats but its share of the vote fell to 3.68 per cent.
In the 2010 general election the party won its first seat in Westminster, when Naomi Long beat Peter Robinson in East Belfast. In the 2011 Assembly election the APNI obtained 7.8 per cent of the first preference votes and had eight members elected.

Leaders of APNI

Oliver Napier and Bob Cooper
Phelim O'Neill
Oliver Napier
John Cushnahan
John Alderdice
Seán Neeson
David Ford
6 Oct 2001
6 Oct 2016
Naomi Long
26 Oct 2016

Selection of Publications produced by the APNI:
Alliance Party of Northern Ireland (APNI). (1971) Alliance Annual Conference 1971, (27 March 1971). Belfast: APNI.
Alliance Party of Northern Ireland (APNI). (1988) Agenda for Change, (1997 Westminster General Election Manifesto, 1 May 1997), [PDF File; 979KB]. Belfast: APNI.
Alliance Party of Northern Ireland (APNI). (1988) It's Time For Tomorrow ... Together, (Northern Ireland Assembly Election Manifesto, 25 June 1988). Belfast: APNI.
Alliance Party of Northern Ireland (APNI). (1999) Keynote Statement by the Alliance Party of Northern Ireland (APNI), (16 November 1999). Belfast: APNI.
Alliance Party of Northern Ireland (APNI). (2000) Alliance Party Proposals to Break the Deadlock in the Implementation of the Good Friday Agreement. Belfast: APNI.

Main List of Publications:
Main list of APNI publications in the CAIN Bibliography

[Main Entry]
[Web Site]

American Ancient Order of Hibernians (AAOH)
A Catholic and Nationalist Irish-American organisation which is best known for organising the annual Saint Patrick's Day parade in New York. Membership is believed to stand at 30,000. The group has been involved in controversy many times since the beginning of 'the Troubles' because of stated support of some prominent members for the Irish Republican Army (IRA).
[Web Site]

Amnesty International
Amnesty International is a worldwide campaigning movement that works to promote all the human rights enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and other international standards. In particular, Amnesty International campaigns to free all prisoners of conscience; ensure fair and prompt trials for political prisoners; abolish the death penalty, torture and other cruel treatment of prisoners; end political killings and "disappearances"; and oppose human rights abuses by opposition groups.
Amnesty International has around a million members and supporters in 162 countries and territories. Activities range from public demonstrations to letter-writing, from human rights education to fundraising concerts, from individual appeals on a particular case to global campaigns on a particular issue.
Amnesty International is impartial and independent of any government, political persuasion or religious creed. Amnesty International is financed largely by subscriptions and donations from its worldwide membership. Amnesty International has published a number of reports on matters related to Northern Ireland.
(See: List of Amnesty International Publications on Northern Ireland.)
[Web Site]

An Crann / The Tree
An orgainsation set up to support victims of the conflict. (xx)
(See: Details on Victims Organisations.)

Anti-Discrimination Association (ADA)
A unionist/loyalist sponsored group set up in 1988 to highlight perceived discrimination against Protestants. One of the founders of the group was Gregory Campbell a Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) councilor.

Anti-Internment League (AIL)
A group based in London which opposed the use of Internment without trial in Northern Ireland.

Anti-Partition League (APL)
Established by Nationalist politicians in Northern Ireland in November 1945 in an effort to launch a concerted campaign against partition. In the face of internal political divisions within the minority community and widespread apathy, it failed to make any headway and by the early 1950s had virtually ceased to exist.

Lynn, Brendan. (1997) Holding the Ground: The Nationalist Party in Northern Ireland, 1945-1972. Aldershot: Ashgate.

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. The organisation was formed in 1838 and reached its peak in terms of membership at the turn of the century. The groups still organises a number of parades in Northern Ireland each year but does not attract the same level of support as the 'Loyal Orders'.
[Web Site]

Anglo-Irish Intergovernmental Council (AIIC)
The 'Council' was established following a summit meeting between Margaret Thatcher, the then British Prime Minister, and Garret Fitzgerald, the then Taoiseach (Irish Prime Minister) on 6 November 1981. The AIIC is a name given to the series of meetings between the British and Irish Governments from that date. The 'Council' is interested in "matters of general concern to the United Kingdom and Ireland such as trade and cultural relations" (Hadden and Boyle, 1989).

Anglo-Irish Intergovernmental Conference (AIIC)
The 'Conference' was established under the Anglo-Irish Agreement of 15 November 1985. The 'Conference' deals with matters within Northern Ireland especially those related to the minority community and also with matters of concern to both Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland such as cross-border co-operation.

Apprentice Boys of Derry (ABD)
One of the smaller 'Loyal Order' organisations; the others being the 'Orange Order' and the 'Royal Black Institution'. The Apprentice Boys is a Protestant / Loyalist organisation set up in memory of the group of apprentice boys who shut the gates of Derry (Londonderry) on the approaching army of King James II on 7 December 1688. This is the event which led to the siege of Derry (which lasted 105 days until 28 July 1689) and which is commemorated annually by the Apprentice Boys of Derry. The main march organised by the Apprentice Boys takes place in Derry each year on a date close to 12 August. There is an additional parade in Derry each December (the 'Lundy Parade') to commemorate the closing of the gates.
(See also: Photographs of the Apprentice Boys of Derry 'Lundy Parade', 1 December 2007.)
[Photograph above right: Apprentice Boys of Derry Memorial Hall, Society Street, Derry.]

Ardoyne Parades Dialogue Group (APDG)
A Nationalist group established in north Belfast which seeks to represent the opinions of residents in discussions with the Parades Commission or in direct contacts with represetatives of parading organisations. In 2006 the APDG entered into discussions with the North and West Parades Forum and came to agreement about parades in the area. However, violence associated with parades has occurred in later years.

Army Intelligence
(See: Military Intelligence.)

Assets Recovery Agency (ARA)
The Assets Recovery Agency (ARA) is a Non-Ministerial Department based in London. The Director of the ARA reports to the British Home Secretary but is operationally independent. The Agency was established by the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 which sets out the ARA's powers. The ARA has been operational since 24 February 2003. The Agency’s main offices are in London but there is also an office in Belfast. The Director consults with the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland on aspects of ARA’s annual plan concerning the region. In Northern Ireland the ARA has recovered assets from members of paramilitary groups which the Agency believed had been amassed through criminal activity. The ARA has established partnerships with the Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) and HM Customs and Excise. The ARA is also a member of the Organised Crime Task Force (OCTF). The ARA has also established a very close working relationship with the Criminal Assets Bureau (CAB) of An Garda Síochána in the Irish Republic. The two agencies have worked closely together on a number of cases which have a cross-border dimension.
[Web Site]

Association for Legal Justice (ALJ)
A group set up in 1971 to monitor complaints made against the courts and the security forces.

Association of Inter Church Families (AIF)
The association was originally established in 1973 in the Republic of Ireland to press for changes in legislation to allow religiously mixed married couples to adopt children. Since then the group has developed into an organisation which provides support to couples in mixed marriages.

(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 Ulster University.

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