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Abstracts on Organisations - 'F'

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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

Fair Employment Agency (FEA)
The FEA was established by the Fair Employment Act of 1976 to address the perceived problem of religious or political discrimination in the workplace. The legislation only outlawed direct discrimination and not any discrimination caused indirectly. The FEA was replaced when stronger legislation was introduced in the 1989 Fair Employment Act which set up the Fair Employment Commission (FEC).

Fair Employment Commission (FEC)
The FEC was established by the 1989 Fair Employment Act which replaced the Fair Employment Agency (FEA). The Commission was given the power to assist people bringing complaints under the legislation. In 1992 companies with more than ten employee were required to inform the Commission of the religious composition of their workforce. In 1999 the FEC was merged with a number of other organisations to form The Equality Commission for Northern Ireland.

Fair Employment Tribunal (FET)
The FET was established by the 1989 Fair Employment Act. The Tribunal hears complaints under the Fair Employment legislation.

Families Achieving Change Together (FACT)
Formerly: Families Against Crime by Terrorism (FACT) - name changed on 6 August 2003.
An orgainsation set up to support victims of the conflict. FACT was established in October 1998 following a meeting between a group of ‘victims’ of the conflict and Marjorie ('Mo') Mowlam, then Secretary of State for Northern Ireland. From the FACT web site: "Most of the group members have been maimed by terrorist violence or have had a relative murdered. To date we are working with the members to offer counselling, re-training, social and welfare activities, advice, support and complimentary therapies."
(See: Details on vicitims organisations.)
[Web Site]

Families Acting for Innocent Relatives (FAIR)
Formed in 1989 the organisation is based largely in South Armagh and consists of relatives of Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC) and Ulster Defence Regiment (UDR) / Royal Irish Rangers (RIR) members injured or killed by republican paramilitary groups. As such FAIR has sought to campaign for recognition and compensation for those affected by republican violence particularly in the area of South Armagh.
(See: Details on vicitims organisations.)
[Web Site]

Families Against Intimidation and Terror (FAIT)
A group formed in 1990 by Nancy Gracey and others following the shoting of her son by a paramilitary organisation. The group opposed the use of violence by paramilitary groups and especially the violence directed against communities by paramilitary groups in their own midst. FAIT offered advice and assistance to those who have been intimidated by paramilitary groups. There were a number of disagreements among leading members of the group and some people split from FAIT to form new campaigning groups.

Families of the Disappeared (FOTD)
Established in 1994 to campaign for information for those families with relatives who it was alleged had 'disappeared' during the troubles in Northern Ireland at the hands of paramilitary groups, such as the Provisional Irish Republican Army (PIRA).

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

Fianna na hÉireann (FE)
The youth wing of the Irish Republican Army (IRA). Traditionally used to support the activities of the IRA.

Fianna Fáil (FF)
synonyms: Fianna Fáil The Republican Party
One of the two main political parties in the Republic of Ireland. Originally formed from the wing of Sinn Féin which opposed the treaty of 1921. Initially abstained from the Dáil but under Eamon de Valera FF entered the parliament in 1927 and first came to office in 1932. FF has been in power for much of the period since that date. In recent times however in order to form a government FF has had to enter into a coalition with other parties such as the Irish Labour Party (1993-94) and the Progressive Democrats (1997-2002 and 2002-present). Since 1997 when it was returned to office the party has been closely involved in the ongoing negotiations aimed at securing a political settlement in Northern Ireland. Of the two main parties in the Republic, FF has traditionally been regarded by many as tacking a more nationalist and republican line on matters related to Northern Ireland and a United Ireland.
[Main Entry]
[Web Site]

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. The party formed the first government of the Irish Free State but since then has frequently found itself out of office and as a result FG has held power for fewer years than FF. On those occasions when it has succeeded in going onto form a government (1973-77, 1981-82, 1983-87) the party has had to rely on the Irish Labour Party to form a coalition. Then from 1994-97 it was part of a coalition administration involving the Irish Labour Party and a smaller left-wing grouping, Democratic Left. During this period in office it was therefore closely involved in attempts to reach a political settlement in Northern Ireland. In contrast to its main rival in the Republic, Fianna Fáil, FG has traditionally viewed as being less strident in its attitude towards Northern Ireland.
[Main Entry]
[Web Site]

Force Research Unit (FRU)
synonyms: Force Reaction Unit (FRU)
Force Research Unit (FRU) was a special unit of Military (Army) Intelligence that was probably set up during 1979. FRU was a highly secret unit which sought to identify and recruit members of Republican and Loyalist paramilitary groups who could be persuaded to work as double agents on behalf of Military Intelligence. The existence of FRU only became public when Brian Nelson, then a British Army agent and an Ulster Defence Association (UDA) intelligence officer, pleaded guilty on 22 January 1992 to conspiracy to murder. This plea prevented any cross-examination of Nelson. Nelson was believed to have been involved in at least 15 killings, 15 attempted killings, and 62 conspiracies to kill, during the two years that he was handled by FRU (Taylor, 2001; p.294). Republicans claimed that FRU was one of the agencies that had been involved in collusion with Loyalist paramilitaries.

Taylor, P. (2001) Brits: The War Against the IRA.
(See also: Military Intelligence.)
[Entry added by Martin Melaugh, January 2002]

Forum for Community Work Educaiton (NI) (FCWE)
The Forum is a voluntary body which was set up in 1981 to support community work education by providing educational and training courses for community groups and community workers.

Forum for a New Ireland
synonyms: New Ireland Forum
(See: New Ireland Forum.)

Forum for Peace and Reconciliation (FPR)
This was a Forum that was established following the Downing Street Declaration. The first meeting was held on 28 October 1994 in Dublin Castle. The Forum was "to consult on and examine ways in which lasting peace, stability and reconcilation can be established by agreement among all the people of Ireland". None of the Unionist parties attended the Forum.
Paths to a Political Settlement in Ireland: Policy papers submitted to Forum for Peace and Reconciliation (1995)
[Old Web Site:]

14 Intelligence Company
synonyms: 14 Intelligence and Security Company (14 ISC); 14 Int. and Sy; 'Det'
14 Intelligence Company was a special unit of the British Army. The unit was formed in 1973 (?) and its role was to provide surveillance in parts of Northern Ireland where regular British Army and police units had difficulty operating. Its members were known as 'operators' who were drawn from a number of intelligence agencies and the Special Air Service (SAS). 14 Intelligence Company operations were based on 'Detachments' ('Det') to each of the British Army's three Brigades in Northern Ireland.

Taylor, Peter. (2001) Brits: The War Against the IRA.
(See also: Military Intelligence; Special Air Service; SAS)

Friends of Ireland (FOI ?)
An organisation formed by leading Irish-Americans who believed that the United States had a role to play in finding a settlement of the Northern Ireland conflict. The orgaisation was formally established on 16 March 1981 but those involved in the FOI had been speaking on Northern Irish matters since the conflict began. The FOI supported the Anglo-Irish Agreement and encouraged support of the associated International Fund for Ireland.

Friends of Sinn Féin
A group established in the 1990s to organise support for Sinn Féin across Ireland, Britain and North American.
[Web Site]

Friends of the Union (Group) (FOUG ?)
An organisation established in June 1986 to "increase knowledge and understanding of the need to maintain the union of Great Britain and Northern Ireland". Prominent members of the organisation at the time were John Biggs-Davison and Ian Gow both Members of Parliament. Most of the members of the group were outspoken opponents of the Anglo-Irish Agreement that was signed in November 1985. When first established, 16 Conservative Party Members of Parliament (MPs) and 8 Conservative Peers in the House of Lords were listed as trustees (or patrons) of the organisation.

(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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