Unionism in Ireland

Unionism in Ireland

Unionism in Ireland, is a belief in the desirability of a full constitutional and institutional relationship between Ireland and Great Britain based on the terms and order of government of the Act of Union 1800 which had merged both countries in 1801 to form the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland (the successor entities being the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and the Irish Free State). The term owes its origins to the campaigns by opponents of Irish home rule in the late 19th and early 20th centuries to prevent the creation of an all-Ireland home rule parliament within the United Kingdom. Because of their desire to maintain the "Act of Union" as created in 1800, without any system of devolution, they came to be known as Unionists.

Some believe that the unionist opposition to home rule was not simply based on a desire for a different structure for governance, but reflected a fundamental difference in perspective, beliefs, definition and culture between Irish Nationalists and Unionists. Whereas Nationalists were predominantly Roman Catholic, Unionists were predominantly Protestant. Almost all were descendants of English and Scottish settlers who arrived in the province of Ulster, especially after the Plantation of Ulster, in the early 17th century onwards.

ense of Britishness

Irish Unionism is centred on an identification with Britishness [Murray, D, [http://www.ul.ie/cpds/democraticdialogue.PDF Tracking Progress] , Democratic Dialogue, June 1999, pg 2] , though not necessarily to the exclusion of a sense of Irishness [Southern, N, "Britishness, “Ulsterness” and Unionist Identity in Northern Ireland " in Nationalism and Ethnic Politics, Volume 13, Issue 1 January 2007 , pages 71 - 102 at pg 75] . It emerged as a unified force in opposition to William Gladstone's Home Rule Bill in 1886 [Walker, G, A history of the Ulster Unionist Party, 2004, pg1] . Whereas Irish Nationalists believed in the need for separation from Great Britain (whether the 19th century concept of Repeal or home rule, or the 20th century desire for complete independence), Unionists believe fundamentally in the need to maintain and deepen the relationship between the various nations of the United Kingdom, expressing a pride in symbols of their Britishness. A definition of their own Britishness does not prevent some Unionists from also perceiving themselves as Irish as well as British; some Unionists, for example former Ulster Unionist Party (UUP) Member of Parliament Ken Maginnis, openly support the all-island Irish rugby team [http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/low/northern_ireland/1608786.stm] .

A key symbol for unionists is the Union Flag [http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_qn4158/is_20001025/ai_n14358571] . Unionist areas of Northern Ireland often display one or more symbols, most often the red, white and blue of the Union Flag, to show the loyalty and sense of identity of the community [Wilson, R, [http://cain.ulst.ac.uk/dd/papers/flags.htm Flagging concern] , Democratic Dialogue, July 2000] . Unionism is also known for it's allegiance to the British Crown, both historically [National Library of Ireland, [http://www.nli.ie/1916/pdf/3.1.4.pdf The 1916 Rising] ] and today. [Explaining Northern Ireland By John McGarry, Brendan O'Leary, Wiley-Blackwell ISBN 0631183495]

Unionism throughout Ireland

Throughout the 19th and early 20th centuries unionism had supporters throughout Ireland. As late as 1859 the Unionist Irish Conservative Party was predominant, winning more seats than either the Irish Liberal Party or the various Nationalist parties. By the early 20th century however the previously formed Irish Unionist Party had become predominantly associated with a geographic area covering six of the nine counties of Ulster in which settlers had settled during the Plantation of Ulster. In 1920 the Parliament of the United Kingdom passed the Government of Ireland Act which partitioned Ireland into two jurisdictions, one of which, Northern Ireland, came to be dominated by the Ulster Unionist Party. Unionism in the newly-independent southern state, known from 1922 as the Irish Free State, declined with many ex-Unionists opting to associate with Nationalist parties such as Cumann na nGaedhael and the Centre Party. Today unionism is largely associated simply with Northern Ireland, though some Unionists remain in what is now the Republic of Ireland ("See Southern Irish Unionism/Neo-Unionism below").


Though both Unionism and Nationalism attracted a number of supporters from outside their main religious faiths (Protestantism for the former, Roman Catholicism for the latter), whereas Nationalism did have a number of Protestant leaders (from Henry Grattan to Theobald Wolfe Tone and Charles Stewart Parnell), Unionism was invariably led by Protestant leaders, with few prominent Catholics involved in the Unionist parties, even if they voted for the parties at election time. The lack of Catholic leadership led to accusations of sectarianism, particularly during the period of Unionist leadership of Northern Ireland (1921–1972), when only one Catholic served in government throughout the period. Dr. G.B. Newe was specially recruited to cabinet from outside the Ulster Unionist Party to boost cross-community relations in the last government under UUP Prime Minister of Northern Ireland Brian Faulkner. Ulster Unionist Leader and Nobel Peace Prize winner David Trimble conceded that Northern Ireland had been a "cold house for Catholics" in the past.

Pro-union parties and independents contest elections and represent their constituents at a number of different levels. There is a unionist presence at election time in all parliamentary constituencies. A Unionist win is a virtual certainty in ten constituencies:
* East Antrim
* North Antrim
* South Antrim
* Belfast North
* Belfast East
* North Down
* Lagan Valley
* East Londonderry
* Strangford
* Upper Bann

Twenty peers in the House of Lords owe their peerages to a direct connection with Northern Ireland [http://www.stratagem-ni.com/nipeers.php] , usually through a political party. Of these eight Ulster Unionists (sitting as Cross-benchers) three DUP, two Conservative two Labour and one Liberal Democrat and the rest independent. As well as the two Unionist MEPs in the European Parliament, DUP MP Nigel Dodds is also an alternate member of the UK Parliament delegations to the Council of Europe and Western European Union [http://www.parliament.uk/directories/delegations] and Unionists also participate in the EU Committee of the Regions [http://cormembers.cor.eu.int/cormembers.aspx?critName=&critCountry=GB&critFunction=MEM%7CALT&critGroup=&critDossier=&iaction=Search] .

Unionist candidates stand for election in most "district electoral areas" (small areas which make up district councils) in Northern Ireland. Exceptions, in 2005, were Slieve Gullion in South Armagh, Upper and Lower Falls in Belfast, Shantallow, Northland and Cityside in Derry - all of which are strongly nationalist. Likewise, nationalist parties and candidates did not contest some areas in North Antrim, East Antrim, East Belfast, North Down and the Strangford constituency which are strongly unionist and therefore unlikely to return a nationalist candidate.

Local government in Northern Ireland is not entirely divided on nationalist-unionist lines and the level of political tension within a council depends on the district that it represents and its direct experience of the Troubles.

Future elections

Strategically, Fermanagh and South Tyrone and South Belfast will be the key target seats for unionism in the next general election, but previous experience indicates that neither seat can be won without an electoral pact between the DUP and the UUP. Both seats were lost, in 2001 and 2005 respectively, due to a divided Unionist vote.

Unionism and Republicanism

Some unionists are British republicans. There is no accurate statistical information available for how much actual support exists for the current monarchy, or an alternative British republic within unionism. There is anecdotal evidence to suggest that, while support for the monarchy amongst unionists is not perhaps as universal as is commonly assumed, the attitude among unionists who don't support the monarchy is mainly one of indifference rather than outright hostility towards the institution.

Many unionists express loyalty to the monarchy and three members of the current Royal Family hold titles with roots in Northern Ireland: The Duke of York (Baron Killyleagh), The Earl of Ulster and Baron Downpatrick.

Previous royal Irish titles included Lord of Ireland, Duke of Connaught and Strathearn, Earl of Athlone and Baron Arklow. The Queen is still technically Sovereign of the Order of St. Patrick, the highest Irish order of chivalry, and the Norroy and Ulster King of Arms is an officer in the College of Arms, London. All other royal links with Ireland were broken as the Republic of Ireland gained its independence and Irish peerages disappeared when the House of Lords was reformed.

outhern Irish Unionism/Neo-Unionism

"See Also "Unionism throughout Ireland" above"

After 1890 and particularly during the period from the start of the First World War to the mid 1920s, the number of Unionists in what is now the Republic of Ireland declined to a point where their numbers were widely regarded as almost insignificant. This is attributed to a number of factors.

# World War I: A higher rate of participation in World War I amongst Irish Unionists than among Nationalists (who were split on the issue of Irish participation in World War I) combined with the very high casualty rate amongst Irish regiments in the conflict. (Note: military conscription did not apply in Ireland.)
# Irish War of Independence: An alleged campaign of murder and ethnic cleansing in parts of the country, by some members of the Irish Republican Army (IRA) of Protestants and Unionists, particularly during and after the Anglo-Irish War, and especially in Cork (city)
where the Protestant community was largely working-class. The Cork Protestant community was famous for being unrepentantly Loyalist and became a target for an equally fanatical Republican movement. Cork Loyalists were set apart from Protestants in the rest of the country due to their large concentrated numbers and the fact that they were in the most part working-class, unlike the richer Protestants in Dublin. However, their numbers were not large enough to defend themselves or to make a large stand like the Protestants in Ulster. Many simply migrated or were forced into migration. There is disagreement among historians over whether such murders were "part of a widespread organised campaign" or "just a handful of isolated incidents".
# Emigration: Large numbers of Unionists leaving Ireland (voluntarily or otherwise) in the years before and after independence, mainly for Northern Ireland, Great Britain and Canada.
# Assimilation: Many of those remaining to some degree underwent a gradual process of cultural assimilation into Irish society and culture. This was encouraged by the Free State government and was largely accepted as it was generally perceived that the issue of Unionism had (as far as the South was concerned) become "a lost cause" also during the Irish Civil War most Unionists found themselves supporting the Pro-treaty government (if only as "the lesser of two evils"). On the other hand to some extent the process of assimilation had begun even prior to Irish independence with many Protestants playing leading roles in the Irish Nationalist and Gaelic revival movements.
# Intermarriage and the Ne Temere decree: The decline in the numbers of Unionists reflected the decline in the Protestant Population in the Republic (Unionists were/are largely, though not exclusively Protestant) Much of which was down to the fact that In most areas of the Free state Protestants were a small minority of the population and the widespread practice of bringing children of mixed (Protestant/Roman Catholic) marriages up as Roman Catholics (often because of community/family pressure and the Ne Temere decree).

Some Unionists in the south simply adapted and began to associate themselves with the new southern Irish regime of W. T. Cosgrave and Cumann na nGaedhael. On January 19, 1922, leading Unionists held a meeting and unanimously decided to support fully the government of the new Free State. Many gained appointment to the Irish Free State Senate, including the Earl of Dunraven as a Senator when Thomas Westropp Bennett an Anglo-Irish Catholic was Cathaiorleach (pronounced 'ka-here-loch'). One Unionist political family, the Dockrells, joined and became TDs (MPs) over a number of generations for Cumann na nGaedhael and its successor party, Fine Gael (the governing party in the 1920s, the main opposition from 1932 onwards).

However since the late 1920s there have been few actual Unionists elected to the Dáil or Senate. The Dublin borough of Rathmines had a unionist majority up to the late 1920s, when a local government re-organisation abolished all Dublin borough councils.

Having lost their sense of citizenship (which some non-Unionists saw as a privileged status), most Irish Unionists simply withdrew from public life. The number of Protestants declined in the Irish Free State and in its successor state, the Republic of Ireland. IRA attacks in the 1920s drove away many who assisted the British in the Anglo-Irish War, in the process burning 300 historic homes as reprisals for the Crown forces' destruction of the homes and property of republicans, suspected or actual.

Others had suffered disproportionately in World War I, losing their sons and heirs on the bloodied fields of Flanders and the Somme. Some that remained became victims of the Roman Catholic Church's "Ne Temere" decree imposed by Pope Pius X, which required Catholics in mixed marriages to ensure that all children of the marriage were brought up to follow the Roman Catholic Church. It is unclear to what extent this decree contributed to the decline in the southern Protestant population.

As a result, many eligible Protestant women, who because of the deaths of Protestant men in World War I were denied the availability of Protestant husbands, either married Catholics or remained unmarried, either way ending the Protestant family line. This reversed an earlier trend of Catholics becoming Protestant to avoid discrimination.

Furthermore, land reform from the 1870s to the 1900s broke up many of the large estates. Protestant families, who had owned most of the land, saw it returned to their largely Catholic tenantry. Many chose in the 1920s to use their compensation money to settle in Britain, often in other estates they owned there.

In addition, the disestablishment of the Church of Ireland from 1871 by an Act of Parliament led that Church to sell many of its estates and bishops' palaces, in the process laying off many Protestant workers who themselves then moved away. (Previously, the Church had had considerable wealth thanks to tithes (mandatory taxes) which the local Roman Catholic, Presbyterian and Methodist communities had to pay to the (Anglican) Church of Ireland. The loss of this money underlined the economic vulnerability of the Church of Ireland.)

However, it is widely (though not universally) accepted that little evidence of widespread discrimination against Protestants in the Irish Free State/Éire exists. The first President of Ireland, Douglas Hyde (1938 – 1945), and the fourth, Erskine Hamilton Childers (1973-74), belonged to the Church of Ireland, though Childers was one of only two senior Irish politicians to attend Hyde's Church of Ireland funeral. Mary Robinson, nee Mary Bourke, the seventh President has both Catholic and Protestant branches in her family, and is married to a Protestant, Nicholas Robinson, although her children were raised as Roman Catholics and her parents boycotted her wedding.

Leading ex-Unionists like the Earl of Granard and the Provost of Trinity College Dublin gained appointment to the President of Ireland's advisory body, the Council of State.

Some people draw a distinction between membership of the "Unionist tradition" (those with a strong cultural or ethnic identification with Britain) and actually advocating Unionism as a political philosophy. There is also a distinction drawn between "Partitionist" Unionism (i.e., not desiring a United Ireland) and Neo-Unionism (the aspiration for Southern Ireland to reunify with Britain), the extent of support for which is widely regarded as negligible.

Southern Irish Unionists are sometimes referred to as "Anglo-Irish", an often incorrect term as many Irish of English descent were staunch nationalists, for example Wolfe Tone, Casement etc (or sometimes in the case of Ulster "Scots-Irish" or in America, "Scotch-Irish") or (often disparagingly) "West British".

The study of Irish history from a Unionist perspective is known in the Republic of Ireland as revisionist history, although some Catholic writers are regarded as revisionists, such as Kevin Myers and Eoghan Harris. Indeed, a (Southern) Irish Unionist is as likely to be Catholic (or of "other"/no religion) as Protestant. In turn, most nationalist historians today accept that the nationalist histories written in 1920-60 are often biased and simplistic, and a synthesis is emerging.

However, many historians have come to view that the "accepted" and traditional view of the history of the British Isles, particularly that of the history of the Gaels, was already subject to historical revisionism (for example, in the "Book of the Taking of Ireland", known as "The Book of Invasions").

While Southern Unionists in many ways identify with their Northern counterparts one respect in which they differ is describing themselves as "Irish" Unionists". Some Northern Unionists no longer like to regard themselves as Irish at all because, while the term may be geographically correct, it is often perceived as being synonymous with "Gaelic" culture and Irish Nationalist views (with which Ulster Unionists "ipso facto" do not identify) and prefer the term "Ulster" Unionist. Southern Unionists however contend that "Irish” does not necessarily imply "Gaelic” and the term "Ulster Unionist" is both geographically incorrect (part of Ulster is in the Republic of Ireland) and excludes Unionists from the other three Irish provinces (Leinster, Munster and Connaught).Fact|date=June 2007

Today, the Reform Movement, the Irish Unionist Alliance, and the Loyal Irish Union are active Irish Unionist or Neo-Unionist organisations in the Republic of Ireland.


ee also

Unionism in Northern Ireland

* Catholic Unionist
* The Border
* Demographics and politics of Northern Ireland
* Government of Ireland Act 1920
* The News Letter
* Scots-Irish
* Ulster Loyalist


* Act of Union 1800
* 1918 Irish General Election
* Anglo-Irish
* Donegal Progressive Party
* National League Party
* Stan Gebler Davies
* Ireland Act 1949
* Irish Unionist Alliance
* Loyal Irish Union
* Language Freedom Movement
* Reform Movement
* West Brits

Wider interests

* Commonwealth
* European Union
* Falkland Islands
* Gibraltar
* The Scots-Irish in North America
* Scottish Unionism

Unionist political parties

* Conservative Party (1830-)
* Ulster Unionist Party (UUP 1905-)
* Democratic Unionist Party (DUP 1971-)
* Progressive Unionist Party (PUP 1979-)
* UK Unionist Party (UKUP 1995-)
* United Unionist Coalition (UUC 1998-)

* Irish Conservative Party (mid 19th century)
* Irish Metropolitan Conservative Society (1836-1859)
* Irish Unionist Party (late 19th century / early 20th century)
* Ulster Unionist Labour Association (1917-c.1974)
* Northern Ireland Labour Party (1922-1987)
* Ulster Liberal Party (c.1929-c.1985)
* Ulster Progressive Unionist Association (1938-c.1943)
* Commonwealth Labour Party (1942-1947)
* Protestant Unionist Party (1966-1971)
* Ulster Constitution Party (early 1970s)
* Loyalist Coalition (1973)
* Vanguard Progressive Unionist Party (1973-1978)
* Volunteer Political Party (1974)
* United Ulster Unionist Council (1974-1977)
* Unionist Party of Northern Ireland (1974-1981)
* United Ulster Unionist Party (1977-1984)
* Ulster Popular Unionist Party (1980-1995)
* Ulster Loyalist Democratic Party (1981-1989)
* Ulster Democratic Party (1989-2001)
* Northern Ireland Unionist Party (1999-2003)



* [http://www.obelus.org/index.php?artID=11 Anonymous (2005) Obelus.org "Ulster Unionism: dead but not gone"]
* [http://www.openrepublic.org/open_republic/20050619_vol1_no1/content/20050619_ru.htm Coulter, J. (2005) Open Republic "Revolutionary Unionism"]
* [http://www.guardian.co.uk/comment/story/0,3604,1570252,00.html Hastings, M. (2005) The Guardian "The last writhings of a society left beached by history"]
* [http://www.labour.ie/northernireland/NBN.html Langhammer, M. (2005) The North Belfast News "Analysis of the Malaise in Protestant Heartlands."]
* [http://www.guardian.co.uk/Northern_Ireland/Story/0,,1091445,00.html Peacocke, D. (2003) The Observer "A job to be done"]
* [http://irishloyal.awardspace.info/site/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=15&Itemid=28 Christopher D (2006) "The fate of Cork unionists 1919-1921"]
* [ Wheatcroft, G. (1998) New Statesman "Ethnic cleansing in the Free State - Protestants in the Republic of Ireland"]

Books and reports

* [http://www.cain.ulster.ac.uk/issues/politics/docs/alcock.htm Alcock, A. (1994) Understanding Ulster (chap 2) The Unloved, Unwanted Garrison - The Unionist Community in Northern Ireland. Lurgan : Ulster Society]
* Buckland, Patrick "Irish Unionism I: The Anglo-Irish and the New Ireland, 1885-1922", Dublin: 1972.
* Buckland, Patrick "Irish Unionism II: Ulster Unionism and the Origins of Northern Ireland, 1886-1922", Dublin: 1973.
* Farrington, C. (2006) "Ulster Unionism and the Peace Process in Northern Ireland." Palgrave Macmillan.
* [http://www.cain.ulster.ac.uk/issues/politics/union/fcchap2.htm Cochrane, F. (1997) "Unionist Politics and the Politics of Unionism since the Anglo-Irish Agreement". Cork : Cork University Press.]
* [http://www.sluggerotoole.com/home/reports/the_long_peace.pdf Fealty, M., Ringland, T. & Steven D. (2003) "A Long Peace? The Future of Unionism in Northern Ireland"]
* Jackson, Alvin "Colonel Edward Sanunderson: Land and Loyalty in Victorian Ireland", Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1995.
* Jackson, Alvin "The Ulster Party: Irish Unionists in the House of Commons, 1884-1911", Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1989.
* McCartney, R. (2001) "Reflections on Liberty, Democracy and The Union". Dublin : Maunsel.
* McDonald, H. (2000) "Trimble". Bloomsbury.
* [http://www.cain.ulster.ac.uk/issues/politics/docs/porter.htm Porter, N. (1996) "Rethinking Unionism: an alternative vision for Northern Ireland". Blackstaff : Belfast.]
* [http://www.cain.ulster.ac.uk/issues/politics/docs/shirlow97.htm Shirlow, P. & McGovern, M. (1997) "Who Are The People?Unionism, Protestantism and Loyalism in Northern Ireland." Pluto : London]
* Walker, G. (2004) "A History of the Ulster Unionist Party". Manchester: Manchester University Press.


The following Unionist parties have contested at least one election in Northern Ireland since 2001 and produced online manifestos (all PDF format):;Conservative and Unionist Party
* [http://www.psr.keele.ac.uk/area/uk/e01/man/con/manifesto_uk.pdf Westminster 2001]
* [http://cain.ulst.ac.uk/issues/politics/docs/cp/cp03man.pdf Assembly 2003]
* [http://www.conservatives.com/pdf/manifesto-uk-2005.pdf Westminster 2005] ;Democratic Unionist Party (DUP)
* [http://www.dup.org.uk/pdf/DUPWminster2001Manifesto.pdf Westminster 2001]
* [http://www.dup.org.uk/pdf/DUPAssembly2003Manifesto.pdf Assembly 2003]
* [http://www.dup.org.uk/pdf/DUPManifesto05.pdf Westminster 2005] ;Progressive Unionist Party (PUP)
* [http://www.cain.ulster.ac.uk/issues/politics/docs/pup/pup03man.pdf Assembly 2003] ;Ulster Unionist Party (UUP)
* [http://www.cain.ulster.ac.uk/issues/politics/docs/uup/uup01.pdf Westminster 2001]
* [http://www.uup.org/uup_stormont_manifesto.pdf Assembly 2003]
* [http://www.uup.org/uup_manifesto2005.pdf Westminster 2005]


* [http://www.thehist.com/index.php?option=content&task=view&id=268&Itemid=714 Minutes] & [http://www.thehist.com/index.php?option=com_docman&task=cat_view&gid=135&Itemid=716 Recordings] of a College Historical Society debate on the state of modern Unionism, featuring Dr. Garret FitzGerald, Albert Reynolds, Jeffrey Donaldson and Mark Durkan


* [http://www.brugesgroup.com/mediacentre/speeches.live?article=204 Donaldson, J. (2004) The Bruges Group "The European Union - an Unionist/Ulster perspective"]
* [http://www.royal.gov.uk/output/page4144.asp HM The Queen (2002) Golden Jubilee Address to the Northern Ireland Assembly]
* [http://www.peterrobinson.org/KeyArticles.asp?Article_ID=300 Robinson, P. (2006) The Planter and The Gael]
* [http://nobelprize.org/peace/laureates/1998/trimble-lecture.html Trimble, D. (1998) Nobel Peace Prize]
* [http://www.conservatives.com/tile.do?def=news.story.page&obj_id=18099&speeches=1 Trimble, D. (2001) Conservative Party Conference]



Analytical sites do not necessarily imply support for political causes:
* [http://www.actofunion.ac.uk/ Act of Union 1800 Archive]
* [http://www.britainandireland.org British Council : website on Anglo-Irish relationships]
* [http://www.cadogan.org/ Cadogan Group]
* [http://www.devolution.ac.uk/ Devolution and Constitutional Change Project]
* [http://www.irish-association.org/ Irish Association]
* [http://www.proni.gov.uk/ulstercovenant/ Ulster Covenant 1913 Archive]


Cultural sites do not necessarily imply support for political causes:
* [http://www.apprenticeboys.co.uk/ Apprentice Boys of Derry]
* [http://www.newsletter.co.uk Belfast Newsletter]
* [http://www.bbc.co.uk/proms/pitp/belfast.shtml Belfast Proms in the Park]
* [http://www.rangers.co.uk/ Glasgow Rangers Football Club] (largely unionist following)
* [http://www.iloi.org/ Independent Orange Order]
* [http://www.grandorange.org.uk/ Orange Order]
* [http://www.pulseresources.org/ Protestant Unionist Loyalist Social Education]
* [http://www.royalblack.org/ Royal Black Institution]
* [http://www.ulsterscotsagency.com/ Ulster Scots Agency]
* [http://www.ulstersociety.org/ Ulster Society]

Integrationist (with Great Britain)

* [http://www.republic.org.uk/groups/northernireland.php British Republic Campaign]
* [http://www.conservativesni.com Conservative Party in Northern Ireland]
* [http://www.unionist.org.uk Friends of the Union (archive)]
* [http://www.labour-lini.org.uk/ Labour in Northern Ireland Campaign]


A number of Acts of Parliament and other laws provide a legal framework for the union:
* Act of Union 1800
* Government of Ireland Act 1920
* [http://www.uniset.ca/naty/IrelandAct1949.pdf Ireland Act 1949]
* [http://www.opsi.gov.uk/acts/acts1998/19980047.htm Northern Ireland Act 1998]
* [http://www.nics.gov.uk/mou/index.htm Memorandum of Understanding (Devolution)]
* [http://www.nics.gov.uk/mou/nio.htm Concordat between NIO and Northern Ireland Executive]

Political parties

* [http://www.conservatives.com Conservative and Unionist Party]
* [http://www.dup.org.uk Democratic Unionist Party]
* [http://www.pup-ni.org.uk Progressive Unionist Party]
* [http://www.uup.org Ulster Unionist Party]

outhern Ireland/Neo-Unionist

* [http://www.borderminoritygroup.ie Border Minority Group]
* [http://www.irishunionism.org/ Irish Unionist Alliance]
* [http://www.irishloyal.com Loyal Irish Union]
* [http://www.reform.org/ Reform Movement]
* [http://www.csc.tcd.ie/~unionist/ Trinity College Unionist Association (archive)]


Some official agencies and organisations at a national level have developed specific structural links as part of the union. These links reflect the responsibilities of the agency or organisation to the citizens of Northern Ireland and the other UK regions. However, they do not indicate support for political unionism as the UK Civil Service is regulated by strict laws on impartiality. In addition, Northern Ireland is nowadays part of a web of co-operative links with the Republic of Ireland (north-south), the United Kingdom (east-west), the European Union and the United States.

* [http://www.privycouncil.gov.uk/output/page1.asp Privy Council]
* [http://www.royal.gov.uk/output/Page3044.asp The Queen]

"Central Government"
* [http://www.number-10.gov.uk/output/page646.asp 10 Downing Street]
* [http://www.direct.gov.uk Government Internet Portal]
* [http://www.gnn.gov.uk/content/default.asp?NewsAreaID=2&LocaleID=14 Government News Network (GNN)]
* [http://www.nio.gov.uk Northern Ireland Office]
* [http://www.scotlandoffice.gov.uk/ Scotland Office]
* [http://www.walesoffice.gov.uk/ Wales Office]

* [http://www.northsouthministerialcouncil.org/ North-South Ministerial Council]
* [http://www.britishirishcouncil.org/ British-Irish Council]
* [http://archive.ofmdfmni.gov.uk/onieb/index.htm Office of the Northern Ireland Executive, Brussels]
* [http://www.nibureau.com/ Northern Ireland Bureau, Washington DC]

* [http://www.niassembly.gov.uk/ Northern Ireland Assembly]
* [http://www.nics.gov.uk/ Northern Ireland Executive]
* [http://www.onlineni.net/index/individuals.htm Northern Ireland Internet Portal]
* [http://www.scotland.gov.uk/Home Scottish Executive]
* [http://www.scottish.parliament.uk/home.htm Scottish Parliament]
* [http://www.wales.gov.uk/index.htm Welsh Assembly]

* [http://www.parliament.uk/parliamentary_committees/northern_ireland_affairs.cfm Northern Ireland Affairs Committee]
* [http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm/cmnirelg.htm Northern Ireland Grand Committee 2005/2006]
* [http://www.parliament.uk/parliamentary_committees/scottish_affairs_committee.cfm Scottish Affairs Committee]
* [http://www.parliament.uk/parliamentary_committees/welsh_affairs_committee.cfm Welsh Affairs Committee]
* [http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm/cmwelshg.htm Welsh Grand Committee 2005/2006]

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  • Unionism — /ˈjunjənɪzəm/ (say yoohnyuhnizuhm) noun 1. loyalty to or advocacy of the union between Great Britain and Ireland. 2. US loyalty to the federal union of the United States of America, especially at the time of the Civil War …   Australian English dictionary

  • British unionism — or Unionism is a belief in the continued political union between the constituent countries of the United Kingdom, brought about by the Acts of Union in 1535–1542 (England and Wales), 1707 (England and Scotland) and 1801 (Great Britain and… …   Wikipedia

  • Northern Ireland Act 1998 — Parliament of the United Kingdom Long title An Act to make new provision for the government of Northern Ireland for the purpose of implementing the agreement reached at multi party talks on Northern Ireland set out in Co …   Wikipedia

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