Northern Ireland Timeline
Ireland before Partition
12th-13th centuries: Ireland was colonised by Anglo-Normans with a central administration
established, but this was uneven and insecure. Intermittent plantation and conquest under Henry
VIII and his children Edward VI, Mary and Elizabeth I resulted in Ireland being more
thoroughly subjected to the English Crown.
17th century (early 1600s): plantation of the province of Ulster under King James I. By 1641
Protestants owned 41% of the land and were a majority in the Irish parliament. Territory of
Northern Ireland largely follows that of these plantation settlements.
1649-52: Oliver Cromwell reconquers Ireland. Estimated 616,000 dead of a population of
1685: by now Protestants’ share of the Irish population is 20% (predominantly in Ulster) and
they own 80% of the land.
1688: a Catholic restoration to the English Crown fails when King James II, the last Catholic
monarch, is overthrown and the Dutch (Protestant) Prince William of Orange and his wife Mary
are jointly offered the Crown by parliament, leading to a second conquest of the three kingdoms
of the British Isles.
1689: William of Orange wins the siege of Derry against Irish Catholic royalists.
1690, 12 July: William of Orange’s troops win the Battle of the Boyne against James II’s.
1690s: More settlers to Ulster, particularly from Scotland, and more land confiscations. (By 1778
Catholic land ownership was down to only 5%.)
1690s-1829: Catholics subjected to penal laws in Ireland. Excluded from religious, political and
social establishments; Catholic schools, burials and marriage banned. Presbyterians in Ulster also
faced Anglican discrimination and exclusion but not as severe and removed by 1780.
1690s-1800: English then British Crown ruled Ireland indirectly through Anglo-Irish Protestant
élite in a Dublin parliament.
1707: Scotland entered into full parliamentary union with England, creating Great Britain.
18th century: much agrarian violence with an ethno-religious character. Armed conflict between
rival secret societies of Catholic and Protestant peasants was common in parts of Ulster.
1790s: post-French Revolution Britain was at war with France and concerned about its vulnerable
western border (Ireland). Catholic Relief Act passed in the Irish parliament 1793, giving Catholics
voting rights but still not the right to sit in parliament.
1791: Presbyterian radicals in Antrim, Down and Dublin formed the United Irishmen, embracing
Catholic emancipation and gaining support amongst Catholics and Presbyterians.
1798: United Irishmen uprising (failed).
1801: Act of Union whereby the Irish parliament was formally integrated into the Imperial
Parliament of Great Britain and Ireland. (Full Catholic emancipation proposed by William Pitt
was not passed.)
1801 onwards: Britain controlled Ireland directly through the Union. Ireland was formally
integrated into Britain in the new state the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, but was
never treated the same way as other parts of the UK.
19th century: competing political ideologies of Irish Nationalism and Unionism developed.
19th century: various small-scale Nationalist/Republican insurrections in 1803, 1848 and 1867. As
with the earlier United Irishmen, many of these Irish Nationalists/Republicans were Protestant.
1830s-1840s: ‘Repeal of the Union’ movement (Daniel O’Connell).
1845-49: the Great Famine in Ireland, after which Irish Nationalist politics diverge between
militant Irish Nationalism and parliamentary Nationalism.
1870s onwards: Home Rule movements (Isaac Butt and Charles Stewart Parnell).
1886: first attempt to pass Home Rule bill in Westminster fails.
1893: second attempt to pass Home Rule bill in Westminster fails.
1905: Ulster Unionist Council (UUC) forms to resist Home Rule.
1911: third attempt to pass Home Rule bill in Westminster succeeds; bill due to become law in
1914. Ulster Unionists threaten civil war if the bill comes into force.
1912: the Ulster Volunteer Force (UVF) is formed – a military force of thousands of Protestants.
Nationalists respond by establishing the National Volunteers and its breakaway group the Irish
1914 June: an amending bill to permit any Ulster county to vote itself out of Home Rule for a
few years is introduced in the House of Lords; the Lords demand the exclusion of all of Ulster
from the bill. World War I begins.
1914, 12 July: the UUC declares itself the provisional government of Ulster.
1914 September: the Home Rule bill passes into law but is not operational during WWI. During
WWI the UVF is formed into an exclusive division of the British military, a privilege not granted
Irish Nationalists who fought for the UK during WWI.
1916 April: Easter Rising rebellion against British rule.
1918 December: Sinn Féin, standing for full Irish independence, wins an electoral victory in the
General Election (the last island-wide election held in Ireland), winning 73 of the 105 Irish seats
in the British House of Commons.
1919 January: elected members of Sinn Féin (those not in prison or killed) declare an Irish
Republic and convene the First Dáil Éireann (Assembly of Ireland). The Irish War of
Independence/Anglo-Irish War (1919-1921/22) breaks out on the same day between guerrilla
forces of the IRA and the British military, as the British government refuses to recognize the
legitimacy of the First Dáil.
1920: Government of Ireland Act partitions the island of Ireland, creating two jurisdictions and
parliaments (Northern Ireland and Southern Ireland). A 6-county (Antrim, Armagh, Down,
Londonderry, Fermanagh and Tyrone) Northern Ireland province of the UK is created; this has a
devolved parliament at Stormont in Belfast with wide-ranging powers but no control over the
armed forces and foreign affairs. The armed Ulster Special Constabulary (USC) is established at
the end of 1920, almost totally Protestant.
1921 December to January 1922: the Anglo-Irish Treaty is signed between the UK Government
and representatives of the de facto Irish Republic and ratified in Ireland, ending the war and
creating a 26-county Irish Free State with British dominion status (coming into force in
December 1922) and allowing Northern Ireland to opt out of the Irish Free State. The Treaty
also provides for a Boundary Commission to review the provisional border established with the
1920 Government of Ireland Act, should Northern Ireland opt out of the Irish Free State (which
it did). In the aftermath of the War, the Act and the Treaty there is widespread communal
violence in Northern Ireland and Irish Republican Army (IRA) guerrilla activity against the new
Northern Ireland ‘statelet’.
1922 June to May 1923: the Irish Civil War is fought between pro- and anti-Treaty Nationalists
(anti-Treaty IRA forces lose).
1923: the Northern Ireland government is given control over its security and policing.
1925: the Boundary Commission wants to transfer some land to Northern Ireland, causing
controversy; the three governments decide to ignore the Commission’s report and largely
confirm the existing border. The Irish Free State is released of its Treaty obligation to the British
national debt in exchange for accepting the border.
Northern Ireland after Partition
Late 1920s/early 1930s: sectarian speeches by the Unionist leadership in Northern Ireland
become more common.
1934: Northern Irish Prime Minister James Craig speaks of a ‘Protestant parliament for a
Protestant people’, in response to the statement of a Nationalist politician in the Free State about
a Catholic state for a Catholic people.
1937: new Irish Constitution contains a territorial claim on Northern Ireland and gives the
Catholic Church a ‘special position’ in the state.
1948 September: Irish Government severs ties with the British Commonwealth.
1949: the UK’s Ireland Bill recognises the 26-county Ireland as the completely independent
Republic of Ireland, no longer part of His Majesty’s Dominions.
1963: Terence O’Neill becomes Northern Ireland’s Prime Minister, attempting some reforms.
1960s: by now the Catholic middle-class has increased but at the same time the position of the
least privileged Catholics has deteriorated (the unskilled section of the Protestant working-class
has diminished but it has increased in the Catholic working-class). Meanwhile Northern Ireland is
influenced by changing Anglo-Irish relations stemming from economic growth in the Republic
and its desire for entry to the European Economic Community.
Early 1960s: political pressure groups such as the Campaign for Social Justice (CSJ) form,
agitating about discrimination against Catholics, discrimination in public housing allocation,
public employment (Catholics were seriously under-represented above manual labour level), and
local government elections (there was still a property-based electoral system which meant
Catholics were over-represented among the disenfranchised because of their lower average socio-
economic position). Gerrymandering of local government elections also occurred to keep
Nationalists out of control.
1964: an organised civil rights movement develops in Northern Ireland, influenced by the
international civil rights agenda of the 1960s.
1967: the Northern Ireland Civil Rights Association (NICRA) forms.
Mid-1968: civil rights movement leads demonstrations, faced with Loyalist counter-
demonstrations led by the Reverend Ian Paisley and Major Ronald Bunting.
1968 October: a civil rights march in Derry results in rioting and confrontations with the Royal
Ulster Constabulary (RUC, the police), which was widely shown on national and international
television. (The Cameron Commission that investigates concludes that the RUC used
1968 November: the Unionist government issues a five-point reform programme but this was
not accepted by either the civil rights movement or most Unionists.
1969 January: a People’s Democracy protest march from Belfast to Derry ends in violent clashes
with Loyalists and off-duty B Specials (the only remaining division of the USC) in and near
1969: political crisis, dissolution of parliament, resignation of O’Neill.
1969 July-August: violent communal riots leading to 1,505 of Belfast’s 28,616 Catholic
households being forced to leave their homes. (1969-1972 estimated 30,000 to 60,000 people
driven out of their homes, 80% Catholic and 20% Protestant.) In urban areas wholesale
population movements lead to separate Protestant and Catholic enclaves, particularly in working-
class areas. The events of 1968 and 1969 lead to community vigilantes forming and the
resurgence of paramilitarism.
1969 August: British Army deployed to the streets of Belfast and Derry to maintain order.
Initially seen as protectors by the Catholic community.
1970 June: massive arms search and curfew of the Lower Falls Road in Catholic west Belfast,
during which soldiers abused local people, allegedly stole property and caused unnecessary
damage. The IRA gains increased support and recruits.
1971: the Provisional IRA moves to the offensive and begins actively targeting personnel of the
British Army, the Ulster Defence Regiment (UDR) and the RUC.
1971: internment without trial for suspected terrorists is introduced (ended in 1975). More
recruits to the IRA.
1972 January: Bloody Sunday – the army fires on a banned civil rights demonstration in Derry
attended by nearly 10,000 people, killing 14 civilians and wounding others. Boosts the IRA.
1972 May: the Official IRA declares an indefinite ceasefire, contributing to new members for the
Early 1970s: major political realignments of Unionist and Nationalist parliamentary politics and
political parties. (Ulster Unionist Party fractures; 1970 Alliance Party of Northern Ireland formed
by those against violence; 1971 Democratic Unionist Party formed by Ian Paisley and Desmond
Boal; 1972 Unionist pressure group the Ulster Vanguard, supported by Loyalist paramilitaries, is
formed. On the Nationalist side the Nationalist Party declines and in 1970 the Social Democratic
and Labour Party is formed in its place by moderate Catholics.) Violent Republican and Loyalist
1972 March: British PM (Conservative) Edward Heath imposes Direct Rule from Westminster,
proroguing the Stormont parliament.
1972: ‘special category’ status granted to paramilitary prisoners, allowing them to wear civilian
clothes and have more visits etc.
1973 December: talks held in Sunningdale in England with the British government, the UUP, the
SDLP, the APNI and the Irish government, to try to establish a Northern Ireland Assembly
elected by proportional representation (effectively Unionist and Nationalist power-sharing).
1974: new power-sharing Assembly is attempted but the United Ulster Unionist Council rejects
the Sunningdale proposals and another UUP leader (Faulkner) is forced to resign.
1974 May: the Ulster Workers’ Council (UWC), a new Loyalist group with involvement of the
UDA and UVF, calls a general strike which paralyses Northern Ireland. The Assembly collapses
and administration of Northern Ireland reverts to the Secretary of State and Direct Rule from
1974: Prevention of Terrorism Act brought in after the PIRA bombs in Birmingham in which 21
1975: PIRA ceasefire for much of the year and failed talks between the British government and
Provisional Sinn Féin. Renewed violence.
1975 onwards: political stalemate and long term armed conflict. British government adopts policy
of criminalization, redefining the problem of Northern Ireland as one of criminal activity rather
than political or constitutional struggle and refusing to call events in the region a war. (Counter-
insurgency measures: non-jury, single-judge ‘Diplock courts’; RUC interrogations and confessions
with allegations of torture and inhumane treatment; undercover operations; the use of informers.)
1976 March: withdrawal of ‘special category’ status from paramilitary prisoners.
1976 September: beginning of the ‘blanket protest’ in response to the new prison rules.
1978: beginning of prison protest known to Republicans as the ‘no-wash protest’ and to the
authorities as the ‘dirty protest’. (Outside the prisons Republicans attack prison officers, killing 18
between 1976 and 1980.)
1980 October-December: first prison hunger strike (both male and female prisoners).
1981 March-December: second prison hunger strike (male prisoners only), resulting in the deaths
of 10 men. Concessions given after the end of the strike came close to the five demands of the
prisoners but avoided the term ‘political status’. PM Margaret Thatcher’s management of the
hunger strikes attracted worldwide criticism. The hunger strikes mobilized support for
republicanism like nothing else since the civil rights movement. Hunger striker Bobby Sands
elected as an MP to Westminster before his death; two other prisoners were elected to the Irish
End of 1981 onwards: Sinn Féin adopts the ‘ballot box and Armalite’ strategy.
1981/82: ‘supergrass trials’ where mass arrests were made and dubious trials held on information
given to the RUC by informers promised immunity from prosecution, short sentences or
1985 November: British and Irish governments sign the Anglo-Irish Agreement. Total Unionist
opposition; all 15 Unionist MPs resign their seats, mass demonstrations are held, and March 1986
‘Day of Action’ shuts down much of Northern Ireland’s commerce and industry. Rioting in
Protestant areas of Belfast and Loyalist snipers attack the RUC. Wider anti-Agreement Unionist
civil disobedience campaign follows.
1988: open talks between the SDLP and Sinn Féin, then secret talks between John Hume (SDLP)
and Gerry Adams (SF) in subsequent years. These talks are generally seen as the beginning of the
1990: speech by the Northern Ireland Secretary of State, Peter Brooke, stating that Britain had
‘no selfish strategic or economic interest in Northern Ireland’.
1991-92 Brooke-Mayhew inter-party talks involved the British and Irish governments and the
four main Northern Ireland constitutional parties (UUP, DUP, SDLP and APNI). No major
Early 1990s: secret communications between the British government and Republicans go on for
about three years.
1993 December: Downing Street Declaration (Joint Declaration on Peace). British and Irish
governments state they want to see peace established by agreement among all the people
inhabiting the island, which could include a united Ireland, provided that was consented to in
referenda in both the north and south. Britain also reiterates Brooke’s 1990 statement.
1994 August: first PIRA ceasefire (indefinite).
1994 October: Loyalist ceasefire (UVF, UDA and Red Hand Commandos).
1994-95: decommissioning of PIRA weapons as a precondition for peace talks is a major
1995 February: British/Irish Framework Documents on Northern Ireland are published,
outlining some initial proposals for a political settlement.
1996 January: Mitchell Report on arms decommissioning (headed by US Senator George
Mitchell) concludes that decommissioning of paramilitary weapons should take place during
(rather than before or after) all-party talks (twin-track process). Most Unionists are strongly
opposed to this. Twin-track talks begin with SDLP, Progressive Unionist Party (PUP), and Ulster
Democratic Party (UDP). UUP and DUP choose not to be involved and Sinn Féin is not
1996 February: PIRA ends its ceasefire because Sinn Féin is excluded from the peace talks by
John Major’s Conservative government, and explodes the Canary Wharf bomb in London.
1996 May: elections to a Northern Ireland Forum for Political Dialogue are held to determine
who will take part in all-party peace negotiations.
1996 June: initial talks then multi-party negotiations are held at Stomont but Sinn Féin is still
excluded. PIRA bomb in Manchester.
1996 July: serious violence surrounds the annual Drumcree march by the Orange Order in
Portadown. Continuity Irish Republican Army launches a car bomb attack in Enniskillen. A
committee to review issues relating to contentious parades/marches is announced.
1997 May: in the general elections a Labour Government is elected under PM Tony Blair.
1997 June: Stormont peace talks resume.
1997 July: DUP and United Kingdom Unionist Party (UKUP) withdraw from the talks over
decommissioning issues. PIRA renews its ceasefire. Serious violence again surrounds the
Drumcree Orange Order parade.
1997 August: Independent International Commission on Decommissioning is agreed on. Sinn
Féin is invited into the talks.
1997 September/October: multi-party talks resume.
1998 January: the UDP is banned from the talks after UDA/UFF killings. Tony Blair announces
a new Bloody Sunday Inquiry chaired by Lord Saville (his report has still not been published but
looks likely to be released in 2010).
1998, 10 April: Good Friday Agreement (Belfast Agreement) is signed (US President Clinton was
instrumental in the final cajoling), providing for the establishment of a power-sharing devolved
government in the form of the Northern Ireland Assembly.
The Good Friday Agreement was endorsed at concurrent referenda in Northern Ireland (71% in
favour) and the Republic of Ireland (94% in favour), though voter turnout was much higher in
Northern Ireland than in the Republic and in the north support for the Agreement was much
much higher among the Catholic population than the Protestant one.
After the Good Friday Agreement
(BBC timeline on the Northern Ireland Assembly is also useful:
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/northern_ireland/7932068.stm and election results are available
1998 June: in the first Northern Ireland Assembly elections the UUP and the SDLP are the
largest Unionist and Nationalist parties respectively, though the DUP and Sinn Féin make very
1998 August: large bomb in Omagh kills 29 people, the worst single incident in the war. (Real
IRA with assistance from Continuity IRA.) The problem of continued violence and threatened
violence from so-called ‘dissident’ Republican paramilitaries is ongoing and has increased in the
last couple of years.
1999 December: governing powers are transferred to the NI Assembly. The DUP accepts its
posts in the Executive even though it opposes the Agreement, refusing to work with Sinn Féin.
2001 October: first act of PIRA weapons decommissioning; subsequent acts ending with their
final act of decommissioning in September 2005. (Progress has been more ambiguous with
regard to Loyalist decommissioning.)
2001 November: the RUC is officially renamed the Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI).
2002 October: after ongoing political deadlock in this year the Assembly is suspended and Direct
Rule from Westminster reintroduced.
2003 November: in the NI Assembly elections the DUP overtakes the UUP as the largest
Unionist party and Sinn Féin overtakes the SDLP as the largest Nationalist party, meaning that if
the Assembly’s operation was to be restored the DUP and Sinn Féin would have to partner each
other in government.
2006 October: all-party discussions at St Andrews in Scotland, including the British and Irish
governments, leads to progress.
2007 January: Sinn Féin finally votes to accept policing in Northern Ireland and take up their
seats on the Policing Board. Throughout 2007 and onwards so-called ‘dissident’ Republican
paramilitaries target police officers.
2007 March: in the NI Assembly elections the DUP and Sinn Féin again emerge as the two
largest political parties.
2007 May: the Assembly is restored, with the DUP and Sinn Féin in government (Ian Paisley as
First Minister and Martin McGuiness as Deputy First Minister) and actually working together.
Currently Peter Robinson is First Minister and Martin McGuiness is Deputy.
2007 August: Operation Banner, the British Army’s 38 year operation in Northern Ireland,
officially came to an end.
2009 February: two British soldiers were killed by the Real IRA at Massereene Army Barracks in
Northern Ireland and a policeman was killed in Craigavon by Continuity IRA (these are the first
such deaths of members of the security forces since 1998).
2009: political wranglings between the DUP and Sinn Féin over the issue of the final devolution
of policing and justice powers to the NI Assembly continue interminably. Sinn Féin uses the
issue to gain political mileage within its constituency by portraying the DUP as obstructionist and
not genuinely committed to the devolution of policing and justice powers, while the DUP plays
to its constituency by arguing it is determined to get things right and to get as much money as
possible from the UK government for policing and justice. After meetings with Gordon Brown
the PM agreed in October to a larger settlement and so devolution of these powers, the final
stage in devolving government to NI (11 years after the signing of the GFA), is now looking
closer than ever before.
Paramilitary Quick Facts
Irish Republican Army (IRA)
• 1969 split in Republican movement over the use of force, the left-leaning tendencies of
the movement, and the question of political abstention from the Dublin, London and
Belfast parliaments: the IRA broke into the Official IRA (socialist, on permanent
ceasefire since 1972) and the Provisional IRA (which carried out the majority of
Republican violence). The political wing of the movement, Sinn Féin, also split on the
same lines early in 1970.
• IRA structure was originally modelled on the British Army pattern of brigade, battalion
and companies, with members were recruited from geographical areas, giving it a high
profile and credibility in Nationalist areas but making it vulnerable to intelligence
gathering. From 1977 PIRA moved to a new strategy entailing a cell type structure using
unknown and new recruits and smaller numbers, designed to improve its security. It also
rearmed with modern weapons and had improved its bomb-making capacity by 1978. By
the mid-1990s its finances were dwindling and traditional sources of funds from Irish-
America were drying up; this, with security force intelligence activities, led to numerous
bungled operations and arrests of volunteers. (See Ed Maloney Secret History.)
Breakaway Republican groups
• 1974 the Irish National Liberation Army (INLA) broke away from the Official IRA after
the Irish Republican Socialist Party (IRSP) emerged as a result of a split in Official Sinn
Féin. The establishment of the IRSP and INLA led to a bitter feud and internecine
warfare in 1975 with the Officials.
• 1986 the INLA split when a breakaway group formed itself as the Irish People’s
Liberation Organisation (IPLO). The PIRA moved against the IPLO in 1992, forcing it
to disband – 20 people died in the feud.
• 1996 internal dissent within the PIRA over the issue of the ceasefire and the delays in
Sinn Féin being allowed into the multi-party talks leads to the PIRA splitting when new
groups Continuity IRA and the Real IRA break away.
• New Republican groups seem to have recently formed.
Ulster Volunteer Force (UVF)
• Founded in 1966 with a military structure, viewing itself as the inheritor of the early 20th
century UVF. Led from prison by Gusty Spence for most of the ‘Troubles’. Proscribed
almost immediately after it was founded.
• Very small until 1970 when increased violence and instability subsequent to the civil
rights movement led to a heightened Loyalist fear of republicanism and a flood of recruits
to the UVF.
• Sectarian attacks on Catholics. Retaliated to IRA pub bombings with its own and planted
more bombs in the second half of 1973 than the IRA and UDA combined. Also
exploded bombs in the Republic of Ireland.
• 1975 leadership coup; the leadership was replaced by a group of older and more
experienced men who were slightly more political and insisted that random sectarian
murder was to be replaced by attacks only on armed Republican targets (though this aim
was severely undermined by the brutal actions of a small group of UVF men known as
the Shankill Butchers).
• From the late 1970s both UVF and UDA violence decreased as the security forces
became more effective at imprisoning Republican paramilitaries, but this also meant many
of the ‘more respectable’ (Bruce The Red Hand) Loyalist paramilitary members left, leaving
drug dealing and gangsterism as an ever-increasing problem within the Loyalist
• Since 1979 the Progressive Unionist Party (PUP), composed mainly of UVF
members/ex-members and ex-prisoners, has been a Loyalist political party but has found
it difficult to gain support beyond working-class Loyalist Belfast. Not until the mid-1990s
(after the ceasefires) did it manage to attain any sort of public profile, though its electoral
support has remained marginal and since the 1998 Assembly elections has declined even
• Late 1990s a small breakaway group from the UVF, the Loyalist Volunteer Force, was
formed by ex-UVF members opposed to the ceasefire. Has carried out a number of
sectarian killings. There have been violent feuds between the UVF and the LVF.
Ulster Defence Association (UDA)/Ulster Freedom Fighters (UFF)
• Established in 1971 by the merging of various Protestant vigilante groups, the UDA is
the largest Loyalist paramilitary group and overwhelmingly working-class. The group was
to be secular with no religious mentors in it or direct religious influence; MPs and
Catholics were banned from membership. In 1972 it grew enormously and had about
26,000 due-paying members, though most were not involved in the day-to-day
organisation. It changed its structure to a more military one. The UDA used shows of
strength in the streets and a campaign of random assassinations of Catholics by its
military wing the UFF, in response to what it viewed as broad-based Catholic rebellion;
its campaign intensified after the introduction of Direct Rule in 1972.
• After leadership changes in the UDA in the late 1970s and a move towards politicisation,
the new leadership managed to contain UDA violence to a relatively low level in the
1980s, but after a clearing out of the leadership in the late 1980s the new leadership
directed a sharp increase in assassinations by the UFF in the early 1990s. In 1992 the
government finally proscribed the UDA.
• From the late 1980s the UDA has been increasingly criticised by members of its own
community (as well as others) for its racketeering, extortion and drugs activities.
• The relationship between the UVF and the UDA has often been uneasy. Since 1974 there
have been sporadic violent feuds between the two organisations, as well as violent intra-
• The UDA has attempted political representation through various organisations, including
the Ulster Democratic Party (UDP) from December 1989 (formerly the Ulster Loyalist
Democratic Party set up in 1981). Neither the ULDP nor the UDP ever gained any
significant electoral support and the UDP collapsed. The Ulster Political Research Group
(UPRG) think tank with connections to the UDA continues but is not a political party.