Ulsterisation refers to one part – "primacy of the police"– of a three-part strategy (the other two being "normalisation" and "criminalisation") of the British government during the conflict known as the Troubles. The strategy was to disengage the non-Ulster regiments of the British Army as much as possible from duties in Northern Ireland and replace them with members of the locally recruited Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC) and Ulster Defence Regiment (UDR). The objective of this policy was to confine the effects of the conflict to Northern Ireland.
The name of the policy comes from a similar US strategy towards the end of the Vietnam War called "Vietnamization".Vietnamization was a policy to increase the proportion of South Vietnamese forces fighting in the conflict, while reducing that of the American military. It was a response to the Vietnam Syndrome of American public opinion turning against American military involvement in Vietnam. By analogy, British policymakers perceived the death of soldiers from Mainland Britain (i.e. England, Scotland, and Wales) during The Troubles to be far more consequential in terms of British public opinion than what could be portrayed as "Irish people killing and policing Irish people".
The move to locally based policing followed the Hunt Report, published on 3 October 1969. This recommended a complete reorganisation of the Royal Ulster Constabulary, with the aim of both modernising the force and bringing it into line with the other police forces in the UK. In 1970, Lord Carrington also warned that British Army expenditures in Northern Ireland were unacceptably high; throughout the 1970s, military leadership stressed the need to focus on confronting the Red Army on the North German Plain, rather than on fighting in Northern Ireland.The Ulsterisation plan was outlined in an unpublished 1975 British strategy paper titled The Way Ahead produced by a committee of senior British Army, RUC and MI5 officers, chaired by John Bourn, a Northern Ireland Office civil servant.
Ulsterisation included various attempts to reform views of the RUC, whose reputation had suffered from its involvement in the 1969 Northern Ireland riots, which was seen as biased by Northern Ireland civil rights movement campaigners. Under Labour's first Secretary of State for Northern Ireland Merlyn Rees, increases in the proportion of police and army recruits from Northern Ireland into the UDR continued until the signing of the Anglo-Irish Agreement in 1988.Rees' aim was to put security policy on a more logical and rational basis, and along with the Chief Constable of the RUC, Englishman Kenneth Newman they produced the often controversial strategies of "criminalisation" and Ulsterisation. These policies would later be extended by Roy Mason, and would include the use of the Special Air Service on the Irish border.
Ulsterisation brought about striking changes in the casualty patterns, with military/police casualties from Northern Ireland exceeding those from Britain for the rest of the conflict, reversing the previous pattern. A related strategy, 'Criminalisation', was meant to avoid any acknowledgement of the political motivation and nature of the conflict and was partly motivated to change perceptions of the conflict from a colonial war to that of a campaign against criminal gangs.It was judged that the political impact in Britain of killings of British soldiers by the Provisional Irish Republican Army was greater than the deaths of local security forces members. The drop in the number of non-UDR British Army casualties helped prevent any build-up of sentiment in Britain for a withdrawal from Northern Ireland.
The Troubles were an ethno-nationalist conflict in Northern Ireland during the late 20th century. Also known internationally as the Northern Ireland conflict, it is sometimes described as an "irregular war" or "low-level war". The conflict began in the late 1960s and is usually deemed to have ended with the Good Friday Agreement of 1998. Although the Troubles primarily took place in Northern Ireland, at times the violence spilled over into parts of the Republic of Ireland, England, and mainland Europe.
The Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC) was the police force in Northern Ireland from 1922 to 2001. It was founded on 1 June 1922 as a successor to the Royal Irish Constabulary (RIC) following the partition of Ireland. At its peak the force had around 8,500 officers with a further 4,500 who were members of the RUC Reserve.
Terence Marne O'Neill, Baron O'Neill of the Maine, PC (NI), was the fourth Prime Minister of Northern Ireland and leader (1963–1969) of the Ulster Unionist Party (UUP). A moderate unionist, who sought to reconcile the sectarian divisions in Northern Ireland society, he was Member of the Parliament of Northern Ireland for the Bannside constituency from 1946 until his resignation in January 1970; his successor in the House of Commons of Northern Ireland was Ian Paisley, while control of the UUP also passed to more hard-line elements.
The Ulster Special Constabulary was a quasi-military reserve special constable police force in Northern Ireland. It was set up in October 1920, shortly before the partition of Ireland. It was an armed corps, organised partially on military lines and called out in times of emergency, such as war or insurgency. It performed this role in 1920–22 during the Irish War of Independence and in the 1950s, during the IRA Border Campaign.
The Ulster Defence Regiment (UDR) was an infantry regiment of the British Army established in 1970, with a comparatively short existence ending in 1992. Raised through public appeal, newspaper and television advertisements, their official role was the "defence of life or property in Northern Ireland against armed attack or sabotage" but unlike troops from Great Britain they were never used for "crowd control or riot duties in cities". It was the largest infantry regiment in the British Army, formed with seven battalions plus another four added within two years.
The East Tyrone Brigade of the Provisional Irish Republican Army (IRA), also known as the Tyrone/Monaghan Brigade was one of the most active republican paramilitary groups in Northern Ireland during "the Troubles". It is believed to have drawn its membership from across the eastern side of County Tyrone as well as north County Monaghan and south County Londonderry.
Francis Hughes was a volunteer in the Provisional Irish Republican Army (IRA) from Bellaghy, County Londonderry, Northern Ireland. Hughes was the most wanted man in Northern Ireland until his arrest following a shoot-out with the Special Air Service (SAS) in which an SAS soldier was killed. At his trial, he was sentenced to a total of 83 years' imprisonment; he died during the 1981 Irish hunger strike in HM Prison Maze.
From 1969 until 1997, the Provisional Irish Republican Army (IRA) conducted an armed paramilitary campaign primarily in Northern Ireland and England, aimed at ending British rule in Northern Ireland in order to create a united Ireland.
The Warrenpoint ambush, also known as the Narrow Water ambush, or instead called the Warrenpoint massacre or the Narrow Water massacre, was a guerrilla attack by the Provisional Irish Republican Army (IRA) on 27 August 1979. The IRA's South Armagh Brigade ambushed the British Army with two large roadside bombs at Narrow Water Castle outside Warrenpoint, Northern Ireland. The first bomb was aimed at a British Army convoy and the second targeted the incoming reinforcements and the incident command point (ICP) set up to deal with the incident. IRA volunteers hidden in nearby woodland also allegedly fired on the troops, which returned fire. The castle is on the banks of the Newry River, which marks the border between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland.
This article recounts the violence and other effects related to The Troubles in Portadown, County Armagh, Northern Ireland. Much of it has been related to the Drumcree parade dispute.
The Troubles in Armagh recounts incidents during The Troubles in Armagh City, County Armagh, Northern Ireland; the violence was substantial enough for the city to be referred to by some as "Murder Mile". Over the span of 36 years, although mainly concentrated in the years from 1969 until 1994, the small city of around 15,000 people, including some outlying areas, seen 86 deaths in the Troubles, including those of a number of people from the city who lost their lives elsewhere in Troubles-related incidents.
Operation Banner was the operational name for the British Armed Forces' operation in Northern Ireland from 1969 to 2007, as part of the Troubles. It was the longest continuous deployment in British military history. The British Army was initially deployed, at the request of the unionist government of Northern Ireland, in response to the August 1969 riots. Its role was to support the Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC) and to assert the authority of the British government in Northern Ireland. This involved counter-insurgency and supporting the police in carrying out internal security duties such as guarding key points, mounting checkpoints and patrols, carrying out raids and searches, riot control and bomb disposal. More than 300,000 soldiers served in Operation Banner. At the peak of the operation in the 1970s, about 21,000 British troops were deployed, most of them from Britain. As part of the operation, a new locally-recruited regiment was also formed: the Ulster Defence Regiment (UDR).
The name Protestant Action Force (PAF) was used by loyalists, especially members of the Ulster Volunteer Force (UVF), to claim responsibility for a number of paramilitary attacks during the Troubles. It was first used in this context in 1974, and has since been used to claim the killings of at least 41 Catholic civilians.
The Reavey and O'Dowd killings were two co-ordinated gun attacks on 4 January 1976 in County Armagh, Northern Ireland. Six Irish Catholic civilians died after members of the Ulster Volunteer Force (UVF), an Ulster loyalist paramilitary group, broke into their homes and shot them. Three members of the Reavey family were shot at their home in Whitecross and four members of the O'Dowd family were shot at their home in Ballydougan. Two of the Reaveys and three of the O'Dowds were killed outright, with the third Reavey victim dying of brain hemorrhage almost a month later.
William Henry Wilson Hanna MM was a high-ranking Ulster loyalist who founded and led the Mid-Ulster Brigade of the Ulster Volunteer Force (UVF) until he was killed, allegedly by Robin Jackson, who took over command of the brigade.
This is a chronology of activities by the Provisional Irish Republican Army (IRA), from 1990 to 1999. For actions before and after this period see Chronology of Provisional Irish Republican Army actions.
The Glenanne gang or Glenanne group was a secret informal alliance of Ulster loyalists who carried out shooting and bombing attacks against Catholics and Irish nationalists in the 1970s, during the Troubles. Most of its attacks took place in the "murder triangle" area of counties Armagh and Tyrone in Northern Ireland. It also launched some attacks elsewhere in Northern Ireland and in the Republic of Ireland. The gang included British soldiers from the Ulster Defence Regiment (UDR), police officers from the Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC), and members of the Mid-Ulster Brigade of the Ulster Volunteer Force (UVF). Twenty-five British soldiers and police officers were named as purported members of the gang. Details about the group have come from many sources, including the affidavit of former member and RUC officer John Weir; statements by other former members; police, army and court documents; and ballistics evidence linking the same weapons to various attacks. Since 2003, the group's activities have also been investigated by the 2006 Cassel Report, and three reports commissioned by Irish Supreme Court Justice Henry Barron, known as the Barron Reports. A book focusing on the group's activities, Lethal Allies: British Collusion in Ireland, by Anne Cadwallader, was published in 2013. It drew on all the aforementioned sources, as well as Historical Enquiries Team investigations. The book was the basis for the 2019 documentary film Unquiet Graves, directed by Sean Murray.
The Coagh ambush was a military confrontation that took place took place in County Tyrone, Northern Ireland, on 3 June 1991, during The Troubles, when a Provisional Irish Republican Army (IRA) active service unit from its East Tyrone Brigade was ambushed by the British Army's Special Air Service (SAS) at the village of Coagh, in County Tyrone, whilst on its way to kill a part-time member of the Ulster Defence Regiment (UDR). The ambush resulted in the deaths of all three IRA men involved.
The Teebane bombing took place on 17 January 1992 at a rural crossroads between Omagh and Cookstown in County Tyrone, Northern Ireland. A roadside bomb destroyed a van carrying 14 construction workers who had been repairing a British Army base in Omagh. Eight of the men were killed and the rest were wounded. The Provisional Irish Republican Army (IRA) claimed responsibility, saying that the workers were killed because they were "collaborating" with the "forces of occupation".
The Ramble Inn attack was a mass shooting at a rural pub on 2 July 1976 near Antrim, Northern Ireland. It is believed to have been carried out by the Ulster Volunteer Force (UVF), a loyalist paramilitary organisation. Six civilians were killed in the attack—five Protestants and one Catholic—and three others were wounded.