After the Peace
Loyalist Paramilitaries in Post-Accord Northern Ireland
Publication Year: 2007
The 1998 Belfast Agreement promised to release citizens of Northern Ireland from the grip of paramilitarism. However, almost a decade later, Loyalist paramilitaries were still on the battlefield. After the Peace examines the delayed business of Loyalist demilitarization and explains why it included more fits than starts in the decade since formal peace and how Loyalist paramilitary recalcitrance has affected everyday Loyalists.
Drawing on interviews with current and former Loyalist paramilitary men, community workers, and government officials, Carolyn Gallaher charts the trenchant divisions that emerged during the run-up to peace and thwart demilitarization today. After the Peace demonstrates that some Loyalist paramilitary men want to rebuild their communities and join the political process. They pledge a break with violence and the criminality that sustained their struggle. Others vow not to surrender and refuse to set aside their guns. These units operate under a Loyalist banner but increasingly resemble criminal fiefdoms. In the wake of this internecine power struggle, demilitarization has all but stalled.
Gallaher documents the battle for the heart of Loyalism in varied settings, from the attempt to define Ulster Scots as a language to deadly feuds between UVF, UDA, and LVF contingents. After the Peace brings the story of Loyalist paramilitaries up to date and sheds light on the residual violence that persists in the post-accord era.
Published by: Cornell University Press
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Title Page, Copyright
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This book is about the backwash of a conﬂict that has largely ended. It hasbeen almost a decade since a peace agreement was signed in Northern Ire-land and even longer since a joint 1994 cease-ﬁre was announced. This is asigniﬁcant duration of time—most conﬂicts have a high likelihood ofreigniting within the ﬁrst ﬁve years of peace. Northern Ireland has wit-...
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1 Staying Put
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Paramilitaries respond to formal peace in different ways. Some issueprompt stand-down orders and implement them with efﬁciency. Othersdrag their feet, dismantling by ﬁts and starts. Still others stay put, endorsingIn Northern Ireland a formal peace accord was signed in April 1998.Nine years later the Ulster Volunteer Force (UVF) ﬁnally stood down. Its...
2 The Loyalist Prison Experience
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During the Troubles, thousands of men and women from both communi-ties went to prison for committing terrorist offenses. The Republican expe-rience in prison has been well documented. The story of Bobby Sands andthe hunger strikers, for example, is now ﬁrmly part of Republican lore.Sands’s grave in Belfast is a shrine to the Republican struggle, and his image...
3 Class Matters
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One of the most striking aspects of walking across Belfast’s sectarian di-vides is how structurally similar Protestant and Catholic working-class es-tates actually are. Both sides are dominated by terraced council housesoperated by the Northern Ireland Housing Executive. Homes are usuallytwo stories with small rear gardens that back up to those on parallel streets....
4 Fighting with History insteadof Guns
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Although paramilitaries on both sides of Northern Ireland’s ethnoreligiousdivide agreed to put their arms down in 1998, commentators and scholarsalike agree that the constitutional question remains unanswered and thatthe battle to answer it conclusively, once and for all, continues. It is merelythe weapons that have changed. Of course some Loyalists and Republicans...
5 Loyalism and the Voluntary Sector
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For many people, peace agreements are about endings. Combatants putdown their guns, the ﬁghting stops, and things go back to the way they usedto be. After a protracted conﬂict, however, things rarely return to the waythey were. In Northern Ireland the city center was rebuilt, but with glitzyshops and high-end pubs instead of family businesses and low-cost eateries....
6 Loyalist Feuds
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Two years after the signing of the Belfast Agreement, the British army re-turned to Belfast to bring order to its streets (S. Breen 2000; Reuters 2000).Its presence, however, was not precipitated by renewed violence betweenthe IRA and Loyalist paramilitaries. Rather, soldiers were brought in to pa-trol the Shankill Road after a week of internecine Loyalist feuding between...
7 Immigrants, Paramilitaries,and Turf
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Immigration to Ireland and Northern Ireland is a recent phenomenon. In1845, on the eve of the potato famine, the population of the island stood atapproximately eight million people. Five years later, it had declined by over athird, with one million people succumbing to starvation and disease and an-other two million emigrating, mostly to America (American Immigration Law...
8 What to Do withthe Paramilitaries?
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In March 2005 I interviewed Mark Langhammer, then a borough-levelcouncillor (Labour) for Newtownabbey, an area just north of Belfast. Untilthen, most of my interviews had been with Loyalist paramilitaries, ex-prisoners, and community workers. Many of the men I spoke with seemedgenuinely committed to peace, and it is clear that several had put themselves...
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Page Count: 272
Publication Year: 2007