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Home > History > Modern World History > Northern Ireland 1965-85 > Paramilitaries and Political Parties


Northern Ireland 1965-85

Paramilitaries and Political Parties - Test

This passage will test your understanding of the paramilitary groups and political parties that emerged during this period.

Complete this sample answer with the correct words from the lists.


1966 saw the re-emergence of the paramilitary group, the UVF. It was led by Gusty Spence and was quickly outlawed under the Special Act after it was responsible for sectarian murders.

Three years later, in December 1969, the IRA split. This paramilitary group split over its failure to protect Catholic areas in August 1969. It also split due to differences over whether to use violence or politics to forward its cause. The PIRA justified the use of , whereas the OIRA began to support a strategy.

1970 also saw the emergence of two political parties. In 1970, the Alliance Party was formed. Its leader was Oliver Napier. It set out to attract nationalist and unionist votes and also sought to improve relations. In August 1970 the SDLP was formed. It was led by Gerry Fitt. It supported the re-unification of .

Another political party, the DUP was formed in 1971. Its leader was Ian Paisley. It supported strong political links with and was opposed to power-sharing.