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By G. Spencer

The country of Loyalism in Northern eire examines the alterations and advancements inside parliamentary loyalism in the course of the Northern eire peace approach. Drawing from interviews with key gamers, it charts the drama of tensions, debates and negotiations and gives a compelling within account.

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Sample text

For Paisley, it indicates a shift from the rigidities of oppositional Evangelicalism towards a more inclusivist form (Mitchell and Tilley 2004: 587), and points towards a reorientation in political and social awareness, where the uncertainties of political life now appear to exert greater influence on the DUP than the certainties of religious and theological conviction (as Paisley becoming First Minister in the Northern Ireland Assembly alongside Sinn Fein’s Martin McGuiness as Deputy First Minister in May 2007 made clear).

The intention to obstruct and limit was especially evident in the selection of ministries after the Assembly elections in 1998, when the UUP selected posts in order to contain and obstruct the progress of Irish Nationalists (Spencer 2006a: 58). The end of Trimble’s leadership is a clear sign that for other party members and supporters his new approach had failed to halt the advance of Irish Nationalists and, therefore, had failed to prevent a weakening of Unionist power. Nevertheless, we need also recognise that if the peace process brought pressures and problems to mainstream unionism, it also led to the development of a working-class Unionist politics through the PUP and the UDP, each of which served to move the religious and ethnic preoccupations of traditional unionism towards a ‘secular and civic’ model of political engagement (Walker 2004: 253).

I have no hatred towards Roman Catholics at all and I have 38 The State of Loyalism in Northern Ireland cousins who are Catholic. I am a Loyalist in the sense that I see the defence of my country and the British crown as the number one concern. Although I have no wish to be part of a united Ireland, I certainly want friendship, economic ties and as best a possible life with our neighbours in Ireland. Although Paisley’s view has been consistently anti-Catholic that is his personal position, which I do not share.

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