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Nationalist Party (Northern Ireland)

Nationalist Party (Northern Ireland)

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The Nationalist Party - was the continuation of the Irish Parliamentary Party
Irish Parliamentary Party
The Irish Parliamentary Party was formed in 1882 by Charles Stewart Parnell, the leader of the Nationalist Party, replacing the Home Rule League, as official parliamentary party for Irish nationalist Members of Parliament elected to the House of Commons at...

, and was formed after partition, by the Northern Ireland
Northern Ireland
Northern Ireland is one of the four countries of the United Kingdom. Situated in the north-east of the island of Ireland, it shares a border with the Republic of Ireland to the south and west...

-based members of the IPP.

The Nationalist Party didn't enter the House of Commons of Northern Ireland
House of Commons of Northern Ireland
The House of Commons of Northern Ireland was the lower house of the Parliament of Northern Ireland created under the Government of Ireland Act 1920. The upper house in the bicameral parliament was called the Senate. It was abolished with the passing of the Northern Ireland Constitution Act...

 until 1924, having won six seats in the general election of 1921. In 1965, it agreed to become the official opposition party in the House of Commons. On 20 June 1968, Austin Currie
Austin Currie
Austin Currie is a former politician who was elected to the parliaments of both Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland....

, Nationalist Party MP
Member of Parliament
A Member of Parliament is a representative of the voters to a :parliament. In many countries with bicameral parliaments, the term applies specifically to members of the lower house, as upper houses often have a different title, such as senate, and thus also have different titles for its members,...

 at Stormont
Parliament of Northern Ireland
The Parliament of Northern Ireland was the home rule legislature of Northern Ireland, created under the Government of Ireland Act 1920, which sat from 7 June 1921 to 30 March 1972, when it was suspended...

, with others, began a protest about discrimination in housing allocation by 'squatting' (illegally occupying) in a house in Caledon, County Tyrone
Caledon, County Tyrone
Caledon , historically known as Kinnaird , is a small village and townland in County Tyrone, Northern Ireland. It is in the Clogher Valley on the banks of the River Blackwater, 7 miles from Armagh. It lies in the southeast of Tyrone and near the borders of County Armagh and County Monaghan. In the...

. The house had been allocated by Dungannon Rural District Council to a 19 year-old unmarried Protestant
Protestantism
Protestantism is one of the three major groupings within Christianity. It is a movement that began in Germany in the early 16th century as a reaction against medieval Roman Catholic doctrines and practices, especially in regards to salvation, justification, and ecclesiology.The doctrines of the...

 woman, Emily Beattie, who was the secretary of a local Unionist politician. Emily Beattie was given the house ahead of older married Catholic
Roman Catholic Church
The Catholic Church, also known as the Roman Catholic Church, is the world's largest Christian church, with over a billion members. Led by the Pope, it defines its mission as spreading the gospel of Jesus Christ, administering the sacraments and exercising charity...

 families with children. The protesters were evicted by officers of the Royal Ulster Constabulary
Royal Ulster Constabulary
The Royal Ulster Constabulary was the name of the police force in Northern Ireland from 1922 to 2000. Following the awarding of the George Cross in 2000, it was subsequently known as the Royal Ulster Constabulary GC. It was founded on 1 June 1922 out of the Royal Irish Constabulary...

 (RUC), one of who was Emily Beattie's brother. The next day the annual conference of the Nationalist Party unanimously approved of the protest action by Austin Currie in Caledon. This was one of the catalysts of the civil rights movement in Northern Ireland. The party became involved in the Derry civil rights march in October 1968 which ended in violence amidst allegations of police brutality. As a result, the party withdrew from its role as official opposition on 15 October 1968, following the controversy of two weeks earlier.

The party developed a reputation for being disorganised and being little more than a collection of elected members with their own local machines. Many calls were made for the party to develop an overall organisation but it fell apart in the late 1960s. Earlier, many members had formed the National Democratic Party
National Democrats (Northern Ireland)
The National Democratic Party was an Irish nationalist political party in Northern Ireland.-Origins:The organisation's origins lay in National Unity, a political study group founded in 1959...

 (NDP) after attempts at reform failed. The NDP merged into the Social Democratic and Labour Party
Social Democratic and Labour Party
The Social Democratic and Labour Party is a social-democratic, Irish nationalist political party in Northern Ireland. Its basic party platform advocates Irish reunification, and the further devolution of powers while Northern Ireland remains part of the United Kingdom...

 at that party's foundation in 1970 and many remaining nationalists followed them. One of the Nationalist Party's last electoral contests was the 1973 election
Northern Ireland Assembly election, 1973
-Seats summary:-Source:* http://www.ark.ac.uk/elections/fa73.htm...

 for the Assembly created as part of the Sunningdale Agreement
Sunningdale Agreement
The Sunningdale Agreement was an attempt to establish a power-sharing Northern Ireland Executive and a cross-border Council of Ireland. The Agreement was signed at the Civil Service College in Sunningdale Park located in Sunningdale, Berkshire, on 9 December 1973.Unionist opposition, violence and...

. The lack of success in that election meant that the writing was on the wall, although a handful of councillors were elected to Omagh District Council
Omagh District Council
Omagh District Council is a local council in County Tyrone in Northern Ireland. Its headquarters is in the town of Omagh, which is the traditional county town of Tyrone. The council area is about , making it the second largest local council area in Northern Ireland with a population of just over...

 and Londonderry City Council
Derry City Council
Derry City Council is a district council in County Londonderry in Northern Ireland. The Council is is responsible for the city of Derry and the immediate environ, providing services to an estimated population of , making it the third largest district council in Northern Ireland by population.The...

 in 1973
Northern Ireland local elections, 1973
Local government in Northern Ireland was reorganised in 1973 by the Local Government Act 1971 and the Local Government Act 1972...

 and 1977
Northern Ireland local elections, 1977
Elections for local government were held in Northern Ireland in May 1977.The elections saw good performances by the four largest parties: the Ulster Unionist Party , Social Democratic and Labour Party , Alliance Party of Northern Ireland and Democratic Unionist Party , while smaller parties failed...

. In October 1977 the party merged with Unity
Unity (Northern Ireland)
"Unity" was the political label for a series of electoral pacts by Irish nationalist and Irish Republican candidates in Northern Ireland elections in the late 1960s and early 1970s...

 to form the Irish Independence Party
Irish Independence Party
The Irish Independence Party was an nationalist political party in Northern Ireland, founded in October 1977 by Frank McManus and Fergus McAteer...

 which also included non-aligned republicans
Irish Republicanism
Irish republicanism is an ideology based on the belief that all of Ireland should be an independent republic.In 1801, under the Act of Union, the Kingdom of Great Britain and the Kingdom of Ireland merged to form the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland...

. Although it was successful for a while in capturing the Republican vote it faded from view due to the rise of Sinn Féin
Sinn Féin
Sinn Féin is a left wing, Irish republican political party in Ireland. The name is Irish for "ourselves" or "we ourselves", although it is frequently mistranslated as "ourselves alone". Originating in the Sinn Féin organisation founded in 1905 by Arthur Griffith, it took its current form in 1970...

 in the early 80's.

Leaders

  • Joseph Devlin
    Joseph Devlin
    Joseph Devlin, also known as Joe Devlin, was an Irish journalist and influential nationalist politician...

     1918-1934
  • Thomas Joseph Campbell
    Thomas Joseph Campbell
    Thomas Joseph Campbell , known as T. J. Campbell, was an Irish nationalist newspaper editor, politician and judge.Brought up as a Roman Catholic in Belfast, Campbell studied at St Malachy's College and the Royal University of Ireland. In 1895, he began editing the Irish News, a local nationalist...

     1934-1945
  • James McSparran
    James McSparran
    James McSparran QC , was an Irish nationalist politician.McSparran was born in Glasgow to an Irish family He studied at St Mungo's Academy, Glasgow, then St Malachy's College in Belfast, Queen's University of Belfast, and the National University of Ireland.McSparran was appointed to the Irish Bar...

     1945-1958
  • Joe Stewart
    Joseph Francis Stewart
    Joseph Francis Stewart, known as Joe Stewart , was an Irish nationalist politician.After growing up in Dungannon, where he studied at the Christian Brothers' School, Stewart worked as a wine merchant and became active in the Irish Parliamentry Party...

     1958-1964
  • Eddie McAteer
    Eddie McAteer
    Eddie McAteer was an nationalist politician in Northern Ireland.Born in Coatbridge, Scotland, McAteer's family moved to Derry in Northern Ireland while he was young. In 1930 he joined the Inland Revenue, where he worked until 1944. He then became an accountant and more actively involved in politics...

     1964-1969
  • Roderick O'Connor
    Roderick O'Connor (politician)
    Roderick O'Connor was a nationalist politician in Northern Ireland.O'Connor was a solicitor and a director of the Ulster Herald series of newspapers...

     1969-1972


Following the abolition of Stormont, Eddie McAteer
Eddie McAteer
Eddie McAteer was an nationalist politician in Northern Ireland.Born in Coatbridge, Scotland, McAteer's family moved to Derry in Northern Ireland while he was young. In 1930 he joined the Inland Revenue, where he worked until 1944. He then became an accountant and more actively involved in politics...

 became the effective party leader, while his son Fergus McAteer
Fergus McAteer
Fergus McAteer is an accountant and former politician in Northern Ireland.The son of Nationalist Party leader Eddie McAteer, Fergus was active in the civil rights movement of the late 1960s. He was arrested during the events of Bloody Sunday and charged with throwing stones, but the charges were...

gradually assumed greater importance.