The British / Ulster Defence Regiment (Brit): The current bosses of Northern Ireland. These are the big guns to obey or revolt against. The Northern Ireland Home Secretary is Sir Patrick Mayhew. Included here is the SAS (Special Air Service), a commando unit that specializes in hit and run tactics, sort of on the order of the United States' Black Barrets, and very effective against unarmed civilians. MI5 and MI6 are involved, as well as other international commando visitors from other countries learning crowd control, (Such as Austrailia and South Africa). Average strenght is around 18,000.
The Ulster Defense Regiment (UDR) was a British army unit of recruited Irish loyalists. It was a 6,000 strong Northern Ireland national guard. This is why the British player can raise troops in Ireland. It was created in 1970 to replace the RUC's B-Specials (which was worse). There duties were replaced with the Irish Rangers, who they were merged with in 1992 when the British government wanted to consolidate the British Army. The UDR had a very bad reputation, one which the Irish Rangers are picking up quickly. It was predominantly Loyalist Protestant. Catholics are not very welcome; those Catholics who do join were distrusted by the other UDR members, considered traitors by the nationalist community, and hunted down and killed by the loyalist paramilitaries.
The Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC) is the Northern Ireland Police. The RUC is Irish, but loyal to the Crown, (In fact, an oath to the Crown goes along with the job). It's understood that one also has to be a member of the Orange Order, a fiercely anti-Catholic loyalist organization. They have been accused of a "Shoot to Kill" policy, where instead of arresting the suspect and going through a trial, the suspects are simply killed. European pressure moved London to start an investigation. Deputy Cheif Constable of Greater Manchester John Stalker was asked to undertake the inquiry of six such killings. Stalker had a perfect, unblemished record in the largest metropolitan city in England. Just before he was to get some information that may have been highly embarrassing to the RUC, he was suspended on vague charges that were later dropped.
There have been numberous other members of the British Ministry of War that have spoken out against some of the practices of their armed forces, stating that they have gone too far. Usually the British Government has made an example out of them.
There is one thing to remember about the British "peacetime" military, is that they tend to join for life at age 16, unlike their American counterparts who join for 4 years at age 18. So now you can have a 17 year old soldier with an assault rifle patroling a neighborhood where the population isn't exactly happy to see him and one rock thrown by an 11 year old, well, you can guess the rest. So the British are in a publicity damage control situation.
It is said the UDA is organized into eight 'brigades': 4 in Belfast, and one each in County Down, Londonderry, Mid Ulster and Southeast Antrim. Very Unionist, until the '80's where elements in the UDA and UVF have been calling for a separate Protestant Northern Ireland state. Sometimes uses the alias Ulster Freedom Fighters (UFF), Vanguard, Red Hand Commandos, etc. Interestingly, this group's sole purpose for existance is not a national militia against foreign invasion, but to intimidate a people, equivilent to the Ku Klux Klan. It used to also be legal for a member of the RUC or UDR to also be a member of the UDA.
The UVF was also legal for a long time, even though they are not a militia. The UVF was outlawed for a short period while (moderate Protestent) Terrence O'Neill was Prime Minister of Northern Ireland, but the British legalized it again in 1974. Recently, in 1989, they were outlawed again after a large number of civilian sectarian killings. In 1993, their Portadown brigade claimed responsiblity for the Dublin and Monaghan bombing, (May 16, 1974), where 33 people were killed and many wounded, the bloodiest bombing in the British Isles since the German Blitz). Together with the UDA, they are responsible for over 600 civilian assassinations.
They sometimes use the name Protestant Action Force when they engage in sectatian killings. Recently, they took a page from the Provisional IRA's book and formed unit "cells" to avoid identification. It is also said that they are being helped by MI5. Estimated active strength: 300 members.
The first bombing in Northern Ireland was at the hands of the UVF. The Catholic killed was killed by the UVF. and the worst of the bombing that Ireland has experienced, was by the hands of the UVF.
Recently, the UVF has responded to the calls for peace, and is one of the groups who are part of the ceasefire. Loyalists Billy Hutcherson and Gusty Spence have called on their fellow loyalist to work with the peace process. Several splinter groups broke off denouncing the peace process as selling out to the Nationalists. The Red Hand Defenders are probably the same group as the old Red Hand Commandos. Recently they have been fire-bombing homes of Catholics and are thought to be responsible for the murder of Loyalist ...Curry. (!Get first name)
They have an estimated strength of about 500 members. There is around another 800 prisoners behind bars. In 1977, they reorganized their military wing into "cells" to minimize their losses due to informers. A by-product of the cell-organization is that they found it takes less people to do more, and ever since the Provos have been very selective on who they allow to join them. The Provos also have an "auxiliary" corps of an estimated 5,000 people trained to defend their areas in case of attack.
The Provos also act as the ghetto police, ruling areas the RUC refuses to enter. They absolutely forbid drugs in their areas, drug dealers get the death penalty. They also forbid theft, stealing cars (called joy riding by the bored teenages), rape, extortion, etc. They are the law, and they don't want to give the British Army a reason to enter their neighborhoods. Those who don't comply may get "kneecapped" , or shot in the ankle, (or worst, executed). The will also show up to get their "fee" from a kneecapped theif who has collected his disability dole.
They are allied to the Sinn Fein Party, with Gerry Adams president and leader. Actually the Sinn Fein Party dates back to early 1900, and aside from being stanchly Nationalistic, campaigns on bread and butter issues for the ghettos. Being a party member is like hanging a target on you back. For a while the Loyalist were picking off Sinn Fein members at a rate of one a month, (the Loyalist parties lumped them together with the IRA, IRSP, and the moderate SDLP and called them the "Pan Nationalist Front.") The Sinn Fein recently has been getting about 20% of the vote.
Although this group is well armed and had a good start, (as far as paramilitaries go, and the IRSP actually was doing some initial good), but they are reckless and as deadly to nationalists as they are to the British. The British, and most others, reguard the INLA as a bunch of armed amateurs. This group has been racked with corruption, (Racketteering, extortion, and drugs), to the point of embarrassment. It was easily infiltrated by the British. The IRSP melted away by such activities.
It got so bad that another group split away during their internal fued of 1986. The break away group called itself the Irish Peoples Liberation Organization, (IPLO). The IPLO was suppost to be a reformed INLA and had a typical paramilitary begining, but soon fell into the same corruption habits of the old ILNA. Finally, the people had enough and pressured the Provos to act. And act they did, in October 1992, the Provos moved to shut down the IPLO, forcing them to surrender their arms caches.
In 1993, the INLA reformed itself. It has returned to anti-British paramilitary actions. So far, no corruption.
The INLA does not support the peace process. However, they also know they do not have the clout to do much about it and so they are standing on the sidelines waiting to see what developes.
The INLA has never had more than 100 members.
EIRE is bilingual and uses Gaelic (Irish) as well as English. The Irish Prime Minister is called the Taoiseach, (currently Albert Reynolds), the Irish senate is called the "Dail", and the Dail Speaker is the "Ceann Comhairle."
EIRE has outlawed the IRA, INLA, the Continutity IRA, UDA, and UVF, but the latter two were legal for as long as they were still legal in the North. The Irish state police (Garda Siochan) has been very successful in routing out IRA arms caches and arresting suspected IRA members. Armed forces strength is about 15,000, but this is for the defense of the entire country of Eire, including it's United Nations contribution..
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More notes: Please read Brief historical Background.
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