Loyal Irish Union
The organisation was founded by Thomas Bateson, Lord Londonderry, the Marquis of Hamilton, Robert O'Neill and other prominent unionists from Belfast. It represented the wing of the Conservative Party which prioritised opposition to the Liberal Party to calls for bi-partisan opposition to Irish independence. It campaigned alongside the local Conservative Party associations in the 1885 UK general election, and the unionist candidates proved very successful against an overconfident Liberal Party.
Some supporters of the association envisioned it becoming a popular membership organisation, but only one branch was founded, and the union was dissolved in January 1886, following the establishment of the Irish Loyal and Patriotic Union.
- Jackson, Alvin, The Ulster Party: Irish unionists in the House of Commons, 1884-1911,p40
- John F. Harbinson, The Ulster Unionist Party, 1882-1973, pp.7–9