Unity (Northern Ireland)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search

"Unity" was the political label for a series of electoral pacts by Irish nationalist, Irish Republican and socialist candidates in Northern Ireland elections in the late 1960s and early 1970s. It also contested elections as a party in its own right, electing six councillors in the 1973 local council elections in the Fermanagh and Dungannon areas, although this was reduced to 2 members of Fermanagh council in the next election in 1977.

The first victory came in 1969 in the Mid Ulster by-election which was won by the radical student Bernadette Devlin. She held her seat in the 1970 general election, when Fermanagh and South Tyrone was won by her colleague Frank McManus. Due to realignments in nationalist politics and opposition to Devlin's radical political and social views, both lost their seats in the February 1974 general election.

In the October 1974 general election the spirit of Unity was revived, if not the name, when Frank Maguire won Fermanagh and South Tyrone as an agreed independent Republican. He held the seat until his death in 1981. In 1978 Unity merged with the remnants of the Nationalist Party to form the Irish Independence Party.