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Abstracts on Organisations - 'L'

[Key_Events] [Key_Issues] [CONFLICT_BACKGROUND]
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Compiled: Martin Melaugh ... Additional Material: Brendan Lynn and Fionnuala McKenna
Material is added to this site on a regular basis - information on this page may change

initial letter of the name of the organisation

Labour Committee on Ireland (LCI)
A left-wing pressure group within the British Labour Party which was seeking a policy of British withdrawal from Northern Ireland.

Labour '87
A small political party founded in 1987 to try to bring together those who supported socialist / labour policies. The party was established as a result of a merger between the Labour Party of Northern Ireland (LPNI), the remnants of the Northern Ireland Labour Party (NILP), and the Newtownabbey Labour Party (a local branch of the NILP which had broken away in the 1970s). Labour '87 fought local government and European elections in 1989.

Labour Party, British (LP)
One of the two main political parties in Britain. The Labour Party currently forms the government of the United Kingdom (UK). Traditionally the Labour Party supported the idea that, in the long-term, it would work to secure a united Ireland on the basis of the consent of all interested parties. In the mid 1990s however under the leadership of Tony Blair this position was changed. Instead it was announced that in the future Labour would take a more neutral stance and would not necessarily act as a "persuader for unity" or attempt to persuade the people of Northern Ireland "one way or the other". At the British general election in May 1997 Labour was returned to power for the first time in eighteen years and immediately became involved in the ongoing multi-party talks in Northern Ireland. These culminated with the signing of the Good Friday Agreement (GFA) in April 1998 and in the subsequent referendum campaign in May 1998 Blair actively campaigned for a 'Yes' vote. Since then however the problems of implementing the GFA have continued to cause problems and as a result the Labour government has had to devote a considerable amount of its time in efforts to secure a political breakthrough. In the general election of 2001 the party returned to office with an overwhelming parliamentary majority.
[Main Entry]
[Web Site]

Labour Party of Northern Ireland (LPNI)
The Labour Party of Northern Ireland (LPNI) was established in 1985 on the initiative of Paddy Devlin and Billy Blease. The LPNI involved some of those people who in 1978 had created the United Labour Party (ULP), although the ULP had ceased to exist at the time the LPNI was formed. The LPNI had branches in Belfast and Coleraine. The party fought seats in the Local Government elections of 1985. The LPNI won a local government seat in a by-election in Newtownabbey in 1987; the by-election was caused by the resignation of two Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) councillors. Bob Purdie was Secretary of the LPNI when it was first formed.

Liberal Democrat Party (LDP)
The modern equivalent of the old British Liberal Party. The Liberals were critical of many aspects of the working of Unionist government in Northern Ireland. It urged the use of Proportional Representation in elections and was against the use of internment. The party entered into an alliance in 1988 with the Social Democratic Party and was called, for a short time, the Social and Liberal Democrats. The LDP also has close links with the Alliance Party of Northern Ireland (APNI). The party supported the Downing Street Declaration in December 1993 and backed calls for a settlement in Northern Ireland based on some form of power sharing in conjunction with an 'Irish dimension' to formalise relations between Belfast and Dublin. As such the LDP campaigned for a 'Yes' vote in the Referendum campaign on the Good Friday Agreement in April 1998. Charles Kennedy is currently the party leader having been elected to the position in August 1999.
[Web Site]

A human rights pressure group which was previously called the National Council for Civil Liberties (NCCL). The organisation has taken an active interest in civil rights matters in Northern Ireland. It has argued against the use of emergency powers in the region, opposed the ending of the 'right to silence' in 1988, and was against the broadcasting restrictions imposed on proscribed organisations.

A group first set up in response to the 'La Mon House Restaurant' bombing in Belfast in 1978. The groups offers support to the families of innocent victims of the conflict. The groups also offers holidays for the families at Newcastle, County Down.
(See: Details on vicitims organisations.)

Linen Hall Library
One of the few remaining subscription libraries in the United Kingdom (UK). The library holds a number of collections of material of Irish interest. The Northern Ireland Political Collection contains approximately 80,000 items gathered since 1968, many of which are ephemeral material.
[Web Site]

Loughgall Truth and Justice Campaign
An orgainsation set up to support victims of the conflict.
(See: Details on vicitims organisations.)

Lower Ormeau Concerned Community (LOCC)
The Lower Ormeau Concerned Community (LOCC) was set up in March 1992 in order to organise opposition to what the local community perceived was the provocative nature of loyalist parades along the lower part of the Ormeau Road in south Belfast.

Loyal Citizens of Ulster (LCU)
A small militant Loyalist group which was formed in Derry in 1968. It was initially lead by Ronald Bunting. The group were present at a number of Loyalist demonstrations throughout 1968 and 1969.

Loyal Orange Institution (LOI)
synonyms: Orange Order
(See: Orange Order.)

Loyal Orange Lodge (LOL)
Part of the structure of the Orange Order. The Orange Order is made up of 1,400 Private Lodges, 126 District Lodges, 12 County Lodges, and one Grand Lodge.

Loyalist Association of Workers (LAW)
LAW was formed in 1971 and was initially led by Billy Hull who was a trade union official. It took over from an earlier grouping called the Workers' Committee for the Defence of the Constitution. LAW was closely aligned with Loyalist paramilitary groups particularly the Ulster Defence Association (UDA). During 1972 it protested against the prorogation of the Northern Ireland parliament at Stormont in close association with the UDA and Ulster Vanguard. Most of LAW's supporters joined the Ulster Workers' Council (UWC) when it was formed in 1973. LAW became defunct in 1974 but its avocation of the use of general strikes for political purposes was to prove a highly effective tactic during the successful UWC strike of May 1974.
(See also: Key Event - Ulster Workers' Council Strike.)

Loyalist Commission (LC)
The Loyalist Commission is comprised of representatives of three Loyalist paramilitary groups - the Ulster Defence Association (UDA), the Ulster Volunteer Force (UVF), and the Red Hand Commando (RHC) - and Protestant church and community representatives from north Belfast. Members of the Ulster Unionist Party (UUP) helped to set up the group in October 2001.

Loyalist Communities Council (LCC)
The Loyalist Communities Council was formed in 2015 and includes representatives of the Ulster Volunteer Force (UVF) and the Ulster Defence Association (UDA). The group was formed in response to the perceived neglect of working class loyalists. The LCC endorsed both the DUP and the UUP during the 2017 UK general election but this support was rejected by both political parties. In February 2021 the DUP met with the LCC to discuss the Northern Ireland Protocol, and in March 2021 the LCC declared that it was temporarily removing its support for the Belfast / Good Friday Agreement.

Loyalist Defence Volunteers (LDV)

Loyalist Prisoners' Aid (LPA)
An organisation set up to provide aid for Loyalist prisoners and their families.

Loyalist Retaliation and Defence Group (LRDG)
synonyms: Red Hand Commando (RHC)
The LRDG was involved in a campaign of attacks in 1991 against Catholics working in shops which sold An Phoblacht (Republican News). The group killed two Catholic newsagents in west Belfast during that year. In September 1992 the group issued more threats against Catholics.
(See also: Red Hand Commando, RHC; and Ulster Volunteer Force, UVF)

Loyalist Volunteer Force (LVF)
The Loyalist Volunteer Force (LVF) is believed to have formed in 1996 from disaffected 'maverick' members of the mid-Ulster brigade of the Ulster Volunteer Force (UVF). The LVF was opposed to the ceasefire called by the Combined Loyalist Military Command (CLMC) in October 1994. It was held responsible for a series of sectarian attacks most notably the killing of Michael McGoldrick (31), a Catholic civilian, who was shot dead outside Lurgan on 8 July 1996. The LVF was proscribed by the British government in June 1997. Then a few months later its leader at that time, Billy Wright, was shot and killed by the Irish National Liberation Army (INLA) inside the Maze Prison on 27 December 1997. In the following weeks 10 Catholic civilians were shot dead by the LVF and the Ulster Freedom Fighters (UFF) in retaliation for Wright's killing. Although opposed to Good Friday Agreement (April 1998) the organisation decided to call a ceasefire in May 1998 but made clear its continuing opposition to the ongoing peace process. Since then the LVF has been suspected of continuing involvement in terrorist attacks and of having close links with a number of fringe loyalist paramilitaries who have engaged in a series of incidents. In December 1998 the LVF became the first paramilitary organisation to decommission some of its weapons under the auspices of the Independent International Commission on Decommissioning (IICD). Since then however there have been no further acts of decommissioning. The LVF engaged in a number of feuds with the UVF. In July and August 2005 the UVF shot dead four people who were claimed to be 'associated' with the LVF. On 30 October 2005 the LVF announced that it had instructed its 'military units' to stand down.

Membership: Membership is probably numbered in the dozens.
Arsenal: The LVF is believed to have a small number of rifles, machineguns, and handguns; small amount of Powergel (commercial plastic explosive). The LVF is the only paramilitary organisation to have handed over some weapons for destruction to the International Commission on Decommissioning.

(xx)     Indicates that an entry is being prepared.
(?)     Information is a best estimate while awaiting an update.
(??)     Information is doubtful and is awaiting an update.
[Main Entry]     Indicates that a longer separate entry is planned in the future.

For related and background information see also:

  • The list of acronyms associated with 'the Troubles'.
  • The glossary of terms related to the conflict.
  • The biographies of people who were prominent during 'the Troubles'.
  • The chronology of the conflict.

The information in the abstracts has been compiled from numerous primary and secondary sources. The best general sources for additional information are:

initial letter of the name of the organisation

CAIN contains information and source material on the conflict and politics in Northern Ireland.
CAIN is based within Ulster University.

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