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Ulster Volunteer Force (UVF)
Red Hand Commandos

The Ulster Volunteer Force (UVF), a Loyalist paramilitary group formed in 1966, takes its name from the UVF of the first World War. The Ulster Volunteer Force was mobilised as a Protestant/Unionist militia in 1912 to oppose the Home Rule campaign for a separate Irish parliament. Many UVF members formed the 36th (Ulster) Division that fought with the British Army in the Great War. The Progressive Unionist Party is the political wing of the outlawed Ulster Volunteer Force and Red Hand Commando. The party is led by Hugh Smyth but spokesman David Ervine is a more well known figure. Although the PUP is referred to as a loyalist fringe party, it holds more moderate unionist views than any of the traditional unionist parties.


The UVF conducted bombings, assassinations, kidnappings, extortion, and robberies. Before its 1994 cease-fire, targets included Northern Irish Nationalist paramilitary groups. Apart from a few breaches, the ceasefire still holds today. The UVF's political wing is the Progressive Unionist Party, which states that it has "an insight into UVF thinking".

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Page last modified: 11-07-2011 15:41:33 ZULU