Declassified Files: Fear DUP may use Ulster Resistance ‘shock troops’

An Ulster Resistance Rally at the Ulster Hall in Belfast
An Ulster Resistance Rally at the Ulster Hall in Belfast

The Government was warned that the DUP could seek to use its paramilitary group Ulster Resistance as ‘shock troops’ during protests against the Anglo-Irish Agreement.

A secret assessment of possible unionist and loyalists reaction to the introduction of the new Public Order law – which introduced significant new powers for the authorities to break up protests and made it an offence to ‘stir up fear or hatred’ – examined each unionist or loyalist political party and paramilitary group’s likely reaction.

The paper, which appears to have had input from the intelligence agencies, is from 1987 but is undated.

It said: “Little has been seen so far this year of ‘Ulster Resistance’.

“Intelligence, however, indicates that further recruitment has taken place and preparations are being made to acquire paramilitary-style uniforms.

“There has also been a press report that Ulster Resistance will ‘be used to challenge Public Order legislation’.

“Since Ulster Resistance is a DUP creation, we cannot rule out the possibility of the DUP using it as its shock troops in any form of protest.”

The briefing paper also said that members of the Ulster Clubs – another hard line anti-Anglo Irish Agreement group – had been “instructed to find out the names and addresses of RUC officers living in their area, with the clear purpose of organising further intimidation of police officers at home if there is any confrontation with the security forces during marches”.