Nationalist Party (Northern Ireland)

Nationalist Party (Northern Ireland)

Nationalist Party (Northern Ireland)

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The Nationalist Party<sup>†</sup> - was the continuation of the Irish Parliamentary Party, and was formed after partition, by the Northern Ireland-based members of the IPP.

The Nationalist Party didn't enter the House of Commons of Northern Ireland until 1924, having won six seats in the general election of 1921. In 1965, it agreed to become the official opposition party in the House of Commons. On 20 June 1968, Austin Currie, Nationalist Party MP at Stormont, with others, began a protest about discrimination in housing allocation by 'squatting' (illegally occupying) in a house in Caledon, County Tyrone. The house had been allocated by Dungannon Rural District Council to a 19 year-old unmarried Protestant woman, Emily Beattie, who was the secretary of a local Unionist politician. Emily Beattie was given the house ahead of older married Catholic families with children. The protesters were evicted by officers of the Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC), one of who was Emily Beattie's brother. The next day the annual conference of the Nationalist Party unanimously approved of the protest action by Austin Currie in Caledon. This was one of the catalysts of the civil rights movement in Northern Ireland. The party became involved in the Derry civil rights march in October 1968 which ended in violence amidst allegations of police brutality. As a result, the party withdrew from its role as official opposition on 15 October 1968,...
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