Welcome to the Airey Neave Trust
Airey Neave, war hero and the first Englishman to escape from Colditz, barrister, poilitician and shadow Secretary of State for Northern Ireland was assassinated by the the INLA in March 1979, in the car park of the House of Commons. He had led the campaign which brought Margaret Thatcher to the leadership of the Conservative party, and his death came a month before the General Election following which she became Prime Minister.
In the wake of the killing of Airey Neave by Irish terrorists in 1979, the Airey Neave Trust was established through public subscription, to further research and understanding in relation to Freedom under the Law, and especially about issues regarding the analysis of and the best response to terrorist violence.
Over the years since its foundation, the Trust has enabled people to produce work of a high calibre and of enduring significance in this field – examples include books by Dr John Horgan - Do They Have Their Exits?, James Harkin - Hunting Season and James Fergusson - The World’s Most Dangerous Place: Inside the Outlaw State of Somalia.
The Trust has also funded events which have furthered discussion and debate and appropriate response – including a consultation at St George’s House on Countering Violent Extremism Post Arab Spring and a National Security Fellowship Scheme on Countering IEDs and Detecting Home-made Explosives.
The value of this work has been noted by eminent scholars and policy-makers in the field. The quotes below underline the importance of the grants to the researchers:
Raffaello Pantucci - “The support that the Airey Neave Trust was able to provide me with gave me the space to undertake a wide ranging piece of research at a stage when the question of foreign terrorist fighters in their most recent incarnation was at its most nascent moment. The funding gave me the ability to dedicate resources to scour secondary material to get a detailed picture of the nature of the threat across Europe. It led to a series of presentations to senior security officials and a few short articles which would have been difficult to do in a timely manner using other sources of funding. I am grateful to the Trust for their support and hope to work with them again in the future!”
James Fergusson – “The Airey Neave Trust's generous fellowship award made an arduous project financially viable, while conferring a kind of moral authority that opened avenues of research that would otherwise have remained closed to me. The Trustees' support and encouragement, furthermore, was unwavering, and spurred me on to the finish-line. One could not hope for better sponsors.”
The Trust's work has covered a wide range of regional and thematic subjects, and seeks to make possible research which has a practical value in terms of protecting life and ensuring freedom across the world. Current events globally make clear that the threat from terrorism continues to preoccupy governments and to threaten societies across the world. An enduring, and policy-relevant, set of analyses and understandings is therefore more vital than ever. While linking with and helping to inform the work of Government and other institiutions, the Airey Neave Trust remains completely independent and continues to provide funding for work which would otherwise not be possible.