Irish Republican News · August 24, 2012
[Irish Republican News]

[Irish Republican News]
IRISH REPUBLICAN NEWS: Dublin commemoration for the RIC
Dublin commemoration for the RIC

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An attempt to rehabilitate members of pro-British police militias who brutally opposed the Irish struggle for freedom during the War of Independence has provoked outrage in the 26 Counties.

Organisers of an event in Dublin tomorrow say they want to remember the Royal Irish Constabulary and other ‘police’ who worked alongside British forces -- and they have received support from the governing Fine Gael party.

A Fine Gael spokeswoman said there was no reason the event should not go ahead in what she described as “the current era of reconciliation and commemoration”.

The event has been organised at Glasnevin Cemetery by two retired members of the 26-County Gardai police.

Organiser Gerard Lovett said the point of the event was to remember members of the RIC and Dublin Metropolitan Police (DMP) who, he said, had been “airbrushed out of history”.

A number of retired members of the British Crown forces are to join them at the event.

As an armed colonial police force, the RIC worked alongside the notorious British Black and Tans and Auxiliaries, who were responsible for scores of atrocities across Ireland.

Tasked with brutally enforcing British rule in Ireland, the RIC were directly responsible for the original Bloody Sunday massacre, firing into Croke Park, killing 13 innocent spectators and the Tipperary football team captain Michael Hogan.

The move has shocked traditional nationalists.

Sinn Fein said it had “no issue” with an unofficial commemoration of RIC and DMP members, but said there should be official participation by the 26-County state.

“The RIC and DMP were key elements in the brutal and often murderous enforcement of British rule in Ireland against the democratic wishes of the Irish people,” a Sinn Fein spokesman said.

“As such they were combatants in the War of Independence and were targeted as such by the IRA in the pursuit of freedom and independence.

“However, Sinn Fein has no issue with individuals who may wish, in an unofficial capacity, to mark their deaths.”

© 2012 Irish Republican News