Sometimes the past is better left well alone…


CONTROVERSIAL: Royal Irish Constabulary (RIC) men under inspection in Derry during an election in 1913, nine years before their disbandment was formed under British rule in Ireland Image copyrightHULTON ARCHIVEGETTY IMAGES

‘Belfast is dotted with sites of RIC atrocities’

CHARLIE Flanagan saved his blushes by cancelling next week’s RIC remembrance event and if you ask me, he did the right thing.

Irish Taoiseach Leo Varadkar: HUMILIATED here with the controversial Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC) badge (inset) who were also controversially disbanded and who replaced the RIC after it was disbanded.

The Republic’s Justice and Equality Minister said it will go ahead at a later date, but I seriously doubt it. The Fine Gael (turncoat) man totally misread the collective memory of the nation. He gave me the impression that something like this was normal and shouldn’t cause controversy. But as Diarmaid Ferriter – one of Ireland’s best-known historians who had been part of a government advisory panel – explained, Flanagan’s proposals weren’t what his group had recommended. As people living in the North of Ireland know well, the so-called Decade of Centenaries was always going to be controversial if not outright contentious. There’s no doubt there were many members of the RIC who did their duty honourable and without malice. But there’s also no denying it was a colonial police force and its overall legacy is one of shame.


When Winston Churchill ordered the so-called Black and Tans into Ireland to assist the RIC, they dutifully facilitated them and violence and civil unrest increased dramatically. The drunken ravages of the Black and Tans have been well documented elsewhere. But I get the feeling Taoiseach Leo Varadkar would rather there were no commemorations at all and in some instances that may indeed be the right approach. And I also firmly believe a nation needs to fully understand its past in order to enable it to face the future with renewed confidence.

Rejecting expressed concerns over commemorations for members of the RIC, Varadkar snapped: “Hey, that was 100 years ago!” before adding that those shot by the RIC during a GAA match at Croke Park will also be remembered. “So yeah, the 16 players and spectators gunned down by the RIC, yeah, they’ll be getting plaques and things too,” Varadkar said. Inner city Belfast is dotted with sites of atrocities where RIC murder gangs dispensed wholesale slaughter against the local Catholic community.

Remembering all those executed by the Royal Irish Constabulary (RIC) in Croke Park on what became known as Bloody Sunday in 1920

Even today, the name of District Inspector Nixon sends shivers down the spine of many families whose forebears suffered at the hands of the officer and his men. Perhaps Charlie Flanagan could explain to surviving members of the McMahon family how he plans to honour members of the organisation which gunned down their relatives in their own home? Following the murder of a police constable in the Carrickhill area of Belfast, follow this link to find out more: RIC replied by slaughtering six civilians in Arnon Streer and a few streets nearby. Again Nixon and his men were responsible. And in Weaver Street off the Shore Road, four Catholic children and two adults were slain when a grenade was thrown into the middle of them. follow this link to find out more: Minutes before the attack, the youngsters – who had been playing happily with Protestant friends who lived nearby – were herded back to their ‘own end’ of the street by two Ulster Special Constables. The attack was clearly pre-planned.

A military hand grenade similar to the one used in the murder of four Catholic children and two adults

Following the divisive Civil War in the Irish Free State, a decision was taken at a senior level to leave aside inquiries for fear of stirring up more negative emotions. Yes, as I said before, many RIC men served with honour. But it appears Charlie Flanagan’s plans to publicly commemorate them could have been better thought out. Or perhaps even left well alone.

With many thanks to: The Sunday World and Hugh Jordan 

Hugh Jordan The Sunday

for the original in The Sunday

Follow these links to find out more:

(2)-: Bloody Sunday 1920:


Author: seachranaidhe1

About Me I studied for six months training and became certified in Exam 070-271 in May 2010 and shortly after that became certifed in Exam 070-272. I scored highly in both Exams and hope to upgrade my path to M.C.S.A. ( Server Administrator ) in the near future.I also hold Level 2 Qualifications in three subjects Microsoft Word, Microsoft Powerpoint and Microsoft Spreedsheets. I have also expereance with Web Design using Microsoft Front-Page.

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