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Re-enactments and commemorative coin among plans to celebrate An Garda Síochána centenary in 2022

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Garda Commissioner Drew Harris. Picture by David Conachy. 6/9/2018

Garda Commissioner Drew Harris. Picture by David Conachy. 6/9/2018

Garda Commissioner Drew Harris. Picture by David Conachy. 6/9/2018

There are major plans to commemorate the centenary of An Garda Síochána in 2022 after the RIC memorial fiasco of a year ago.

An oral history project, a re-enactment of the “storming” of Dublin Castle by the new Civic Guard, and the special award of a commemorative coin and ribbon to all serving members are on the cards. News of the effort comes after a weekend recognising the centenary of the burning of Cork by Auxiliaries to the RIC.

Independent TD Joan Collins said yesterday the State attempt to commemorate the RIC had been insensitive and all anniversary commemorations would have to be be respectful of all views.

A special committee chaired by a senior officer will co-ordinate the commemorations within the organisation.

Two significant events are planned, one on February 7 , 2022, marking the meeting at the Gresham Hotel, Dublin where the decisio n to form the Civic Guard was taken. The other will be in August to commemorate the storming of Dublin Castle by the Garda commissioner on August 17, 1922, when the Civic Guard took control of the former seat of British administration in Ireland.

Other plans under consideration include the digitisation of historic Garda materials to make them publicly available online, a photographic exhibition, the issuing of a commemorative ribbon and coin for personnel working during the centenary year, publication of a commemorative book and local displays and events.

The Association of Garda Sergeants and Inspectors believes a commemorative medal could also be struck and presented to every serving member for members of the Defence Forces in 2016.

James Browne, minister of state at the Department of Justice, said: “Any ideas of merit would certainly be given consideration.”

The Garda Síochána Retired Members Association wants an oral history project to be considered, pointing out a similar project is taking place in the Military Archives in Cathal Brugha Barracks.

Some of this testimony and eyewitness accounts could involve anti-subversive operations over recent decades.

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