Monday 23 October 2017

Kevin Myers: There is no political constituency that gets angry at the neglect of these poor murdered policemen

THE 'Irish Times' observed that it was "significant" that no Government figure attended last weekend's memorial service at Glasnevin Cemetery for the 563 policemen of the RIC and the DMP killed between 1916 and 1922. "These men served the British crown and sought to prevent the emergence of an independent state ... the atrocities committed by some RIC members and particularly by their supporting auxiliaries, the Black and Tans, still resonate." The editorial continued: "Many members of the RIC and the DMP... as Catholics, were excluded from the top ranks of the RIC."

So, there you have it: the standard, fact-free, Fenian fairy-tale, from the paper of record, once the voice of Irish unionism, but now sounding like The New Irish Press. So, let's begin with that final falsehood, about the ban on Catholics.

The last inspector-general of the RIC, 1916-1920, was in fact Brigadier General Sir John Aloysius Byrne, a Catholic from Derry. And it is surely one of the grisliest triumphs of the unionist-republican conspiracy against Irish democracy that within a couple of years it would be quite inconceivable for a Derry Catholic to be either a British army general or the head of the Irish police, never mind, God help us both.

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