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State should recognise sacrifice of DMP and RIC

THE 90th anniversary of the disbandment of the Dublin Metropolitan Police and Royal Irish Constabulary takes place this week.

Nearly 500 -- mostly native Irishmen, Catholic and Protestant -- were murdered during the War of Independence by the IRA, writes Gerry O'Carroll.

Some were shot dead as they left mass with their families, others ambushed while outnumbered.

They have been written out of the official record of 1916 and 1922, much as innocent Protestants civilians murdered in Cork and elsewhere were airbrushed from history.

It took decades to acknowledge the thousands of Irish men and women who lost their lives in the two World Wars. But now we have the Memorial Garden in Islandbridge.


But why does the State still refuse to recognise the men of the RIC and DMP who died in the War of Independence and 1916? Most were innocent policemen doing their duty. The DMP went on to form the backbone of the new Garda Siochana, which I and many others had the honour to serve.

We all know, rightly, of the notorious atrocities committed by the RIC Auxiliary Division.

But how many know of the policemen murdered as they went about everyday duties or while off-duty?

Thousands of Irish people have grandfathers and great grandfathers who served in the DMP and RIC.

There are many events to commemorate IRA and Sinn Fein figures of the Rising.

Is it not time to honour those who gave their lives while serving to uphold the law, even if it was administered by a colonial British government?