RIC commemoration under fire

Sinead Kelleher

The controversial State Commemoration of the Royal Irish Constabulary in Dublin Castle, which was deferred by the Government following public outcry, was deemed ‘inappropriate’ by Mayor of Kerry, Cllr Niall Kelleher.

His stance on the issue had been backed by Deputy Mayor Cllr Norma Moriarty, also of Fianna Fáil.

The Government was to honour those who served in the RIC and the Dublin Metropolitan Police at an event in Dublin Castle as part of the War of Independence centenary programme.

However, the decision by the Government to honour the organisations had been met with overwhelming opposition from a large portion of the public and was eventually deferred on Tuesday evening.

Councillor Kelleher said he felt that it would be ‘inappropriate’ to attend.

“I acknowledge that many of the RIC members were quite decent people but, as a body, the organisation was guilty of gross interference with this country’s search for freedom and independence.”

Sinn Féin’s Pa Daly said he believed that the majority of Kerry people were against the RIC and, therefore, the commemoration should not be attended.

“We should talk to the families of John Leen and Maurice Reidy, shot on Christmas day in 1920 in Ballymac, about a commemoration,” he said.

“There was also the siege of Tralee in 1920, where the town was terrorised by the RIC.”

As per protocol for such invitations, the invitation to the commemoration had been passed to Kerry County Council’s Corporate Policy Group (CPG), who were due to discuss the matter when they meet next Tuesday.

The CPG is chaired by Cllr Kelleher and includes Cllr Michael Cahill, Cllr Norma Foley, Cllr Mike O’Shea, Cllr Robert Beasley and Cllr Mike Kennelly.

As The Kerryman went to print, Minister Brendan Griffin TD (Fine Gael) had not replied to requests for comment on the situation.

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