THROUGH THE ARCHIVES: Growing opposition to the threatened removal police headquarters

From the News Letter, 28 December 1920

By Darryl Armitage
Monday, 28th December 2020, 6:00 am
The Market Cross in Newtownards. Picture: Graham Baalham-Curry
The Market Cross in Newtownards. Picture: Graham Baalham-Curry

A freely circulating rumour that the headquarters the Royal Irish Constabulary in North Down, which was at that time situated Newtownards, was to be removed to Bangor had given rise considerable opposition the former town and district, reported the News Letter on this day in 1920.

Meetings connection with the matter had been held and now the magistrates the Comber and districts had signed a strongly worded protest to sent to the Inspector-General the Royal Irish Constabulary.

In addition the Urban Council of Newtownards had passed a resolution expressing hope that the rumour is without foundation and, expressing disapproval the removal, “if in contemplation”.

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The resolution, copies of which had been sent the Lord Lieutenant, the Chief Secretary, Sir Ernest Clark, the Inspector-General, the County Inspector, and Mr T W Brown, KC, MP, pointed out that Newtownards had always been the headquarters of the police for the district of North Down.

It stated: “It is most important town the district and the most central for police administration, besides being the seat of the law courts.”

It continued: “There is no reason known why such a removal should be regarded essential at the present time; in fact, from every point of view all the reasons are in favour of the retention of Newtownards as the headquarters, and, in addition, the headquarters the Auxiliary Police are also stationed there.”

Elsewhere in the province the News Letter reported that there had been the fourth “highway robbery” near Londonderry within week had been committed Christmas night, “when a bread van driver in the employment Messrs Eaton and Co, Derry” had held up near Glendermott by three men who fired a revolver shot over his head.

The robbers took all the money in his possession, and, although the police wore promptly notified, no trace of them could be found.