Nationalist attitudes to the Royal Irish Constabulary make a mockery of pious claptrap about a new Ireland
A letter from George McNally:
One of the interview questions which used to be asked of potential undergraduates seeking a place at Oxbridge Colleges was: ‘Why do people mark the scene of death at road traffic accidents with flowers?’
Flowers wither and are sometimes replaced with memorial plaques.
We have private ways of remembering our dead and most nation states have the official rhetoric of Remembrance Days, cenotaphs, poppies, green laurel wreaths, bands and solemn music.
Terrorist groups (aka freedom fighters) fire volleys of shots in front of urban commemorative murals.
The News Letter (‘RIC officers to be commemorated at service in St Paul’s Cathedral,’ September 6, see link below) reports that Royal Irish Constabulary (RIC) officers who died on duty are to be remembered at a service in St Paul’s Cathedral next year.
My father served in the RIC from 1919 until disbandment when he transferred to the Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC).
He had served throughout the First World War (wounded twice) but he told me before he died in 1978 that the killing of some of his fellow officers had had a greater effect on him than the horrors of the trenches.
He did not see his colleagues as “agents of British Imperialism and colonialism”.
We all create narratives about our own past (hands up those who have written an honest CV!).
Subjective, selective, historical narratives do not reflect ‘shared history’.
We need one historical narrative written by academic historians beholden to the rigours of their discipline.
Obeisance to shrines built on myth, half-truth and lies continues the transmission of atavistic barbarism from one generation to the next.
Last year in Dublin, the justice minister, Charles Flanaghan, argued that RIC and Dublin Metropolitan Police officers should not be “airbrushed from history” when he was forced to abandon an official state commemoration by Irish nationalists and republicans.
Such political behaviour makes a mockery of the pious claptrap about a new Ireland and a ‘shared future’ (which really means reluctant acquiescence on the part of unionists).
PS — Those members of the RIC who transferred to the RUC never received pension benefits for their years of service because Dublin and Belfast could not agree and their fund for legal redress ran out.
George McNally, Londonderry
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