Special Dublin service to remember Royal Irish Constabulary dead

Royal Irish Constabulary members
Royal Irish Constabulary members

A special service to commemorate the Royal Irish Constabulary (RIC) officers who died between the Easter Rising of 1916 and the partition of Ireland in 1922 will be held in Dublin later this month.

More than 500 members of the RIC and Dublin Metropolitan Police (DMP) lost their lives during those turbulent years and their memory has been kept alive by the HARP Society.

Most of the murdered officers were Catholics – many shot dead in front of their families as they left Sunday mass.

This year’s inter-denominational commemoration will take place on Saturday, August 27 at St Paul of the Cross church, Mount Argus at 2.30pm.

The hour-long service will consist of Old and New Testament readings, with music from the Garda Ladies Choir and the Dublin Concert Band.

A spokesman for the HARP Society said: “It is a matter of record that the RIC and DMP for the greater part served their communities faithfully in the decades leading up to the revolutionary period, only to find themselves suddenly on the wrong side of history’s tide.

“We consider it only fair and just that those policemen – many of whom had long service and families to support – should, in these reconciliatory times, be officially remembered.”

The spokesman added: “They and their countless descendants have made an immeasurable contribution to the fabric of Irish society.”

In previous years, the society said they had faced criticism from some Irish republicans for paying tribute to a British-backed police force.

There was controversy in 2012 when a similar religious commemorative service – the first of its kind – was held at the national police memorial in Dublin’s Glasnevin cemetery.