Justice Minister insists RIC commemoration is not a celebration

Louth Fine Gael TD labels RIC commemoration plans'inappropriate

Louth Fine Gael TD labels RIC commemoration plans'inappropriate

THE cathaoirleach of Mayo County Council will not be attending the commemoration for members of the RIC and the Dublin Metropolitan Police for their work prior to Irish Independence.

Minister Flanagan responded to opposition to the event which has included some from Sinn Féin representatives in his own constituency.

"It would be more in line for the Government to put their efforts into supporting our current defence forces who are underpaid and operate in bad conditions", Mike Cubbard said.

Mr Flanagan said: "It is not a celebration".

Councillors described the event as "obscene".

Speaking in Dublin, Independent Councillor Noeleen Reilly said: "We are firmly opposed to these murderous cretins being remembered in our city".

'The approach to the Decade of Centenaries has made clear that there is no hierarchy of Irishness and that our goal of reconciliation on the island of Ireland can only be achieved through mutual understanding and mutual respect of the different traditions on the island.

He also said: "Commemorating the forces who were in place to enforce British rule, oppress Irishmen and Irishwomen fighting for freedom and collude with the Auxiliaries and Black and Tans to murder innocent civilians would be an insult to the memory of those who fought for Irish freedom".

The Black and Tans were recruited from March 1920 to supplement the RIC.

"They got their name from the dark green RIC tunics and khaki British Army pants which they wore".

A few months later, the British government established a second additional force, known as the Auxiliaries, this time recruiting from demobilised army officers.

"They should withdraw their accusation that, to quote Minister (Charlie) Flanagan, those who choose not to attend this event are abandoning "mutual understanding and reconciliation".

"You are commemorating an institution that does not have a good history in Ireland and took the side of the Black and Tans during the War of Independence", he told Cork's 96FM radio station.

He applauded the Fianna Fáil Mayor of Clare, Cathal Crowe, for boycotting for Cllr Morris said was a " shameful commemoration".

In the statement, Flanagan cited "the disappointing response of some" as a reason why the event would not go ahead. The RIC has found itself on the wrong side of history. I can not support an event to commemorate them.

Mr Cubbard said attending the event would me "hypocritical". "So many other Irish families share this complex history and these facts should be explored and acknowledged as all the threads of our history, within families and as a nation, make us who we are today as a people", he said.

They said it was "something that came from justice primarily" and claimed Mr Flanagan's department was "managing this themselves to a large extent".

"I councillor Frankie Daly under no circumstances will turn my back on courageous Irish people who gave and lost their lives for Irish freedom".

Don't be put off by fires, Australia tells tourists
Lakers' Anthony Davis leaves with apparent back injury after scary fall