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Dublin City Council votes to boycott RIC commemoration service

The motion described the event planned to be held in Dublin Castle on 17 January as “obscene”.

Image: Shutterstock/Giovanni Giansante

DUBLIN CITY COUNCILLORS have voted to boycott the national commemoration service for the Royal Irish Constabulary (RIC) on 17 January.

An emergency motion put before councillors this evening by several Independent and Sinn Féin councillors described the event planned to be held in Dublin Castle on 17 January as “obscene”.

The motion stated: “Only a subservient government suffering from a post-colonial state of mind and ashamed of our revolutionary history would encourage this disgraceful event”.

The move comes after Taoiseach Leo Varadkar said earlier today it is “regrettable” that a number of politicians have decided to boycott the commemoration. 

The government has confirmed plans to commemorate those who served in the RIC and the Dublin Metropolitan Police (DMP) prior to Irish independence. Both groups were disbanded in 1922 following the signing of the Anglo-Irish Treaty.

The event, which will be held at Dublin Castle, will be attended by the Minister for Justice Charlie Flanagan and Garda Commissioner Drew Harris. 

However, a number of politicians – such as the Fianna Fáil Mayor of Clare, Cathal Crowe, and Fianna Fáil Cork Councillor John Sheehan – have confirmed in recent days that they will not attend the event, despite being invited. 

Speaking to reporters this afternoon, Varadkar said that he is “disappointed to hear that some people are going to boycott the event”. 

“I think that is regrettable,” Varadkar said. 

Tonight’s Dublin City Council motion was passed by 38 votes to 10.

A statement released by councillors today ahead of tonight’s council meeting said: “The RIC and the DMP had an intolerable record of barbarism in this country while carrying out British rule in Ireland.

“That this obscene event is taking place is not only an affront to generations of patriots who struggled to end centuries of imperial tyranny but it seeks to question the very legitimacy of our battle for independence and sovereignty.”

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