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Dublin: 6 °C Thursday 23 January, 2020

Taoiseach refuses to be drawn on future of RIC commemoration

Varadkar was asked about the renewed success of the rebel song Come Out Ye Black and Tans.


TAOISEACH LEO VARADKAR has said he will not be commenting further on the Government’s decision to roll back on the Royal Irish Constabulary (RIC) commemorations which sparked a huge public backlash this week. 

Speaking to reporters in Dublin today, Varadkar was asked about the renewed success of the rebel song Come Out Ye Black and Tans which shot to the top of the iTunes charts yesterday. 

The Wolfe Tones, which is behind the famous song, said any revenue raised from the recent downloads would be donated to homeless charity, the Peter McVerry Trust. 

“I think I’ve no further comment to make on commemorations,” Varadkar said. 

Justice Minister Charlie Flanagan, who supported hosting a commemoration for members of the RIC, cancelled an upcoming event at Dublin Castle on Tuesday following pressure from opposition TDs and the public. also reported that the expert advisory group for the Government’s Decade of Centenaries programme did not recommend the planned commemoration event for the RIC, according to one of the group’s members Diarmaid Ferriter.

Flanagan has insisted an alternative event will be held later in the year. Asked if he would like an event to take place before a general election, Varadkar again refused to be drawn. 

“I’ve no more to say on that then I’ve already said,” he insisted. 

The originally planned event, which was due to be held at Dublin Castle on 17 January, would’ve been attended by Flanagan and Garda Commissioner Drew Harris. 

Flanagan said he would consult further with the expert advisory group with a view to organising an event that is “inclusive and fully respectful of all the traditions and memories on this island”.

“Thousands of Irish people have ancestors who served in the Dublin Metropolitan Police and Royal Irish Constabulary,” he said. “These personal histories are part of the history of our island. I believe it is right that we acknowledge that history.”

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