We should respect all traditions – Taoiseach defends ‘Black and Tans’ commemoration in Dublin Castle
An Taoiseach Leo Varadkar has doubled down on his intention to commemorate the Royal Irish Constabulary (RIC) and Dublin Metropolitan Police (DMP) force next week and told those opposing the plan we must be mature enough “to acknowledge all aspects of our past.”
The plans to commemorate the RIC particularly and the DMP have been widely criticised and last night Dublin City Councillors voted to boycott the commemoration in Dublin Castle on January 17.
Reacting on Twitter this morning to the news, Taoiseach Varadkar said the event is a commemoration of, and not a celebration of, the forces of the British state which policed Ireland.
“We should respect all traditions on our island and be mature enough as a State to acknowledge all aspects of our past,” the Taoiseach said.
“The RIC/DMP commemoration is not a celebration. It’s about remembering our history, not condoning what happened. We will also remember the terrible burning of Cork, Balbriggan, partition and the atrocities of the Civil War,” he added.
The controversy centres on the commemoration of the British groups termed ‘Auxiliaries’, more commonly known as the Black and Tans in Irish history.
They were placed under the charge of the RIC while posted to Ireland during the War of Independence and their brutal reputation has endured through time, despite the group only being in existence a matter of years.
Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin has said the commemoration was an “error in judgement” by the Government.
The overwhelming response to the Taoiseach’s tweets have been negative. Some have been very critical and prove that some wounds heal slowly. Most responses asked the Government to call off its plans, more say it is not something the Irish public asked for or want. While others are calling it out for simply being a waste of money.