Controversy regarding a proposed memorial to The RIC and Black and Tans

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Thought you all might be interested in this:

The Garda Siochana Retired Members Association wishes to erect a memorial to the RIC, including the Black and Tans apparently. To see the full article please read the link below and when you are finished please see a letter on this post sent by James Langton that he sent to the RGA.

Retired gardai to honour RIC

Sunday November 20 2011

“RETIRED gardai are seeking permission from the Government to erect a monument in Glasnevin Cemetery to 500 members of the Royal Irish Constabulary, including the ‘Black and Tans’, who were killed by the IRA in the War of Independence.”

James Langton has sent a letter to the Garda Siochana Retired Members Association. It is as below:

“Dear Sir/Madam,

I read the article “Retired Gardai to honour RIC” Sunday Independant 20-Nov-2011 and was horrified at its content. To erect a monument to the RIC, DMP and more so, the Black and Tans is an outrage, and what is even more outrages is the fact that the majority of the people who they murdered on Bloody Sunday in Croke Park, lay scattered throughout that cemetery in unmarked graves, all except one, in the very graveyard that you want to erect a monument to the forces that put them there.

One only has to look at the new book “Revolution” by Pádraig Ó O’Ruairc, page 133, to see their brutality in its most barbaric. Beneath two horrific photos of the open coffins containing the corpses of Patrick and Harry Loughnane is the following script: The bodies of IRA members Patrick and Harry Loughnane, who were killed by D company of the RIC Auxiliary Division in November 1920. These photographs were taken at their wake at the Hynes farm, Dungora, near Kinvara, Co. Galway. The Loughnane brothers were arrested in daylight at their family home in Shanaglish on the 26th Nov 1920. Their partially burned and mutilated bodies were discovered in a pond near Ardrahan on the 5th Dec 1920. The two brothers were tied to the back of an RIC lorry and forced to run behind it until they collapsed from exhaustion and were dragged along the road. Both of Patrick’s arms, legs and wrists were broken. His scull was fractured and there were diamond shaped wounds carved into his torso. Harry’s body was missing two fingers, his right arm was broken and nearly severed from his body. Nothing was left of Harry’s face except for his chin and lips. A doctor who examined the bodies stated that the cause of death was “Laceration of the skull and the brain”.

Lets not forget the sacking of Cork City, Lets not forget the sacking of Trim, Lets not forget the sacking of Balbriggan and the murders that took place in these places to name just a few. In Balbriggan the RIC took two men from their barracks, James Lawless and Jim Gibbons and bayonetted them before shooting them dead. There were hundreds of reports of misbehaviour on a smaller scale. The late Lord Longford wrote of Tans torturing captured republicans, “cutting out the tongue of one, the nose of another, the heart of another and battering in the skull of a fourth”. Another observer reported: “They had neither religion nor morals, they used foul language, they had the old soldier’s talent for dodging and scrounging, called the Irish ‘natives’, associated with low company, stole from each other, sneered at the customs of the country and drank to excess.”

The Catholic cardinal of the day called them “a horde of savages, some of them simply brigands, burglars and thieves”. Similar denunciations came from within the armed forces, their commander, General Frank Crozier resigned in 1921 because they had been “used to murder, rob, loot, and burn up the innocent because they could not catch the few guilty on the run”. In this instance, its reputation is not based on any republican propaganda and exaggeration, since there is no dispute that “the Tans” killed and destroyed on a large scale. Nor did they make any secret of their ferocious reprisals. When a Tan was killed in Cork, they burnt down more than 300 buildings in the city centre and afterwards proudly pinned pieces of burnt cork to their caps.

A British Labour Party commission reported that it felt feelings of shame at witnessing the “insolent swagger” of the Tans, whom they described as “rough, brutal, abusive and distinctly the worse for liquor”.

Appalled and Saddened

James Langton.”

Is it the case that there are no grave headstones to these men?, or is it that they wish to erect a memorial to them? Every man deserves a headstone, no matter who they are, but a memorial  is made to honour and remember.

We would like to hear opinions and thoughts on this matter.


  1. Tom Carew February 26, 2013 at 10:59 pm

    A public memorial [ and not merely a gravestone ] exists in Dublin City to a notorious Nazi collaborator, who died on a Nazi sub, Sean Russell, the leader of an illegal gang who murdered our Gardai. If [a] even this is permitted, by Dublin City Council and the State, and [b] since our State was represented by President Mary McAleese at Mesen in Flanders on Nov 11, 1998, when, jointly with Queen Elizabeth, she unveiled the Irish Round Tower as a public memorial to the Irish men, all volunteers, in 16th Irish and 36th Ulster Divisions, who fought there together in 1917, and [c] the same Queen was invited to Croke Park by the GAA and to the Garden of Remembrance by our State, then why should it be unthinkable to have any public memorial to a body, the RIC, in which over 74,000 Irishmen served [ typically the sons of Southern Catholic small farmers ], or to the DMP, in which over 12,500 Irishmen served ?

  2. Martin Bergin January 18, 2013 at 9:52 pm

    WTF?? Are thease people mad or have they lost their memory??Erecting a memorial to
    the R.I.C and tans is an outrage Its like the british erecting a monument to the Nazis.

  3. Edward Comerford November 19, 2012 at 9:36 pm

    I think people like journalist Kevin Myers & the retired gardai are to be wholeheartedly thanked for this fine act of rememberance. In war ( this one started by thugs like Dan Breen etc) the first casualty as always was truth. The onus on those who seek to comment on the RIC is to get properly informed about the history of this force which, despite what biased republican revisionist history will have you believe were highly regarded & accepted fine local irish policemen, who also helped to train & set up numerous other forces throughout the world, including the Canadian Mounties.
    The reputation of the Royal Irish Constabulary will stand up to proper scrutiny & the test of time.
    It is very fitting to remember these five hundred + men & the circumstances of the wrongful & shameful murders.
    Rest in Peace.

  4. Kathleen Lowry November 30, 2011 at 12:56 am

    No words to describe this.

  5. Tom Cooper November 26, 2011 at 5:57 pm

    It would appear that the revisionists have even infiltrated the Garda Siochána. We are long used to the likes of Myers, Harris, Dudley Edwards et al conditioning us to, as they see it, returning to the Commonwealth. Or better still, as they also see it, returning to our former role as subjects of Her Majesty. These revisionists may be small in number but are in positions of influence in the media to spread their agenda. It is not surprising that the major shareholder of Independent Newspapers has been knighted by Queen Elizabeth II. They are extremely well funded and have for many years now been active in pursuing a policy of incrementally re-Britishing this State. With many people now so engaged in attempting to live from day to day because of the financial catastrophe visited upon us, these southern unionists appear to be making great strides. They should not be allowed to make gains by default. For the retired Garda Association to commemorate the Black and Tans and Auxillaries is tantamount to the people of Warsaw commemorating the SS. It is either the most ignorant or most idiotic and disgusting proposal I have ever read. I know we in Ireland have lost our financial sovereignty but surely to God we must hold on to our collective sense of dignity, decency and respect for those who brought about this State. Shame on those who proposed the erection of such a memorial and further shame on those of us who allow it to prosper.

  6. joan hutchins November 25, 2011 at 7:41 pm

    Omg!!!!!! Outrageous!!! There should be no such memorial 4 them in Eire. & if everyone is daft there, I would hope there’s a few sane ones 2 tear it down!!

  7. admin November 25, 2011 at 6:19 pm

    Mairtin Mac Ciarrainn says:
    i would personally not be in favour of these guys being commerated in this way however if they wish to have a plaque placed some where like in england then fine , but every wing nut with a slanted agenda would decend upon it to destroy it or vandalise it so it would only be a magnet to others, i do think their is a time and a place for these things just not sure where to be honest as its part of our history but it would certainly make me uneasy at the possible reactions of some to it and perhaps give them creditabiity to a modern day cause and this would greatly sadden me as relationships are improving and strengthening and i rthink this man maybe better giving his time to lobby government for4 more guards on our streets and better security for our citizens and better pay for our guards as well as they do a great job and deserve full representation

  8. Nick November 25, 2011 at 5:48 pm

    I wish I could say I am shocked – but I am not. After all, the Gardai ran the ‘heavy gang’ for several years, which was the modern equivalent of the Black & Tans. I don’t think all Gardai by any means would support this monstrosity of a proposed monument, but that any do is pitiful and shameful. What kind of mentality do those proposing this monument purport to have?

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