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Royal Irish Constabulary : ウィキペディア英語版
Royal Irish Constabulary

The Royal Irish Constabulary (RIC, Irish: ''Constáblacht Ríoga na hÉireann'') was the armed police force of the United Kingdom in Ireland from the early nineteenth century until 1922. A separate civic police force, the unarmed Dublin Metropolitan Police controlled the capital, and the cities of Derry and Belfast, originally with their own police forces, later had special divisions within the RIC.〔 About seventy-five percent of the RIC were Roman Catholic and about twenty-five percent were of various Protestant denominations, the Catholics mainly constables and the Protestants officers. The RIC's successful system of policing influenced the armed Canadian North-West Mounted Police (predecessor of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police), the armed Victoria Police force in Australia, and the armed Royal Newfoundland Constabulary in Newfoundland.〔Jim Herlihy, ''The Royal Irish Constabulary'', Four Courts Press, 1997, ISBN 1-85182-343-3, pp. 87–91〕 In consequence of the Anglo-Irish Treaty, the RIC was disbanded in 1922 and was replaced by the Garda Síochána in the Irish Free State and the Royal Ulster Constabulary in Northern Ireland.

The first organised police forces in Ireland came about through the Peace Preservation Act in 1814 for which Sir Robert Peel (1788–1850) was largely responsible〔(BBC Northern Ireland: A Short History )〕 (the colloquial names "Bobby" and "Peeler" derive from his name Robert and Peel),〔OED entry at Peeler (3)〕 and the Irish Constabulary Act in 1822 formed the provincial constabularies.〔 The 1822 Act established a force in each province〔 with chief constables and inspectors general under the UK civil administration for Ireland controlled by the Dublin Castle administration. By 1841 this force numbered over 8,600 men. The original force had been reorganised under The Act of 1836, and the first constabulary code of regulations was published in 1837. The discipline was strict and the pay low. The police faced civil unrest among the Irish rural poor, and was involved in bloody confrontations during the period of the Tithe War. Other deployments were against organisations like the Ribbonmen, which attacked landlords, their property and stock.
The new constabulary first demonstrated its efficiency against civil agitation and Irish separatism during Daniel O'Connell's 1843 "monster meetings" to urge repeal of the Act of Parliamentary Union, and the Young Ireland campaign led by William Smith O'Brien in 1848, although it failed to contain violence at the so-called "Battle of Dolly's Brae" in 1849 (which provoked a Party Processions Act to regulate sectarian demonstrations). This was followed by a period of relative calm.
The advent of the Irish Republican Brotherhood, founded in 1858, brought a plan for an armed uprising. Direct action began with the Fenian Rising of 1867. Fenians attacked on the more isolated police barracks and smaller stations. This rebellion was put down with ruthless efficiency. The police had infiltrated the Fenians with informers. The success of the Irish Constabulary during the outbreak was rewarded by Queen Victoria who granted the force the prefix 'Royal' in 1867 and the right to use the insignia of the Most Illustrious Order of St Patrick in their motif. The RIC presided over a marked decline in general crime around the country. The unstable rural unrest of the early nineteenth century characterised by secret organisations and unlawful armed assembly was effectively controlled. Policing generally became a routine of controlling misdemeanours such as moonshine distilling, public drunkenness, minor theft, and wilful property crimes.
A Land War broke out in the 1879–82 Depression period, causing some general unrest.
In Belfast, with its industrial boom, the working population mushroomed, growing fivefold in fifty years. Much of the increase arose from Catholic migration and there were serious sectarian riots in 1857, 1864, 1872 and 1886. As a result, the small Belfast Town Police civic force was disbanded and responsibility for policing passed to the RIC.〔
During the 1907 Belfast Dock strike which was called by trade union leader Jim Larkin, a portion of the RIC went on strike after Constable William Barrett was suspended for his refusal to escort a traction engine driven by a blackleg carter. About 70% of the police force in Belfast declared their support of the strikers and were encouraged by Larkin to carry out their own strike for higher wages and a better pension. It never came to fruition, however, as dissident policemen were transferred out of Belfast four days before the strike was to begin. Barrett and six other constables were dismissed and extra British Army troops were deployed to Belfast. The dock strike ended on 28 August 1907.
The RIC's existence was, increasingly troubled by the rise of the Home Rule campaign〔The Saturday Review of Politics, Literature, Science and Art, Volume 76〕 in the early twentieth century period prior to World War I. Sir Neville Chamberlain was appointed Inspector-General in 1900. His years in the RIC coincided with the rise of a number of political, cultural and sporting organisations with the common aim of asserting Ireland's separateness from England.〔Brian Feeney, ''Sinn Féin. A Hundred Turbulent Years'', O'Brien, 2002, ISBN 0-86278-695-9, p. 38〕 The potential success of the third Home Rule Bill in 1912 introduced serious tensions: opponents of the Bill organised the Ulster Volunteer Force in January 1913 while supporters formed the Irish Volunteers in response. These two groups had over 250,000 members, organised as effective private armies. In reports to the Chief Secretary for Ireland, Augustine Birrell, and the Under-Secretary, Sir Matthew Nathan, Chamberlain warned that the Irish Volunteers were preparing to stage an insurrection and proclaim Irish independence.〔Michael Foy and Brian Barton, ''The Easter Rising'', Sutton, 2004, ISBN 0-7509-3433-6, p. 51〕 However, in April 1916 when Nathan showed him a letter from the army commander in the south of Ireland telling of an expected landing of arms on the southwest coast and a rising planned for Easter, they were both 'doubtful whether there was any foundation for the rumour'.〔Leon Ó Broin, ''Dublin Castle and the 1916 Rising'', Sidgwick & Jackson, 1966, p. 79〕 The Easter Rising began on Easter Monday, 24 April 1916 and lasted for six days, ending only when much of O'Connell Street had been destroyed by artillery fire. Although the Royal Commission on the 1916 Rebellion cleared the RIC of any blame for the Rising, Chamberlain had already resigned his post, along with Birrell and Nathan.

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