How did plans to remember the RIC and DMP become so controversial?

Minister for Justice Charlie Flanagan hoped event would rehabilitate forces’ reputation

May 1921: Lord John Denton Pinkstone French inspecting the Royal Irish Constabulary. Hundreds of RIC members were killed during the War of Independence. Photograph: Walshe/Topical Press Agency/Getty

May 1921: Lord John Denton Pinkstone French inspecting the Royal Irish Constabulary. Hundreds of RIC members were killed during the War of Independence. Photograph: Walshe/Topical Press Agency/Getty

In September the Minister for Justice Charlie Flanagan became the first government minister to attend a commemoration service for the Royal Irish Constabulary (RIC) and the Dublin Metropolitan Police (DMP).

The interdenominational service has been held every year since 2012 and was organised by the Historical and Reconciliation Police (Harp) Society set up by a group of ex-gardaí, led by Jim Herlihy.

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