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Irish Constabulary/Royal Irish Constabulary

Irish Constabulary/Royal Irish Constabulary (after 1867). The Irish Constabulary was created in 1836 with an initial strength of around 7,500: this figure rose to 12,358 in 1850, before settling at around 10,000. The force was distinct from its English counterparts: it conformed more closely to continental models, being armed and centrally controlled. The prefix ‘Royal’ was granted in 1867 in recognition of the constabulary's conduct during the Fenian rising. However, pay remained low, while the administrative burden and unpopularity of the force grew: morale was therefore vulnerable, as evidenced by the police strike of August 1882, and by police disaffection during the Belfast dockers' strike of 1907. The RIC bore the burden of the Irish Republican Army onslaught of 1919–21, sustaining around 416 killed and just under 700 wounded. The force was disbanded in 1922 after the ratification of the Anglo-Irish treaty in London and Dublin.

Alvin Jackson

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