THE GOVERNMENT HAS decided to cancel its proposed commemoration for those who served in the Royal Irish Constabulary (RIC) and the Dublin Metropolitan Police (DMP) prior to Irish independence that had been due to take place on 17 January.
The scheduling of the event had seen the government come under sustained criticism, with a number of politicians saying in recent days that they will not attend the event.
Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin said that scheduling the event was an “error in judgement” while the Sinn Féin leader Mary Lou McDonald said it “should be cancelled”.
The event, which was due to be held at Dublin Castle, would’ve been attended by the Minister for Justice Charlie Flanagan and Garda Commissioner Drew Harris.
Today, TheJournal.ie reported that the expert advisory group for the government’s Decade of Centenaries programme did not recommend the planned commemoration event for the RIC, according to one of the group’s members Diarmaid Ferriter.
In a statement this evening, Minister Flanagan has said that “given the disappointing response of some to the planned event on 17 January, I do not believe that the event, as planned, can now take place in an atmosphere that meets the goals and guiding principles of the overall commemorative programme”.
The minister said that he is committed to “proceeding with an alternative commemoration in the months ahead”.
Flanagan said he would consult further with the expert advisory group with a view to organising an event that is “inclusive and fully respectful of all the traditions and memories on this island”.
“Thousands of Irish people have ancestors who served in the Dublin Metropolitan Police and Royal Irish Constabulary,” he said. “These personal histories are part of the history of our island. I believe it is right that we acknowledge that history.