Irish War of Independence centenary

Seems a few of the terrorists involved later got their come uppance

Among those who participated in the attacks on the R.I.C. barracks at Carrigtwohill and Cloyne were the following who were later killed at Clonmult: Michael and David Desmond, Michael Hallahan, Jerry Aherne, Donal Dennehy, James Aherne (Cobh); and Paddy Sullivan and Maurice Moore (both of Cobh) who were executed. Others who took part in the attacks were: Jim McCarthy, Mick Murnane, Moss Barry, Dan Walsh, Maurice Horgan, Daithi O'Brien, Michael Burke, Tom O'Shea, Jack O'Connell, Michael Casey, T. Cotter, M. Cotter, S. Kelleher and M. White.

An account of Clonmult - Clonmult Massacre
 

Mike Barton

War Hero
It's interesting that the UK learned from the 1919-21 campaign in the modern Troubles. When common sense would have said that Crossmaglen RUC station could be safely closed without detriment to the welfare of the local population, it was kept open and protected at great effort. No outlying RUC stations were closed during the Troubles (to my knowledge) even those that served no earthly purpose and were more bother than they were worth.

By abandoning so many small RIC barracks in the War of Independence the British conceded huge swathes of territory to the IRA and in the end all they achieved was to coop up dozens of policemen in fetid mid-sized barracks behind steel shutters, barbed wire and sand bags. It's no wonder the RIC's discipline collapsed.
 

Mike Barton

War Hero
Genuine question, is there any record of this?
Oh yes, very much so. There were mass resignations from the force as the IRA campaign got going leading to severe personnel shortages, one of the main reasons why there was a need to recruit in England.

The decline in morale was also evidenced in the breakdown in discipline leading to the reprisals, prior to this point the RIC was a highly disciplined force with a proud esprit de corps that would never have stooped to gobshitery like looting public houses.

In fairness the decline in morale in the RIC had started much earlier. It was accepted that it would probably be reorganised, if not actually disbanded, after the passage of the Home Rule. Recruitment was at an all-time low, many men had gone off to serve in the War and many of the older men were simply sitting tight until they got their pensions.

I don't think it's in any way controversial to state that the once remarkably high standards of morale and discipline in the RIC had collapsed by 1920, in a way that certainly wasn't seen among the RUC, well after the Hunt and Newman reforms anyway (prior to that the RUC was a bit iffy).
 

Mike Barton

War Hero
You could actually interpret that as evidence of their maintaining discipline as the authorities implemented a policy of secret killings and other reprisals.

The authorities implemented a policy of "official" reprisals as a post-hoc justification for the already ongoing reprisals that were being meted out by angry peelers against the population they had once dutifully served.

I think you can safely say that when a police force resorts to arson, looting, drunkenness and murder its discipline has probably declined to a fairly serious extent.
 

overopensights

ADC
Book Reviewer
I have been loaned a large album of Black and Tans images by a friend, who had a Grandfather in the unit.
In the album showing company group photographs, there is a great display of WW1 Medals, and judging by the soldier's neatness of dress, it seems most of them had done regular service. So the old saying 'that they emptied the Liverpool jails to man the Black and Tans seems to be fallacy?
The image shown here are the officers of one of the companies. The officer in the middle is the Company Commander. His medals show that he was very well decorated during the recent war; however he died of pneumonia about 1930.
black and Tans.jpg
 
angry peelers against the population they had once dutifully served.
It was a bit more fluid than that, The demography of the RIC changed rapidly between 1920 and 1921 with mass resignations of Irish Catholic officers who were replaced by English recruits. On top of this you had, as you know, the Auxilliaries and the Black and Tans, plus the Ulster Special Constabulary and the British Army all of whom conducted 'reprisals' sometimes drunk and sometimes these actions involved looting, theft, detruction of property and/or murder. And the IRA did likewise. Some involved were indisciplined but I don't think that shows evidence in a breakdown of discipline across any of the organisations involved.
 

Mike Barton

War Hero
I have been loaned a large album of Black and Tans images by a friend, who had a Grandfather in the unit.
In the album showing company group photographs, there is a great display of WW1 Medals, and judging by the soldier's neatness of dress, it seems most of them had done regular service. So the old saying 'that they emptied the Liverpool jails to man the Black and Tans seems to be fallacy?
The image shown here are the officers of one of the companies. The officer in the middle is the Company Commander. His medals show that he was very well decorated during the recent war; however he died of pneumonia about 1930.
View attachment 449772
They look like Auxies rather than Tans.

You may have uncovered a bit of a treasure trove of new photos, most of the photos you see of the Crown Forces from the time are the usual stock photos that are in every history book. Have you got any more?
 

overopensights

ADC
Book Reviewer
They look like Auxies rather than Tans.

You may have uncovered a bit of a treasure trove of new photos, most of the photos you see of the Crown Forces from the time are the usual stock photos that are in every history book. Have you got any more?
 

Mike Barton

War Hero
It was a bit more fluid than that, The demography of the RIC changed rapidly between 1920 and 1921 with mass resignations of Irish Catholic officers who were replaced by English recruits. On top of this you had, as you know, the Auxilliaries and the Black and Tans, plus the Ulster Special Constabulary and the British Army all of whom conducted 'reprisals' sometimes drunk and sometimes these actions involved looting, theft, detruction of property and/or murder. And the IRA did likewise. Some involved were indisciplined but I don't think that shows evidence in a breakdown of discipline across any of the organisations involved.
I think we'd have to agree to disagree on that point. I'm kind old-fashioned and when police officers are openly breaking the law I reckon you can safely say their discipline has gone to pot.
 

overopensights

ADC
Book Reviewer
Mike Barton greetings! : I will look into it further, there are some shots of ambushes just after the event, a few bodies about. It is indeed a very interesting album. I shall over time place some more images up on here.
 

Mike Barton

War Hero
Mike Barton greetings! : I will look into it further, there are some shots of ambushes just after the event, a few bodies about. It is indeed a very interesting album. I shall over time place some more images up on here.
Goodness, you might have stumbled across something quite valuable there, from a historical and even perhaps monetary point of view.

ETA: A fascinating link was provided a few pages back which recorded all the members of the Auxiliaries (if I am right in saying that is who they are), you should check it out and connect the names on the photos to their service, and subsequent, records.
 
I think we'd have to agree to disagree on that point. I'm kind old-fashioned and when police officers are openly breaking the law I reckon you can safely say their discipline has gone to pot.
You might not like criminal damage and murder but if it is official policy no law is being broken.
 
You might not like criminal damage and murder but if it is official policy no law is being broken.
Strongly disagree, as did the findings of the Nuremberg Trials etc. I was only following orders is not a defence for criminal acts.
 
Strongly disagree, as did the findings of the Nuremberg Trials etc. I was only following orders is not a defence for criminal acts.
I didn't say it was right and I have some sympathy with your opinion but the law as it stood at the time was pre Nurenberg so that ruling does not apply.

More to the point I have spent some time trying to find examples of murders carried out by the regular members of the RIC and apart from the Mayor of Cork, there does not seem to be any on record. Destruction of suspects houses was a common punishment used by the British across the Empire, where do you think the current Israeli policy came from?
 
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I didn't say it was right and I have some sympathy with your opinion but the law as it stood at the time was pre Nurenberg so that ruling does not apply.

More to the point I have spent some time trying to find examples of murders carried out by the regular members of the RIC and apart from the Mayor of Cork, there does not seem to be any on record. destruction of suspects houses was a common punishment used by the British across the Empire, where do you think the current Israeli policy came from?
I don't think Nuremberg set the law, the law was as it is, but Nuremberg was the first time it got put to the test, and as you say a ruling was made. To be honest in the timescale this happened, there wasn't anyone able to hold the British establishment to account.
 

Mike Barton

War Hero
I didn't say it was right and I have some sympathy with your opinion but the law as it stood at the time was pre Nurenberg so that ruling does not apply.

More to the point I have spent some time trying to find examples of murders carried out by the regular members of the RIC and apart from the Mayor of Cork, there does not seem to be any on record. Destruction of suspects houses was a common punishment used by the British across the Empire, where do you think the current Israeli policy came from?
I think you are mistaken, English Common Law, which applied in Ireland at that time, cannot simply be overturned by a ruling of the cabinet.

If it is unlawful for a police constable to loot a public house or shoot the Lord Mayor of a large town then according to the law to do so is a crime.

The cabinet in 10 Downing Street deciding that in certain circumstances it might be acceptable to do so if the victims are Irish does not over rule Common Law.
 

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