Rewriting Irish history?
That seems to be the main concern of the contemporary Pro-British faction in modern Ireland. These anachronistic, post-colonial throwbacks are currently engaged in a long-running campaign to rehabilitate the memory of the Royal Irish Constabulary or RIC, Britain’s paramilitary police force in Ireland during the colonial occupation.
Like the Far Right and Neo-Nazi revisionists in France who are trying to repackage the record of the the Vichy Regime and the infamous Milice française, the Neo-Unionist extreme here are engaged in the political whitewashing of our collective history and the attempted brainwashing of an entire generation of Irish people. A generation who will never know the ever-present fear of the RIC that our great-grandparents and those before them knew. Unless one was raised in the North of Ireland, where the RIC’s direct successor, the Royal Ulster Constabulary, continued to operate as Britain’s colonial enforcers in Ireland, the dread of the British terror machine is but a fact in the pages of a history book. Not the reality of everyday life.
This “revisionist” censorship is no more evident than in the columns of our national newspapers where the media elite, shaped by the views and politics of the British apologists amongst them, beat a steady drum roll of Neo-Unionist propaganda. From the Herald:
“THE 90th anniversary of the disbandment of the Dublin Metropolitan Police and Royal Irish Constabulary takes place this week.
Nearly 500 — mostly native Irishmen, Catholic and Protestant — were murdered during the War of Independence by the IRA, writes Gerry O’Carroll.
Some were shot dead as they left mass with their families, others ambushed while outnumbered.
But why does the State still refuse to recognise the men of the RIC and DMP who died in the War of Independence and 1916? Most were innocent policemen doing their duty.
Is it not time to honour those who gave their lives while serving to uphold the law, even if it was administered by a colonial British government?”
Innocent policemen? Innocent policemen who enforced, through violence and the threat of violence, British colonial rule in Ireland. Innocent policemen based in fortified barracks across our island nation, organised and trained in infantry formations and tactics, armed with revolvers and rifles, bribed with money and status, who garrisoned and terrorised entire communities. Innocent policemen who corrupted thousands of men, women and children, turning them into spies and informers in a web of treachery and deceit unknown outside of some Middle East dictatorship. As well celebrate the Stasi of the former East Germany or the Mukhabarat of Saddam Hussein.
And notice the terminology? “Murdered”. “Outnumbered”. What an utter distortion and abuse of history, of historical truths unpalatable to the Pro-British (pro-colonial?) mindset.
These people do not wish to simply rewrite Irish history. They wish to reverse it too.