Dan Waters RIC man

Dan Waters, RIC

Dan Waters, RIC

 That’s my great grandfather, Dan Waters. I suppose he’s part of the story, or the backstory at least. In my story, Blackwatertown, some of the main protagonists are RUC men – that is, members of the Royal Ulster Constabulary, the police. It was a very controversial organisation over the years, but more on that another time.

My great grandfather Dan joined the predecessor of the RUC, which was the RIC, the Royal Irish Constabulary. The Irish Constabulary was set up in 1835, and was granted the prefix Royal by Queen Victoria in 1867 after suppressing a nationalist rebellion.  Dan himself joined later, according to his card, on May 11th, 1875.

Dan Waters RIC card
The RIC disappeared in 1922 with the partitioning of Ireland into the six counties of Northern Ireland in the north east, and the twenty six counties of what is now the Republic of Ireland. Tough times for many members. In the south the RIC was replaced by the unarmed Civic Guards, who were renamed the Garda Siochana. They’re still there. In the north, the I became a U, and the RIC became the Royal Ulster Constabulary. (Northern Ireland comprises six of the nine counties of the province of Ulster.) It’s the RUC who feature in my book Blackwatertown.
The RUC name has itself since given way to a new title. As part of radical reforms, in 2001 the force became the Police Service of Northern Ireland, or PSNI.
So – does this personal link make me any better or worse qualifed to write a story about policemen in Ireland?
PS: There’s another family link to policing here – Mike Murphy, RUC District Inspector accompanying Princess Elizabeth.


Filed under family history, history

7 responses to “Dan Waters RIC man

  1. I won’t presume to comment on your credentials. But hey, didn’t people have lovely handwriting back in the 1870s?

  2. blackwatertown

    Those happy days before TV, when neighbours would gather to admire each other’s copperplate.

  3. Got a few of those guys in my own background. Not officers though.

  4. Ritusharr

    Howdy, Recently I discovered your blog. Good. Thanks for sharing it with me.

  5. hobu

    Excellent series. Lovely site. Good work.

  6. Trooper

    This is my first visit here, but I will be back soon, because I really like the way you are writing, it is so simple and honest

  7. What fun to have that picture in the family. As years go on and the queen is no more, it will, I believe, be more precious to you because here was a woman who literally gave up her life to service to her country. And it is a picture that honors here participation in the ranks of the military during WWII. Then there is the matter of your Great Uncle’s achievement on its own. What a lovely family history.

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