Tag Archives: Garda Siochana

Count Zero or Stephen Hero?

I’m torn. I don’t know which way to turn.

This...

...or this?

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Filed under art, Influences, My Writing

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.

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Filed under family history, history