Thomas Fennell provides an account, previously unpublished, of life in the Royal Irish Constabulary during the turbulent 30-year period, 1875-1905. His early accounts begin during the Land Wars, and continue up to the Irish War of Independence, although by that time he was no longer serving in the force himself. Fennell was always an ardent nationalist, conscious that the RIC was a conservative body, supporting the Ascendancy and the landowning class. He criticises the repressive behaviour of the large police force dispersed in the countryside in some of its day-to-day activities. Yet he retained a loyalty to the force and explains that during the Land War the population at large understood that the police were carrying out work which they often found distasteful.
Organization and recruiting
strength and distribution of the force
the administration of the law
The Land War
how service affected the men
a few reflections
a retrospect of 70 years
the Parnell Commission
gains versus odds
a few words more
- Police record
'Fennell's book provides a great deal of useful factual information, and anyone looking for data on the composition, organisation and duties of the Irish police during the late nineteenth century will find it an invaluable source.'
Irish Studies Review
'Thomas Fennell's book will appeal on its own merits to a wide readership. It will enlighten students that study the origin of modern policing and it will be a treasured item on the bookshelf of any family associated with The Royal Irish Constabulary.'
IPA (International Police Association) Journal
'University College Dublin Press has now published over thirty ‘Classics of Irish History'. These contemporary accounts by well known personalities of historical events and attitudes have an immediacy that conventional histories do not have. Introductions by modern historians provide additional historical background and, with hindsight, objectivity.'
'Scholars of nineteenth-century Irish and Irish-American politics should reacquaint themselves with these classics, part of a long running and immensely useful series from University College Dublin Press.'
Irish Literary Supplement