Wednesday, 1 August 2012

D.M.P CIVIC DUTY IN A TIME OF CRISIS 1916 REBELLION


At the outbreak of the Rising on Monday 14th April 1916, the unarmed DMP were recalled from duty in the streets of Dublin and confined to their stations. On 29 April a state of martial law was proclaimed The Dublin Metropolitan Police, though unarmed, had three of its members killed and seven wounded during the Rising of 1916: Four DMP Constables though unarmed, received the King's Police Medal in recognition of their gallantry and service in arresting looters and insurgents during the rebellon, Ser. Patrick Haugh, Con. Thomas Barret, Con, James H. Coulter, Con. John Barton received the King's medal. Dublin Metropolitan Police

D.M.P Constables whom gave their lives in service.
"Constable James Obrien, DMP 9862 (168B), who was on duty at Cork Hill entrance to upper Castle Yard was shot through the face between 11am and 12 am on the 24 th April by an insurgent by the name of O'Casey. He was an actor in the Abbey theater; no relation to the playwright of the same name. Constable O'Brien was born in Kilfergus, Co. Limerick, in 1886 and had 21 years service."

"Constable Michael Lahiff, DMP 11047 (125D), who was on duty in St Stephens Green West was shot by the insurgents at about 12 noon on the 24th April. He received three shots one to the chest and two to the grin while he lay on the ground. He was brought to the Meat Hospitial where he died shortly after his admission. He was born in Kilmurry, Co. Clare, in 1887 and had five years' service."

"Constable William Frith, DMP 10175 (174C) was shot dead by a bullet through the head in a bedroom of store Street police station on 27th April. He was born in Clara, Co. Offaly, in 1878 and had over 17 years service."

"Constable Edward Dunphy, DMP 9804 (35C) was taken prisoner by the Sinn Fein insurgents in the vicinity of Sackville Street (O'connell St) on 24th April and brought to the GPO. he was put out by the insurgents on the 28th. Whilst crossing princes Street he received a bullet to the back and pellets to the side of his face. He was born in Offerlane, Co. Laois, and at the time had 23 years service."

"Constable Thomas Donohoe DMAP 9607 (30D), while passing on duty through Christchurch Place between 12 noon and 1pm. On 24th April, received a gunshort wound on the left forarm. He was medically treated at the Bridewell station and was on sick report from his injuries for 27 days. He was born in 1868 in Drumlumman, Co. Cavan"

Book shops are full of historical literature covering the 1916 rebellion and its leaders. However... there is very little written on the D.M.P and the innocent citizens whom fell pray to the guns of the insurgents in 1916. The typical view that is taken on the rebellion can be summed up in one sweeping statement "the city that fourth an Empire". The reality was, 2000 insurgents went onto the streets of Dublin and murdered their fellow Irish men and women. Many of whom were Nationalist and supporters of home rule. In short these insurgents murdered unarmed policemen and civilians in 1916. It must be stated that the leaders of the rebellion were not executed for their republicanism, nor for the words crafted in the proclamation of independence. They were executed for murder and the brake-down of civil society which was witnessed over the week long rebellion.
By the time we reached the terrorist gangs of Michael Collins (1919-1921) every office of civic authority in Ireland was made redundant by the law of the gun. To the extent that when political agreement was reached, through the Anglo Irish Treaty. 704 D.M.P constables retired under article X of the Anglo Irish Treaty. This represented 50% of the Dublin Metropolitan Police
Force.

Chris Thackaberry Irish Historian and Failte Ireland & Dublin Tourism approved tour guide. If you are visiting Dublin Castle then pop into the Garda Museum . For information on historical and literary walking tours visit dublinloyaltours.ie