Commenting on the Minister for Justice’s decision to honour British police forces who suppressed Irish independence and hold a state commemoration for them, Aontú leader Peadar Tóibín TD stated:
“2020 marks one hundred years since the height of the Irish War of Independence. That war arose from the British government’s refusal to accept the democratic endorsement of the Irish republican programme and the democratically sanctioned creation of Dáil Éireann as the national parliament of the all-Ireland Republic.
“Rather than permit the Irish people to take charge of our own affairs and recognise our right to self-determination, the British government, including the machiavellian Lloyd George and the arch-imperialist Winston Churchill, opted to use brute force and police/military fire-power against the Irish people.
“The front line of Britain’s war on Irish freedom and the Irish Republic was its colonial police forces, the Royal Irish Constabulary and the Dublin Metropolitan Police. These police forces’ raison d’être was to safeguard the British colonial hold on our country. The motivation to hold this country for imperialism defines Britain’s police in Ireland, just as it defines the police forces Britain employed in Kenya, India and the Middle East.
“The notorious Black and Tans and the brutal Auxiliaries were part and parcel of the RIC’s machinery. They operated as the RIC. The Minister for Justice has claimed to have a duty to all police officers. That is patently nonsense. No Irish minister has a duty to the police forces of an imperial power.
“With the establishment of Dáil Éireann in 1919, the RIC, the DMP and their partners in the British Army had no right to violently undermine the Irish Republic and Irish democracy. Not only did those organisations refuse to recognise our right to self-determination, they went to war with the Irish people.
“There is no good reason for why the Irish state and Irish state bodies should honour the organisations that were to the fore in upholding British colonial rule in Ireland. If the government has any respect for the basic right of the Irish people to be free and to have legitimately pursued our freedom, it will cancel the planned RIC/Black and Tan commemoration in Dublin Castle.”