Ceremony will remember 10 Dublin policemen killed in World War I

Ceremony will remember 10 Dublin policemen killed in World War I

By Niall Murray

The 10 Dublin policemen killed in World War I will be remembered at a ceremony attended by Garda Commissioner Drew Harris tomorrow.

They were among more than 70 members of the Dublin Metropolitan Police (DMP) to volunteer for armed service during the war. The guns fell silent around Europe 100 years ago on Sunday, and the plaque in remembrance of the fallen DMP members is to be unveiled at the decommissioned former Garda station on Kevin Street in the capital.

The event is organised by the Garda Historical Society, of which successive Garda Commissioners have been patron.

The World War I plaque has been sponsored by the Garda Representative Association. It is the first memorial in this country to policemen who volunteered for World War I.

The Kevin Street station, as well as being a former DMP station, was also the training depot through which each of the men being commemorated would have passed on their journey to careers as policemen.

Irish policing historian, Jim Herlihy, will speak about all Irish police killed in the war at the event.

He is an officer of the Historical and Reconciliatory Police (HARP) Society, which has sponsored a second plaque being unveiled tomorrow evening.

It is in memory of the DMP’s 21 members killed on duty between 1836 and 1925, including 14 killed from 1916, and is the first such memorial exclusively commemorating the force's members killed during service.

The DMP was renamed Póilíní Átha Cliath in 1922 and operated under that name until it became a metropolitan division of An Garda Síochána in 1925.

Mr Herlihy said that 74 members of the DMP volunteered for military service in World War I and 10 were killed.

Most of those who lost their lives were in their late 20s, but some were as old as 38. Their service in the DMP was varied, some with more than a decade of policing behind them before volunteering.

But Dubliner, John Carey, who had previously served in the Royal Field Artillery, only worked as a trained policeman for a couple of days.

He was mobilised as a reservist on August 6, 1914, and would die from wounds, aged around 23, on October 19, 1917.

The first DMP war casualty was another former soldier who returned to military service during the war.

Thomas Flanagan joined the police force in January 1913, but also re-enlisted within days of the outbreak of the conflict. He would be killed within three months, losing his life at Ypres on November 1, 1914, aged 24.

The last known DMP member to lose his life was 35-year-old James W Byrne, who had been a policeman for 11 years when, like many colleagues, he volunteered for active service in April 1915.

He died on December 11, 1918 from wounds incurred before the armistice that brought peace to Europe a month earlier.

The 21 DMP men killed on duty are among almost 630 policemen who lost their lives in service between 1836 and 1925, the majority being members of the Royal Irish Constabulary.


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