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Main article: "Patten Report

The "Good Friday Agreement (GFA) of 1998 produced a wholesale reorganisation of inter-community, governmental and policing systems, including a power-sharing executive. The bias, and the under-representation of Catholics and nationalists in the RUC led to, as part of the Good Friday Agreement, a fundamental policing review, headed by "Chris Patten, a former British "Governor of Hong Kong and "Conservative Minister under "Margaret Thatcher. The review was published in September 1999. It recommended a wholesale reorganisation of policing, with the Royal Ulster Constabulary being replaced by the "Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI), and a drive to recruit Catholics and the adoption of a new crest and cap badge. The PSNI was introduced in November 2001. As part of the change, the police service dropped the word "Royal" from and adopted a new badge that included the crown, harp, and shamrock, an attempt at representation of the major ideologies.["citation needed]

Loyalist collusion[edit]

Special Patrol Group[edit]

Special Patrol Group (RUC)

Elements of the RUC colluded with loyalist paramilitaries throughout the 30-year conflict. The "Special Patrol Group was formed in the late 1960s as the Police Reserve Force. The name was changed to avoid confusion with the newly formed part-time Police Reserve in 1970,[1] and was renamed "Divisional Mobile Support Unit" (DMSU) in 1980 after two of its members were convicted of kidnap and murder.[1] The two, "John Weir and "Billy McCaughey, implicated some of their colleagues in a range of crimes including giving weapons, information and transport to loyalist paramilitaries as well as carrying out shooting and bombing attacks of their own.[37] Weir alleged that senior officers, including Chief Superintendent "Harry Breen, were aware of and approved of their activity.

The Stevens Inquiries[edit]

Stevens Inquiries

On 18 April 2003 as part of the "third report into collusion between "Ulster loyalist paramilitaries, RUC, and British Army, Sir "John Stevens published an Overview and Recommendations document (Stevens 3).[38] Stevens' intention was to make recommendations which arose from serious shortcomings he had identified in all three Inquiries.[39] In his autobiography, Stevens was at pains to point out the high regard in which he held many RUC officers, including Detective Superintendent Maurice Neilly, who was killed in the "1994 Chinook air crash.[40]

The third Stevens Inquiry began in 1999, and referred to his previous reports when making his recommendations. Stevens' third inquiry focused in detail on only two of the killings in which collusion was alleged; that of "Brian Adam Lambert in 1987 and of "Pat Finucane in 1989. Stevens used the following criteria as a definition of collusion while conducting his investigation:

Police Ombudsman[edit]

Nuala O'Loan § Operation Ballast investigation into collusion

In a report released on the 22 January 2007, the Police Ombudsman "Dame Nuala O'Loan stated "Ulster Volunteer Force (UVF) informers committed serious crimes, including murder, with the full knowledge of their handlers.[42] The report stated that "RUC Special Branch officers created false statements, blocked evidence searches and "baby-sat" suspects during interviews.


Awards for gallantry for individual officers since 1969 included 16 "George Medals, 103 "Queen's Gallantry Medals, 111 "Queen's Commendations for Bravery and 69 "Queen's Police Medals.[43]

On 12 April 2000, the RUC was awarded the "George Cross for bravery,[44] a rare honour which had only been "awarded collectively once before, to the island nation of "Malta. The Award stated:

For the past 30 years, the Royal Ulster Constabulary has been the bulwark against, and the main target of, a sustained and brutal terrorism campaign. The Force has suffered heavily in protecting both sides of the community from danger – 302 officers have been killed in the line of duty and thousands more injured, many seriously. Many officers have been ostracised by their own community and others have been forced to leave their homes in the face of threats to them and their families. As Northern Ireland reaches a turning point in its political development this award is made to recognise the collective courage and dedication to duty of all of those who have served in the Royal Ulster Constabulary and who have accepted the danger and stress this has brought to them and to their families.[45]

Chief officers[edit]

The chief officer of the Royal Irish Constabulary was its "Inspector-General (the last of whom, Sir Thomas J. Smith served from 11 March 1920 until partition in 1922). Between 1922 and 1969 the position of Inspector-General of the RUC was held by five officers, the last being Sir Arthur Young, who was seconded for a year from the "City of London Police to implement the Hunt Report. Under Young, the title was changed to "Chief Constable in line with the recommendations of the Hunt Report. Young and six others held the job until the RUC was incorporated to the PSNI. The final incumbent, Sir "Ronnie Flanagan, became the first Chief Constable of the PSNI.["citation needed]


1922 to 1930[edit]

  • Inspector-General (insignia of a Brigadier)
  • Deputy Inspector-General (insignia of a Colonel)
  • County Inspector (insignia of a Lieutenant-Colonel)
  • District Inspector 1st Class (insignia of a Major)
  • District Inspector 2nd Class (insignia of a Captain)
  • District Inspector 3rd Class (insignia of a Lieutenant)
  • Head Constable Major (insignia of a Sergeant-Major)
  • Head Constable (equivalent to Staff Sergeant)
  • Sergeant (insignia of a Sergeant)
  • Constable (serial number)

1930 to 1970[edit]

  • Inspector-General (insignia of a Lieutenant-General)
  • Deputy Inspector-General (insignia of a Major-General)
  • Commissioner (insignia of a Brigadier)
  • County Inspector (insignia of a Colonel)
  • District Inspector 1st Class (insignia of a Lieutenant-Colonel)
  • District Inspector 2nd Class (insignia of a Major)
  • District Inspector 3rd Class (insignia of a Captain)
  • Head Constable Major (insignia of a Sergeant-Major)
  • Head Constable (equivalent to Staff Sergeant)
  • Sergeant (insignia of a Sergeant)
  • Constable (serial number)

In 1970, the military-style rankings and insignia were dropped in favour of standard "UK police ranks.

1970 to 2001[edit]

  • "Chief Constable
  • Deputy Chief Constable
  • Assistant Chief Constable
  • Chief Superintendent
  • Superintendent
  • Chief Inspector
  • Inspector
  • Sergeant
  • Constable
  • Reserve Constable[47]

""Royal Ulster Constabulary





  1. ^ a b c d e f "Richard Doherty, The Thin Green Line - The History of the Royal Ulster Constabulary GC, pp. 5, 17, 27, 93, 134, 271; Pen & Sword Books; "ISBN 1-84415-058-5
  2. ^ Number of RUC killed during the Troubles,; accessed 22 December 2014.
  3. ^ Study of the RUC,; accessed 21 February 2014.
  4. ^ CNN archive; accessed 20 February 2014.
  5. ^ Number of people killed by RUC in Northern Ireland,; accessed 22 December 2014.
  6. ^,; accessed 21 February 2014.
  7. ^ [1], 15 murders linked to police collusion with loyalists.
  8. ^ [2], There was collusion between some police officers and loyalist gunmen who killed six Catholics 22 years ago, a report by NI's Police Ombudsman has said.
  9. ^ "The RUC: Lauded and condemned". BBC News. 31 October 2001. Retrieved 5 June 2007. Condemned by republicans, nationalists and human rights groups for embodying sectarianism and lauded by British security forces as one of the most professional police operations in the world, the Royal Ulster Constabulary is one of the most controversial police forces in the UK. 
  10. ^ Synopsis of report by Ombudsman Nuala O'Loan,; accessed 19 September 2014.
  11. ^ a b Morrison, John (1993). "The Ulster Government and Internal Opposition". The Ulster Cover-Up (Paperback). Lurgan, County Armagh: Ulster Society (Publications) Ltd. pp. 26, 39–40. "ISBN "1-872076-15-7. 
  12. ^ Robert Lynch, The Northern IRA and the Early Years of Partition, pp. 122–23
  13. ^ Alan F. Parkison, Belfast's Unholy War, pp. 245–48
  14. ^ "Baron Hunt (October 1969). "Report of The Advisory Committee on Police in Northern Ireland". Belfast: "Her Majesty's Stationery Office. Retrieved 25 February 2015 – via "Conflict Archive on the Internet @ (11) The rank structure should be reviewed (paragraph 97).  (Extract-chapters 1.General Considerations about our Mission) & 10.Conclusions and Recommendations, only)
  15. ^ "1969: Ulster's B Specials to be disbanded". On This Day-10 October. BBC. Retrieved 12 March 2014. 
  16. ^ "Hunt Report–Summary Of Recommendations: (2) "There should be a Police Authority for Northern Ireland, whose membership should reflect the proportions of different groups in the community (paragraphs 87,88)."
  17. ^ Sir Arthur Young biodata,; accessed 21 February 2014. Archived 8 March 2008 at the "Wayback Machine.
  18. ^ a b McKittrick, David; Kelters, Seamus; Feeney, Brian; Thornton, Chris (2008). Lost Lives: The Stories of the Men, Women and Children who died as a result of the Northern Ireland Troubles. Edinburgh: Mainstream Publishing. p. 32. "ISBN "978-1-84018-504-1. Retrieved 25 February 2015 – via 
  19. ^ Sutton, Malcolm. "14 July 1969 (re Francis McCloskey)". An Index of Deaths from the Conflict in Ireland. Conflict Archive on the Internet. Retrieved 21 February 2014. 
  20. ^ Sutton, Malcolm. "Friday 2 May 1986". A Chronology of the Conflict. Conflict Archive on the Internet. Retrieved 25 February 2014. 
  21. ^ Weitzer 1985, 1995
  22. ^ English, Richard. Irish Freedom - The History of Nationalism in Ireland. Macmillan. p. 341. "ISBN "978-0-330-42759-3. In Northern Ireland itself, nationalists faced some very difficult issues of community, struggle and power from those which faced their southern counterparts ... Many nationalists at the time of partition had assumed the division of Ireland to be a temporary one 
  23. ^ Bartlett, Thomas. Ireland, A History. Cambridge University Press. p. 425. "ISBN "978-1-107-42234-6. 
  24. ^ Connolly, S.J. Oxford Companion to Irish History. Oxford University Press. p. 410quote=Returned to the first House of Commons in 1921 were 40 Unionists, 6 Nationalists, and 6 Sinn Feiners ... No nationalist member took their seats prior to 1925, and organised nationalist abstention occurred frequently between 1932 and 1945. "ISBN "978-0-19-923483-7. 
  25. ^ Bardon, Jonathan. A History of Ulster. The Blackstaff Press. pp. 500–1. "ISBN "0-85640-764-X. Except in Irvinestown and Ballycastle, Nationalists and Sinn Fein refused to meet the Leech commission. The result was that local Unionist parties, with the enthusiastic co-operation of Dawson Bates, were able to dictate the positioning of boundaries with meticulous care to their own complete satisfaction. The results speak for themselves. Since many Catholics abstained in 1924, the best comparison is between the local election results of 1920 and 1927 ... Unionists countered criticism by pointing to the failure of Nationalists and Sinn Fein to make submissions to the Leech commission. Certainly by refusing to take their seats in the Northern Ireland parliament, Nationalists and Sinn Fein not only reinforced the Unionist view that they were intent on bringing down the state but also denied themselves a wider audience and a chance to obtain some redress from Westminster. 
  26. ^ Trimble, David (10 December 1998). "Nobel Peace Prize 1998 – Nobel Lecture, Oslo". Retrieved 20 February 2014. 
  27. ^ a b "Farrell, Michael (1992). Northern Ireland: The Orange State. Pluto Press. pp. 54, 96, 97. "ISBN "0-86104-300-6 – via 
  28. ^ Northern Ireland. Parliament. House of Commons. Parliamentary Debates (Hansard) House of Commons Official Report. 72. H.M. Stationery Office, 1969. p. 926 – via 
  29. ^ "Edwards, Ruth Dudley (13 November 2005). "The twists and turns on the road to one rule of law". Sunday Independent. Retrieved 25 February 2015 – via 
  30. ^ Discrimination survey;; accessed 19 February 2014.
  31. ^ Sutton, Malcolm. "CAIN: Sutton Index of Deaths". 
  32. ^; accessed 21 February 2014.
  33. ^ Smithwick: Collusion in Bob Buchanan and Harry Breen murders,; 3 December 2013; accessed 21 February 2014.
  34. ^ CAIN profile of RUC Officer Francis O'Reilly,; accessed 20 February 2014.
  35. ^ Children in Northern Ireland: Abused by Security Forces and Paramilitaries, Human Rights Watch Helsinki,; accessed 21 February 2014.
  36. ^ Children in Northern Ireland, "Human Rights Watch; 1 July 1992; accessed 21 February 2014.
  37. ^ Center for Civil & Human Rights,; accessed 20 February 2014.
  38. ^ Overview and Recommendations document for Stevens 3 is available in PDF format here.
  39. ^ For a chronology of the Stevens Inquiries and surrounding events see BBC News, 17 April 2003 available here
  40. ^ "John Stevens, Not for the Faint-Hearted (p. 165), Weidenfield & Nicholson 2005; "ISBN 978-0-297-84842-4
  41. ^ Conclusions section of Stevens 3 Overview and Recommendations document, p. 16
  42. ^ Statement by the Police Ombudsman for Northern Ireland on her investigations into the circumstances surrounding the death of "Raymond McCord, Jr. and related matters,, 22 January 2007; accessed 22 December 2014.
  43. ^ RUC awards,; accessed 21 February 2014.
  44. ^ Queen honours NI police,; accessed 21 February 2014.
  45. ^ Turner, John Frayn (2010). Royal Ulster Constabulary. Awards of the George Cross 1940–2009 (2 ed.). "Pen & Sword Books Ltd. p. 165. "ISBN "978-1-84884-200-7. Retrieved 24 February 2015. 
  46. ^ Ryder, p. 108
  47. ^ RUC uniform insignia history,; accessed 21 February 2014.
  48. ^ "Deactivated RARE Royal UlsterConstabulary (RUC) Issued Webley MK6 .455 Revolver. - Allied Deactivated Guns - Deactivated Guns". 
  49. ^
  50. ^
  51. ^
  52. ^
  53. ^
  54. ^ a b
  55. ^
  56. ^


  • Weitzer, Ronald, 1985. "Policing a Divided Society: Obstacles to Normalization in Northern Ireland", Social Problems, v. 33 (October), pp. 41–55.
  • Weitzer, Ronald, 1995. Policing Under Fire: Ethnic Conflict and Police-Community Relations in Northern Ireland (Albany, NY: State University of New York Press)
  • Ryder, Chris (1989, 1992, 1997), The RUC: A Force under Fire. London: Mandarin; "ISBN 978-0-7493-2379-0.
  • Ellison, Graham & Jim Smyth (2000), The Crowned Harp: Policing Northern Ireland. London: Pluto Press; "ISBN 978-0-7453-1393-1.
  • Orr, David R. (2013), RUC Spearhead: The RUC Reserve Force 1950–1970 Redcoat Publishing; "ISBN 978-0-9538367-4-1.

External links[edit]

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