2nd January 1920

RIC enrolls first British Recruits

As the War of Independence escalated, the Royal Irish Constabulary was becoming more and more overstretched. In December 1919, the government began to recruit ex-servicemen from Britain to bolster the police force in Ireland. These servicemen became known as the Black and Tans - due to the mixed colours of their uniforms. In July, they were joined by the Auxiliary Division, composed of ex-officers from the war.

The Black and Tans and Auxiliaries became notorious for their lack of discipline and reckless behaviour throughout their time in Ireland.

War of Independence, Military & Policing
‘The New RIC'- RIC Christmas card with the RIC, Black and Tans, Auxiliaries and Station Defence.
Police Museum, Belfast