THROUGH THE ARCHIVES: City constabulary reviewed by inspector-general

From the News Letter, October 23, 1884

A group of RIC men pictured circa 1914. Picture: News Letter archives
A group of RIC men pictured circa 1914. Picture: News Letter archives

Colonel Bruce, Inspector-General of the Royal Irish Constabulary inspected the men stationed in Belfast in the market square.

All the members of the local force were present except the guard at each barrack, and numbered 320.

The constables gathered in market square at 3pm where they were formed into their respective districts by their commanding officers.

In total in 1884 there were four divisions or districts all of which fell under the command of District-Inspectors Singleton, Townsend, Bull and Stritch.

Each division was divided into two companies – Mr Singleton’s division in front, Mr Townsend’s in the rear and the divisions of Mr Bull and Stritch in the centre.

The whole force was then paraded in the presence of the Inspector-General Bruce and Town Inspector Cullen.

The mounted constabulary noted the News Letter, were the first to be “minutely inspected” and their movements were “performed most satisfactorily”.

Colonel Bruce then passed through each division and chatted to the several of the men individually.

Addressing the force Colonel Bruce he praised the city’s constabulary for the manner in which they had executed their drilling so perfectly, and even though it was not something that the force were usually obliged to do, they had been “smart in all their movements”.

The men were then dismissed and returned to their stations.