Allister Calls for Official Marking of RUC Centenary

TUV leader Jim Allister has called for the Assembly to officially mark the 100th anniversary of the RUC.

He said: “The Stormont Executive claims to be co-ordinating a ‘Decade of Commemorations’. “Referring to this some time ago the Culture Minister told the Assembly that: There is a list, which is not exclusive, but, within the decade of centenaries, we are looking at: the Ulster covenant; the First World War, 1914-18; the Treaty of Versailles, 1919; Easter rising, 1916; the battle of the Somme, 1916; the rise of the labour movement and the Belfast strike, 1917; Lloyd George’s convention, 1917-18; male and limited women’s suffrage, 1918 — there are people out there who think that women were given full suffrage, which is a myth; the general election, 1919; the war of independence; and the civil war and partition.”

“It strikes me that a number of important events are missing from the list – one of the most significant being the centenary of formation of the RUC which was granted its name by King George V on 29th April 1922.

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“The gallantry of the men and women of the RUC is beyond question with 103 Queen’s Gallantry Medals, 111 Queen’s Commendations for Brave Conduct, 69 Queen’s Police Medals and 16 George Crosses being awarded to officers during the Troubles.

“In 1999 Her Majesty the Queen recognised the bravery of the RUC corporately when she awarded them the George Cross on a collective basis. This was only the second occasion in history when this occurred – the only precedent being the awarding of the GC to Malta in 1942 for the island’s resolute stand against Fascism.

“I have now tabled a question at Stormont calling for the anniversary of the RUC’s formation to be marked. It is sufficient travesty that a Sinn Fein minister has charge of these historic events, but it would add insult to injury if this historic event was overlooked, though in the case of Minister Cullen I suspect it might not be a case of oversight, but deliberate exclusion.”