Photographs of Royal Irish Constabulary Officers

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The six photographs seen here are of Royal Irish Constabulary officers from various towns around Ireland. The IRA could possibly have used these photographs to identify targets for intimidation or assassination. IRA Intelligence officers would search for any available photographs of men that they needed to identify, often having to settle for using older photographs. Photographs from newspapers or stolen from family members’ homes were typically the easiest to obtain. Charles Dalton mentioned in his memoirs that IRA intelligence frequently cut photographs out of the newspapers if they were deemed useful.[1] Additionally the IRA did have sources within various branches of government throughout the country that could obtain more official photographs. These inside spies had access to personnel files that would contain identification photographs like the small ones seen here. These photographs were typically of the men in uniform and were often the most up to date photographs of men that the IRA could obtain. Frank Thornton was able to obtain a photograph of Alan Bell from a friendly journalist in 1920 when he began investigating the Sinn Fein bank accounts. Michael Collins’ Squad was able to use this photograph to identify Bell and trace him to his home, which then enabled them to formulate a plan to intercept and assassinate him.[2]

Four of the RIC officers can be identified by handwritten notes on the back of the photos, and two of them are currently unidentified.

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“Jos Walker, Kells, Kilkenny”

Joseph George Walker was born in 3/3/1885 in Queen’s County (County Laois). He joined the Royal Irish Constabulary in 1907 and was allocated to County Kildare.  He was then relocated to Belfast where he was eventually disbanded in 1922.

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“Mich Morrisroe, 1914”

Michael Morrisroe, constable 66236, was from Roscommon.  He enlisted in the Royal Irish Constabulary in 1911, and was awarded the Constabulary Medal in July 1920.

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“Edward Monds, RIC 1907”

Edwards Monds, constable 62353, was born in 1886 in Sligo.  He enlisted in the Royal Irish Constabulary in 1907, and was stationed in Downpatrick.  He resigned from the force on 23 April, 1913 to emigrate.

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“This is Neds Photo”

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Unidentified RIC Officer. Faint handwritten not on back with illegible name and date of 1912

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Unidentified RIC Officer

If anyone has any additional information regarding the men seen in these photographs, please contact us at sirhmonline@gmail.com.

Notes:

[1] Charles Dalton, With The Dublin Brigade: Espionage and Assassination with Michael Collins’ Intelligence Unit (Cork: Mercier Press, 2014), 95.

[2] Michael Foy, Michael Collins Intelligence War: The Struggle Between the British and the IRA, 1919-1921 (Gloucestershire: Sutton Publishing, 2006), 81.

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