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The Royal Irish Constabulary are often portrayed as the villains of the War of Independence in Ireland, Irishmen who betrayed their country by serving the British regime. No memorial has been raised in Ireland to those who died during the conflict and their names are largely forgotten, apart from a few who gained notoriety through the fact that Michael Collins himself ordered their killing. As a result, while their deaths are recorded in histories of the time, little attention is paid to the men themselves.
In Police Casualties in Ireland 1919 - 1922, Richard Abbott addresses this imbalance by recording in detail the deaths of over 500 police casualties during the war, not only from the RIC, but also the Dublin Metropolitan Police, the Auxiliaries, Black and Tans and Ulster Special Constabulary. His portrayals of these men remind us that behind the villainous caricatures were human beings, who left behind devastated families and friends, just as the victims on the other side did.