Michael Staines
Michael Staines

14.50 9 Jan 2020


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The Wolfe Tones’ classic rebel song Come out Ye Black and Tans has hit the top of the iTunes charts in both the UK and Ireland.

It comes after the Government was forced to postpone a commemoration ceremony for the Royal Irish Constabulary in Dublin Castle.

The plan faced major public backlash due to the RICs association with the Black and Tans and the Auxiliaries during the War of Independence.

The Government says it still wants to go ahead with the ceremony at a later date.

When the song hit the number spot in Ireland this morning, the band tweeted to say that “Fine Gael got their answer.”

After the Justice Minister Charlie Flanagan confirmed the commemoration would be postponed they had tweeted: “Cancel it completely and hang your head in shame for ever proposing it.”

In deferring the event on Tuesday, Minister Flanagan admitted that the RIC had “committed atrocities” and that “the horrific record of the Black and Tans and Auxiliaries is well known.”

He said he still believes the “thousands of other officers who behaved with dignity and honour in serving their communities” should be remembered.

On The Pat Kenny Show yesterday, he said: “The RIC were Irish people like you and I and it's important that we remember them, it's important that we acknowledge them - warts and all.”

Both Minister Flanagan and the Taoiseach Leo Varadkar have claimed that the backlash against the plan marks a set-back on the road towards Irish unification.

Sinn Féin has labelled that claim “disingenuous” with justice spokesman Martin Kenny noting that, “the reality is that [the proposal] was totally out of step with the vast majority of people in Ireland.”


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