Government U-Turn on RIC Commemoration a victory against appalling political arrogance – Mattie McGrath

Independent TD Mattie McGrath has welcomed the decision of the Minister for Justice, Charlie Flanagan, to defer the proposed state commemoration of the Royal Irish Constabulary (RIC). Deputy McGrath was speaking after Minister Flanagan was forced into the humiliating political climbdown following significant national outrage at the planned event:

“This is a victory against the sheer political hubris and arrogance that Fine Gael, and in particular the Minister for Justice and the Taoiseach have both displayed in the last number of days.

Their ham-fisted and insensitive approach threw a dark cloud over what is already and undoubtedly going to be, a painful and emotional time for many families and communities who maintain strong active links to the War of Independence.

I am delighted that the wishes of so many ordinary people have been acknowledged-even if was done so in a rather begrudging and reluctant statement by Minister Flanagan.

This is a lesson for government; that they cannot simply force people to commemorate an institution like the RIC and then compound that arrogance by calling those who objected ‘backward’ and regressive and expect to get away it,” concluded Deputy McGrath.

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