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Talk:Royal Ulster Constabulary

Merge with RIC?Edit

This article should NOT be merged with the Royal Irish Constabulary. They were TWO different forces, one a descendant of the other, but not identical. I have reseparated them. ÉÍREman 21:44 Apr 17, 2003 (UTC)

Other linguistic changesEdit

Removed the mainland => Great Britain. There is no such place as the mainland. The phrase is sometimes used clumsily to refer to the part of the United Kingdom other than the Northern Ireland. The name of the UK is the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. The bit that isn't Northern Ireland is simply the island of Great Britain. It is nobody's mainland and is a term that is generally regarded as "stoopid" and wrong.

Removed Ulster. Ulster is a POV term as used by one community, as is the North of Ireland and the Six Counties. The correct title is Northern Ireland, nothing else.

Removed Republic of Ireland and replaced it by Éire. The Republic of Ireland was created on 1st April 1949, under the Republic of Ireland Act, 1948 so it did not exist under the name 'republic of Ireland' during World War II, which this article claimed. Under article 4 of Bunreacht na hÉireann (the 1937 constitution) the state formerly known as the Irish Free State was renamed Éire or in the english language, Ireland. Ireland cannot be used for two reasons; (i) it has another conflicting meaning, the 26 county state or the island of Ireland. A more specific term is needed. (ii) Bunreacht na Éireann says the Irish language takes priority over english. Hence Éire not Ireland is used on coinage and was the correct term used to use in the period from 1937 to 1949, when the description "Republic of Ireland" replaced it when referring to the 26 county state. ÉÍREman 22:59 Apr 17, 2003 (UTC)

Saying that inhabitants of Northern Ireland cannot use the term Ulster is also POV! One of the difficulties about writing about anything in Northern Ireland is that "neutrality" and "correctness" simply do not exist. Ulster has meant different things to different groups. It's use in practise will invariably raise hackles. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Badtypist (talkcontribs)
Generally this issue has been discussed at talk:Éire talk:Ireland, talk:Republic of Ireland but no firm decision has been taken as to its usage. I normally refer to Ireland, but footnote it and say it was also referred to as Eire in the time period. The reason that Ireland is preferred is because Éire is considered to be a POV against the country- used in a condesending manner by British nationals. Fluffy999 21:36, 28 May 2006 (UTC)


Eire is the Irish for Ireland, not just one part of it. To suggest that someone is leaving Ireland just because they are crossing the border is less than accurate. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs)

Term used regarding shooting of Victor ArbuckleEdit

An incorrect term was used for those responsible for the murder of the 1st RUC officer, Victor Arbuckle. I have substituted the word Unionist for loyalist. The term is often misused and misunderstood. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs)

Thanks for correcting that; see Wikipedia:Requests for arbitration/Lapsed Pacifist for a case being taken against the user who introduced the POV term on this article and many others. Demiurge 13:47, 15 February 2006 (UTC)

First killing of the "troubles"?Edit

Please correct me on this point but I believe the first killing of the "troubles" was actually Matilda Gould.

The UVF carried out a petrol bomb attack on a Catholic owned bar and off-licence in Upper Charleville Street in the Shankill Road area of Belfast, 7th May 1966. The attackers missed their intended target and set fire to the home of Matilda Gould (77), a Protestant civilian, who lived next door to the public house. (Her house was painted identically to that of the bar/bookmakers). Gould was severely injured in the attack and died on 27 June 1966 as a result of her injuries.

If someone can support me on this I would be more than happy to edit.

Dr M —Preceding unsigned comment added by Chris politics (talkcontribs)

Although there was more than one sectarian murder during 1966, they have never been encorporated under the banner of being part of the troubles as the troubles themselves are regarded to have started [if such a term can be used] on and around the events surrounding the annual 12th August parade of 1969. This resulted in the widespread nationwide violence that resulted in the deaths of eight people, all in seperate incidents during the night of 14th into the 15th August. Official Government records state John Gallagher, a civilian shot in civil disturbances in Armagh on the night of August 14th as the first official fatality of the troubles. CAIN, the web resource of the troubles and the book, Bear in mind these dead include two men who died as a result of baton injuries in disturbances in July. The first victim is officially recorded as Patrick Rooney, a child shot inside his home by a stray bullet during disturbances outside his Divis Flats home on August 14th. The official government terminology of a victim being anyone who lost their life while not on duty as a member of the security forces or on active service of a paramilitary organisation or actively taking part in an illeagally organised demonstration or street disturbance. The only exception to this to date has been the victims of Bloody Sunday who, until 2010 were not classed as victims as they were regarded as taking part in an illegal demonstaration/street disturbance. Captainbeecher (talk) 21:56, 21 September 2011 (UTC)

POV section in StevensEdit

To quote stephens 3 overview and recommendations document 17th April 2003 Page 3:

"My Enquiries have highlighted collusion, the wilful failure to keep records, the

absence of accountability, the withholding of intelligence and evidence, and the extreme of agents being involved in murder. These serious acts and omissions

have meant that people have been killed or seriously injured."

So im wondering where all this alleged stuff enters into Section 8 of the article. If Stevens 3 overview and recommendations document says there was, then surely its a POV to say that its an allegation ie. "assertions without proof"?

I mean its even in section 8 already, Stevens 3 document is quoted: "I conclude there was collusion in both murders and in the events surrounding them." Page 16

Neither is the definition of the term "collusion" as used by Stevens 3 given.

So it goes on with the allegations of Stevens 3 on the subject of his obstruction. Report says: "Throughout my three Enquiries I recognised that I was being obstructed. This obstruction was cultural in its nature and widespread within parts of the Army and the RUC." Page 13.

Followed up with this framing of reaction to Stevens 3:

"(It was notable, but not surprising, how in the aftermath of Stevens' report, everyone from the media to British politicians, the unionist UUP and the nationalist SLDP and Sinn Féin, all dropped the previous reference to alleged collusion and referred simply to collusion which in the aftermath of Stevens's shock report was accepted by all as a fact.)"

Surely if Stevens 3 says there was collusion and obstruction then its a POV to make out that "the media to British politicians, the unionist UUP and the nationalist SLDP and Sinn Féin" were saying anything that disagreed with Stevens 3? Is wikipedia indicating that an investigation to investigate Stevens 3 is now needed? That Stevens 3 is somehow making it all up?

Are the findings of Stevens 3 disputed by any citable source? If so, can they be cited instead of all this language which seeks to frame the statements in the Stevens document as dubious. As the article appears now it looks to have a dual personality, alternating between quoting Stevens statements declaring that collusion existed then referring to his findings as "allegations". Fluffy999 15:15, 27 May 2006 (UTC)

Cleaned it up and quoted direct from the report, no paraphrasing. Removed POV. Asked for a cite on Durkan's remarks as I cannot find them anywhere. Made it clear that allegations exist about other cases not examined in Stevens 3, whilst Stevens 3 found evidence and proof of collusion as defined by Stevens during his inquiries. Fluffy999 21:15, 28 May 2006 (UTC)

Casualty statsEdit

The article currently says:

302 officers were killed and over 9000 were injured during the Troubles (mid-1960s to late 1990s), of whom 277 were killed in attacks by the IRA.

But the Sutton database of deaths (set 1st Variable to Organisation and the 2nd to Status) says 301 officers were killed, only 271 of which were killed by the Provisional IRA (Sutton rather simplistically lists PIRA as IRA). Another two were killed by the Official IRA (listed as OIRA in Sutton) and 15 more by other Republican paramilitaries including the INLA.

The stats should explicitly state which organization, or group of organisations ("groups which call themselves the IRA"), and have an appropriate figure.

I might go ahead and use the Sutton figures if no-one objects. Is there a source for the figure of 302, and why does Sutton report 301?

Aaron McDaid (talk - contribs) 12:06, 1 June 2006 (UTC)

  • We use the Sutton casualty figures in other articles (e.g. Provisional IRA, Ulster Defense Association, Ulster Volunteer Force), and the unsourced casualty figures currently in the article were introduced in this edit by an IP user who supplied no edit summary, so the Sutton figures are preferable. Exact casualty figures for the Troubles are hard to agree on, because not everyone agrees when the conflict started and ended, and because of the use of cover names and disappearances. Sutton, for example, only counts deaths between 14 July 1969 and 31 December 2001, so people like Denis Donaldson or John Gregg aren't counted. Demiurge 12:30, 1 June 2006 (UTC)

The RUC have allegedly killed IRA operatives and civilians?? The Geneva Convention requires combatants to wear identifying apparel. If not, they are spies and may be tried as such. Even the evil IS in Iraq wear uniforms. (talk) 02:26, 13 February 2016 (UTC)

Shooting of Patrick RooneyEdit

I think Patrick Rooney was the kid who died when a Shorts armoured car fired at the Divis flats in Belfast.


tim pat coogan in his book ireland in the 20th centuary states that the ruc especially in the early days were guilty of some of the most serious crimes commited by a police force anywhere in europe Bouse23 12:30, 23 January 2007 (UTC)

How wrong you areEdit

How wrong you are. The Garda have allowed terrorists to move freely throughout Ireland hindering an efforts of the RUC. Let’s not forget how Ireland protected both terrorist and Nazi war criminals. The RUC have been used as a punching bag for the republican parties to hide their own atrocities. New23 12:50, 30 January 2007 (UTC) -—Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs)

protected nazi war criminals? you sir dont no your history well, if you knew anything you would no that they held on to most crashed german pilots but let the british escape back to britian. New24 10:09, 25 april 2007 (UTC) —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs)


I'm curious as to why Weggie keeps reverting Irish Republican's addition of the following statement in the opening paragraph...

Long standing allegations of collusion with Loyalist paramilitaries have been made against the police force by nationalists and Republicans. The RUC came in for heavy criticism after Nuala O'Loan published the findings of Operation Ballast in January 2007. [1]

It would be helpful if Weggie would give a reason for the deletion of this section before simply reverting it again. Revert wars should be avoided. - Big Brother 1984 08:15, 2 February 2007 (UTC)

There's a whole section on these claims later on where they are fully discussed - correctly. The addition in the Intro of these claims is unnecessary. The RUC suffered huge casulties and collusion is one small part of the story. Its POV to characterise the force in terms of collusion in the intro to a long article and gives this aspect of the force undue prominence Please review WP:NPOV if you don't understand Weggie 09:56, 2 February 2007 (UTC)

Actually Weggie - allegations of collusion have been running since its creation (never mind frmo 1969 onwards). Any serious study of Irish history will show you the one sided nature of the said police force and its collusion. It's a (if not THE) major part of RUC history.Irish Republican 01:41, 5 February 2007 (UTC)

I think it's pertient to add that Weggie seems to be following me around wiki changing anything I add. Perhaps his problem is with myself and not the actual content.Irish Republican 01:42, 5 February 2007 (UTC)

If you want to add some content go for it but all you've done is to put some text in the intro which suggests the article is about collusion - its not!!. The article is about a police force. If you took more time and trouble about the material you add, instead of adding political slogans you might have more more luck with your posts Weggie 10:41, 5 February 2007 (UTC)
If you're seriously suggesting criticisms with regard discrimination and collusion are not worthy of mention in the opening paragraph then I reckon you're in need of a reality check. If the RUC weren't such a discredited force why the need for widespread change in the force?Irish Republican 21:54, 5 February 2007 (UTC)
While allegations of colllusion are correct to be included in the article it must also be balanced by the 'bad apple' principle. To clarify this, the bad apple principal is the given knowledge that within any policing body there will be a percentage who use their position of authority to further their own political or financial ends. In this case the RUC were no different to any other force in the World and their 'bad apple' principal involved the allegtion that officers of a loyalist perspective assisted criminals who shared their political belief in committing crimes. While grounds to support such actions within the RUC are unquestionable it is also recognised by all those who have investigated the force without prejudice or political agenda that the volume of officers who are likely to have taken part in active collusion would certainly be below 1%. For this reason collusion is not worthy of mention in the opening paragraph as the RUC were in effect no different to any other force policing an area where organised crime has had a major hold on the community, e.g. Mafia controlled Little Italy in New York or Mob controlled East End of London where a number of officers were complicit in, at the least turning a blind eye to crime. Captainbeecher (talk) 22:17, 21 September 2011 (UTC)

renamed vs reformedEdit

"It wasn't just a renaming" - frankly, yes it was. Legally that is all that changed. There were some associated reforms, but it was by no means wholesale.Traditional unionist 22:08, 3 November 2007 (UTC)

It was however, reformed, due to the fact that it has implemented the vast majority of recommendations of a third party. Therefore it was renamed and reformed. The meanings of the word "reform" may cause some confusion: it wasn't disbanded and then reformed, but it was reformed in the sense of policies, operating procedures etc. --Setanta 20:44, 10 November 2008 (UTC)
Perhaps "Renaming and reforms" ??Thunderer (talk) 20:54, 10 November 2008 (UTC)
That might be workable, as 'reforms' doesn't imply reformation, or disbanding-and-reforming. --Setanta 21:13, 10 November 2008 (UTC)
Go for it then. I'm not able to edit this article at the moment due to a mediation agreement.Thunderer (talk) 22:12, 10 November 2008 (UTC)

Death tollEdit

Officially, 303 officers were killed

Does anyone have a source for this. CAIN is the only casualty listing I can find. GiollaUidir (talk) 01:10, 26 August 2008 (UTC)
The book, the Thin Green Line gives it as 314, all but twelve between 1969 and 1998. If you quote the same source as me and use page 271. The Thunderer (talk) 02:49, 26 August 2008 (UTC)

Mallon's quoteEdit

I highly suspect that Seamus Mallon was exaggerating slightly for effect when he made that quote. I had hoped for a specific year in a citation, but thanks for adding that Dunc. :)

I'm not sure that the actual representation of RCs in the force ever dipped below 8% throughout the RUC's history. I think perhaps that fact, if it can be cited, should be added to the sentence containing Mallon's quote. --Setanta 10:24, 24 November 2008 (UTC)

Yeah I'm sure that is sourcable regarding Catholic membership I'll see what I can dig up. BigDuncTalk 16:54, 24 November 2008 (UTC)

Unbalanced sectionEdit

The "Loyalist collusion" section is unbalanced. At present apart from a few words from Peter Hain, only Jimmy Spratt's comments on the 2007 report is included. In the source cited there are many quotes from people far more prominent than Spratt, it seems as though only the one most negative of the report has been included. Unless there are objections, I propose removing Spratt's comments in their entirety? O Fenian (talk) 19:31, 7 January 2009 (UTC)

It would be better to balance the section than remove sourced material, in my opinion. --John (talk) 19:39, 7 January 2009 (UTC)
Which people do you propose quoting? All of them? O Fenian (talk) 19:40, 7 January 2009 (UTC)
Does anyone have any preference on how this is resolved? Either Spratt's view can be removed as it is not the majority view or even a significant one, or everyone else can be quoted in full as well. I prefer the former. O Fenian (talk) 19:02, 6 July 2009 (UTC)

Policing in a divided society sectionEdit

I have removed the opinion of Michael McGimpsey which was being presented as fact originally added in this edit. We would not present Gerry Adams' opinions as fact, so why McGimpsey? If any reputable academic sources have made those observations please cite those instead. O Fenian (talk) 19:37, 7 January 2009 (UTC)


Why is there no images of the RUC themselves? Surely we could upload one with a Fair Use rationale?--Jeanne Boleyn (talk) 11:49, 19 April 2011 (UTC)

Talk ReferencesEdit

Bias and collusionEdit

Since when has the RUC's well-documented one-sided policing and discrimination become just an accusation rather than a historical fact? Since when has its (again well-documented) collusion become alleged? What's going on? Gob Lofa (talk) 22:21, 25 December 2014 (UTC)

What do you mean by "one-sided policing"? What does that mean? Does that mean the RUC did not patrol nationalist neighborhoods? Obviously not. When one large section of "the community", now a plurality, abjures and abstains from the state and enjoys a mutually hostile relationship with its police force, and harbors and protects those who assault and kill police officers (which in a different incarnation, the RIC, was 90% Catholic), then of course there is a dysfunctional relationship. This is the same police force (RUC) acclaimed for its bravery in an area once regarded as the most dangerous place in the world in which to be a police officer.
And as far as collusion, when you show me an arrest and a conviction then we can talk. Otherwise, I most assuredly do not rely on media from the Republic of Ireland for objectivity, nor on Irish republican propaganda mills and their lackeys in the "diaspora". Quis separabit? 22:31, 25 December 2014 (UTC)
You never heard of John Weir (loyalist)? Can we talk now? What has bravery got to do with bigotry? Gob Lofa (talk) 17:45, 15 January 2015 (UTC)
I heard of him. Was he arrested and convicted? Did his testimony get anyone arrested and convicted, or just mentioned by name in Sean McPhilemy's book as potential targets for assassination if war ever breaks out again in N.I.? Quis separabit? 03:44, 17 January 2015 (UTC)
You heard of him, but didn't bother to read about his trial or conviction in the article I linked? Can we talk now? Don't throw a McPhilemy straw man at me. Will you answer my question about bravery? Gob Lofa (talk) 03:47, 20 January 2015 (UTC)

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Edit summaryEdit

There is a problem with the site Gob Lofa if this is all you can see of this.

Please respect WP:BRD and stop edit-warring. Your edit has been challenged, so discuss it rather than try to enforce your view. As stated how do you know the information your removing is not attributed to the source at the end of the paragraph? You don't, and you're replacing it with WP:OR that has little factual basis. Mabuska (talk) 11:49, 29 September 2015 (UTC)

You surpass your usual opacity with your first sentence, which I cannot understand. You also surpass your usual hypocrisy with your advice about edit-warring, discussion and enforcement of views, given your sorry history in this regard. Please use intelligible English in your edit summaries. If you can source the commentary with little factual basis which you wish to re-insert, please do so. Gob Lofa (talk) 12:08, 29 September 2015 (UTC)

─────────────────────────If you can't understand an edit summary then please discuss it on this or my talk page rather than trying to enforce your edit. Also in light of your remarks I would also like to remind you of WP:AGF. If you can substantiate your claims then by all means file a user conduct report or AN/I. If not then desist.

Can you explain what "The support of Northern Ireland's Catholics, overwhelmingly nationalist, was more qualified." is supposed to mean? It is unsourced and makes no sense.

Bartlett, Thomas: Ireland, A History, Cambridge University Press. ISBN 9-781107-422346.

Page 425: Partition, too, would prove temporary; the Boundary Commission would see to that.
Page 425: For a short time northern Catholic teachers who boycotted the state system in Northern Ireland had their salaries paid by the Free State authorities...
Page 425: More substantially, there was to be no seat in the Dail for elected representatives of northern nationalists, who for a time pursued — in the best Sinn Fein tradition — an abstentionist policy from the Northern Ireland parliament.

Connolly, S.J.:Oxford Companion to Irish History, Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0-19-923483-7

Page 410: Returned to the first House of Commons in 1921 were 40 Unionists, 6 Nationalists, and 6 Sinn Feiners... No nationalist member took their seats prior to 1925, and organised nationalist abstention occurred frequently between 1932 and 1945.

Baron, Jonathan: A History of Ulster, The Blackstaff Press. ISBN 9-85640-764-X Parameter error in {{ISBN}}: Invalid ISBN.

Page 500-501: Judge John Leech, the deputy recorder of Belfast, agreed to head a commission to hold inquiries in controversial areas. Except in Irvinestown and Ballycastle, Nationalists and Sinn Fein refused to meet the Leech commission. The result was that local Unionist parties, with the enthusiastic co-operation of Dawson Bates, were able to dictate the positioning of boundaries with meticulous care to their own complete satisfaction. The results speak for themselves. Since many Catholics abstained in 1924, the best comparison is between the local election results of 1920 and 1927.
Page 501: Unionists countered criticism by pointing to the failure of Nationalists and Sinn Fein to make submissions to the Leech commission. Certainly by refusing to take their seats in the Northern Ireland parliament, Nationalists and Sinn Fein not only reinforced the Unionist view that they were intent on bringing down the state but also denied themselves a wider audience and a chance to obtain some redress from Westminster.
Page 510: The suppression of the Boundary Commission forced the Catholic minority to accept, whether they liked it or not, that they were citizens of Northern Ireland.
Page 511: Two months later Devlin led all the Nationalists out of the chamber and for the rest of the decade they pursued a policy, if it can be called that, of intermittent and erratic abstentionism.

Kelly, Benedict; Counties of Contention, Mercier, ISBN 1-85635-430-X5

Page 148: It barely managed to collect a few members for the commission, to keep the talking over a period, to keep Nationalist hopes excited by the prospect of a revision of the obviously-inequitable dividing line.

English, Richard: Irish Freedom - The History of Nationalism in Ireland, Macmillan, ISBN 978-0-330-42759-3

Page 316: To nationalists, partition was crazy and artifical... Partition was assumed to be temporary (great hope was placed in the ill-fated Boundary Commission set up under the 1921 Treaty) And was the nationalist assumption about the daftness and temporary nature of partition well grounded?
Page 341: In Northern Ireland itself, nationalists faced some very difficult issues of community, struggle and power from those which faced their southern counterparts... Many nationalists at the time of partition had assumed the division of Ireland to be a temporary one

Mabuska (talk) 11:48, 30 September 2015 (UTC)

I also note that you didn't answer the obvious question... "how do you know the information your removing is not attributed to the source at the end of the paragraph?". Mabuska (talk) 11:50, 30 September 2015 (UTC)
How do you reconcile beginning the section with "Please respect WP:BRD and stop edit-warring. Your edit has been challenged, so discuss it rather than try to enforce your view." and then the next day "I would also like to remind you of WP:AGF"? Gob Lofa (talk) 17:50, 30 September 2015 (UTC)
Please answer the content related question rather than focusing on the editor. Considering I have provided more than enough evidence that proves what was in the article is not original research as you claimed, and the fact you have failed to explain and provide evidence for your edit, which is discounted by the evidence I have provided anyways, I will restore the content with the addition of references, and a minor re-word. However I will give you a few days until I do so to give you time if you wish to discuss the content rather than the editor. Mabuska (talk) 15:45, 1 October 2015 (UTC)
I'm not discussing you, I'm pointing out the dichotomy between comments you made on this talk page. How do you explain it? Gob Lofa (talk) 16:08, 4 October 2015 (UTC)

─────────────────────────That has nothing to do with the your failure to provide evidence to back up your view in contrast to the evidence I have provided. Thus I will restore the edit to what was there before your contested edit. Mabuska (talk) 21:48, 5 October 2015 (UTC)

Which puts you in violation of BRD, not that I believe that will slow you down. I'm happy to address the points you raised, I simply wanted to get the dichotomy out of the way first. If you're not going to explain it, will you refrain from similar dichotomies in future? Gob Lofa (talk) 11:43, 8 October 2015 (UTC)
You wrote: "Can you explain what "The support of Northern Ireland's Catholics, overwhelmingly nationalist, was more qualified." is supposed to mean? It is unsourced and makes no sense." It means that Catholic support for the police was not as strong as Protestant support - see second definition of qualify here: [1]. What part of that do you need sourced? Gob Lofa (talk) 21:28, 22 October 2015 (UTC)
Mabuska? Gob Lofa (talk) 21:48, 1 November 2015 (UTC)

George CrossEdit

As pointed out by @Jnestorius: there is no evidence "Royal Ulster Constabulary GC" or similar was an official name, see for example I have removed its addition from the infobox. FDW777 (talk) 15:54, 16 July 2019 (UTC)

Return to "Royal Ulster Constabulary" page.