Irish Models and Irishmen: Irish Imperial Policing in the Twentieth Century

Part of the Cambridge Imperial and Post-Colonial Studies Series book series (CIPCSS)


This chapter explores the tradition of largely Royal Irish Constabulary-sourced recruitment by Britain’s colonial police forces in Ireland in the second half of the long nineteenth and twentieth centuries apotheosized in the Palestine Mandate and examines the factors that impelled Irishmen to undertake police service in far-flung colonial theatres. It then examines the thesis that the British (Palestine) Gendarmerie provided the conduit for the transmission of an ‘RIC ethos’ into the Palestine Police and, through it, the wider empire, which resulted in cultures of police brutality analogous to that of revolutionary Ireland, especially evident in colonial police counterinsurgencies. The evidential basis for this ‘Irish model’ is scrutinized and the extent to which the British Gendarmerie and the BSPP followed the example set by their Irish parent forces in respect of police counterinsurgency is assessed.


Palestinian Police Colonial Police MacMichael Irish Policeman Dowbiggin 
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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Centre for Contemporary Irish HistoryTrinity College DublinDublinIreland

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