Category: Archive

RUC Chronology

February 16, 2011

By Staff Reporter

June 1922 — Royal Ulster Constabulary created. It is 3,000 strong. By 1999, the force has some 13,000 full and reserve constables.

Feb. 28, 1933 — RUC suffers its first fatality at the hands of the IRA. Constable John Ryan, an ex-RIC man, is a Catholic from Tipperary.

1956-62 — During IRA border campaign, seven constables lose their lives.

Aug. 15, 1969 — RUC gunfire kills three Catholics during riots in Belfast. Lord Hunt chairs commission to examine the police.

Oct. 10, 1969 — Hunt report published, recommending reforms of the RUC, including disarmament and abolition of B-Specials.

Oct. 11, 1969 — First RUC man killed in the Troubles. Const. Arbuckle is shot by a loyalist gunman.

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Aug. 11, 1970 — The IRA claims the lives of two RUC officers, Consts. Anderson and Miller, the first to die at republican hands in the current Troubles.

August 1971 — Internment without trial introduced. RUC lists of suspects out of date and many innocent people are lifted.

1975 — British government adopts "Ulsterization" policy, ends internment and gradually puts police in front line.

1976-1977 — Widespread allegations of ill-treatment of suspects at Castlereagh Holding Center.

1978 — Amnesty International accuses RUC of human rights abuses.

November-December 1982 — Six unarmed civilians killed by RUC. Though four policemen are charged with murder, all are acquitted.

April 1984 — John Stalker, deputy chief constable of Greater Manchester, appointed to investigate shootings.

Feb. 28, 1985 — Nine constables die in an IRA mortar attack on Newry police station, the highest number of causalities the RUC ever suffered.

May 1986 — Under controversial circumstances, Stalker removed from enquiry, which is taken over by Colin Sampson, chief constable of West Yorkshire.

January 1987 — Stalker publishes a book saying that he found no evidence of a shoot-to-kill policy but criticizes the RUC for covering up shootings. The Stalker-Sampson report is never published but several high-ranking officers are allowed to resign and 20 others are disciplined as a result of the enquiry.

Oct. 2, 1991 — Channel Four broadcasts a documentary alleging high-level collusion between RUC and loyalists. The makers are eventually fined for refusing to disclose their sources of information. Later, Jim Sands, the single source for the allegations, retracts.

June 2, 1994 — A helicopter crash kills 29 members of the security forces, including 25 leading intelligence officers. Among the dead are 10 RUC Special Branch officers.

Aug. 31, 1994 — IRA declares a cease-fire.

Oct. 13, 1994 — Loyalists call cease-fires.

April 10, 1998 — After marathon negotiations involving nearly all the Northern Ireland parties, Good Friday Agreement signed in Belfast. The eight-member Independent Commission on Policing chaired by former Hong Kong Governor Chris Patten is set up as part of agreement.

Winter 1998 — Commission holds series of public hearings on policing throughout Northern Ireland.

January 1999 — Commission visits U.S.

Summer 1999 — Commission due to publish its findings.

— Jack Holland

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