Fine Gael announce "deferral" of controversial RIC event
The controversial RIC event will not be going ahead.
Minister for Justice Charlie Flanagan has announced that the event set to commemorate the Royal Irish Constabulary will be deferred. The event had been scheduled to take place at Dublin Castle on 17 January.
Concerns had been raised about the nature of the event, given the role of the RIC in Ireland's War of Independence. Mayors from several towns and cities had declined to attend to the event, and Dublin City Council had voted to boycott it.
In the last few hours, Fine Gael TD Noel Rock had announced that he would no longer be attending the event.
At 6pm, the Department of Justice issued a statement confirming that the event would be postponed. In the statement, Flanagan cited "the disappointing response of some" as a reason why the event would not go ahead.
"I do not believe the event as planned can now take place in an atmosphere that meets the goals and guiding principles of the overall commemorative programme. Therefore I am announcing its deferral."
Flanagan has also committed to planning an "alternative commemoration" in the months ahead, in consultation with the Advisory Group on Centenary Commemoration.