Royal Irish Constabulary

The Recruit

The best R.I.C. recruit for the rank and file was usually the son of a farmer as in the case of my ancestor James Talbot. (see his image at 22 years) Usually it was the youngest son in the family as he would not inherited the farm so  he had to look for a an alternative life that might mean emigration or even entering the priesthood. R.I.C. recruits were strong, healthy and with a good education. Most recruits though would have had to "knuckle down" to the strict discipline of the Royal Irish Constabulary at the Depot in Dublin. After training for six months they were housed at Barracks in towns and villages through Ireland. Their main duties were to detect and prevent crime, protect property and suppress disorder. They were posted away from the county they were born in and later away from the family they were married into.  The men got to know their community well and were able to deal with local matters. Some areas of Ireland were more troublesome than other areas but a vile murder could still be committed- even in the smallest village. In any case individual policemen were respected. The salary may have been was poor but they had the appeal of a pension at the end of 25 years service which was the attraction.   

An RIC constable in full-marching order in 1902.  

Years after the disbandment of the RIC, posters like this were found in loft`s of old Barracks that survived from attacks from the IRA.