Royal Irish Constabulary

The Uniform of the RIC



      The Helmet had a Celtic design.


Thanks to Hugh Forrestor at the RIC/RUC Museum for this sketch of the design on the top of the RIC helmet.

With the increasing use of motor vehicles, the Royal Irish Constabulary used helmets less frequently other than on special occasions like parades from 1912 replacing them with more practical head gear of the forage hat. 

The uniform itself was not always manufactured in Ireland but in England and Scotland. That was discussed in Parliament. The irish tailors were invited to tender for the contract to supply the uniform.

Another interesting fact was that the chevron used in the Sergeant`s stripes was first used by the RIC. The reason why it is so far down the sleeve is a throw back to the Peace Preservation force who wore cloakes for protection from the weather and the chevron needed to be exposed to show rank. 

Nowadays the modern policeman has a utility belt to carry anything from a radio to a firearm or even `Pepper spray.`  In the Royal Irish Constabulary the policeman had a simple whistle in his tunic breast pocket attached to a chain to summon assistance and in his pouch he had a pair of handcuffs to effect an arrest of a violent man. In addition he used lots of diplomacy. Occasionally he used his baton ( a piece of oak) hid away in his trouser pocket. In the worst case he may need to use his fists to defend himself against a violent attack. 


 An RIC Sergeant`s uniform above.


   A district Inspector in dress uniform


   A closer look at the breast plate on the District Inspector`s uniform.