The Historical and Reconciliation Police (Harp) Society has held commemorative services since 2012 without all the electioneering-inspired drama.
They did not honour the Black and Tans or the Auxiliaries.
In France, the regular forces that died under the abhorrent collaborative regime are still included when these forces’ losses are remembered, minus the war criminals among them.
The bulk of them current police forces have not been extensively disbanded, despite them swearing allegiance to Vichy, and some taking part in exactions.
But no one suggests seriously to not honour the (late) involvement of the Police Nationale in the Resistance, or the more consistent resistance of parts of the Gendarmerie. Excluding from commemorations the individuals who have been disgraced.
So yes, it is more complex than “kill the bastards!”.
Like the milice was not the French Police, the UVF was not the RUC, the B&T/Auxiliaries were not the RIC/DMP.
It takes a lot of bad faith to equate a low key remembrance of a regular force who did wrong, with the exulted celebration of a milice.
Professor Diarmaid Ferriter of the Expert Advisory Group on Commemorations said they never recommended that there should be a State ceremony for the RIC and DMP.
However, their advice is ambiguously phrased, stating that “consideration should also be given to the organisation of specific initiatives to commemorate the Royal Irish Constabulary (RIC) and the Dublin Metropolitan Police (DMP) and to acknowledge their place in history”.
So the got did not pluck the idea out of thin air, and it took months for FF to decide that it was worth scoring a few shinner points...