Garda Síochána Historical Society
Irish Police History



1997, the 75th Anniversary of the founding of the Garda Síochána, was a very memorable year for the Garda Síochána Museum/Archives and the Garda Síochána Historical Society. The Museum and Historical Society played a very important part in highlighting the importance of the anniversary year and encourage participation by all, both inside and outside our police force in activities touching on the history and development of policing in Ireland and in particular An Garda Síochána. 1997 was also the year that the Garda Síochána Museum moved from Garda H.Q. in the Phoenix Park to its present location at the Records Tower in Dublin Castle.

On August 17th, 1922, Dublin Castle was handed over from the Royal Irish Constabulary to the newly formed "Civic Guard" (later renamed "Garda Síochána na hÉireann"). Commissioner Michael Staines marched 380 Civic Guards into the Lower Yard of the castle and the possession was handed over by Mr. A.W.A. Cope, Assistant Under Secretary and Major Lavin of the Kings Shropshire Light Infantry. On August 17th, 1997, the hand over was re-enacted when a Colour Party led the Garda Síochána Band, Commissioner Patrick Byrne and other members of the Garda Síochána though the same gates in a ceremony to commemorate the event.

75 years ago the Civic Guard were cheered through the streets of Dublin as they marched to take over the castle. This year when the Garda Síochána marched through the Palace Street Gate they were greeted with a rapturous applause from the waiting crowd.

The commemoration commenced with an inter-denominational service at St. Patrick's Cathedral, followed by the official opening of the Garda Síochána Museum/Archives at the Record Tower. An afternoon of entertainment followed the re-enactment and drill display with music provided by the Garda Síochána Band and displays by the Garda Síochána DMA Traffic Section's Motorcyclists and members of Kilmainham's Garda Dog Unit.

It was fitting that this date was chosen for the launch of a new book on the history of the Royal Irish Constabulary, which was disbanded 75 years ago. The book titled "The Royal Irish Constabulary" (Jim Herlihy, Four Courts Press, Dublin, 1997) was launched in the Coachhouse, Dublin Castle by the present Commissioner of the Garda Síochána. The book deals with the history of the Irish Constabulary (granted the title of Royal by Queen Victoria for their part in quashing the 1867 Fenian Rising) and the Royal Irish Constabulary and details how to trace ancestors in the RIC. Records of members of the Dublin Metropolitan Police (DMP), Irish Constabulary and Royal Irish Constabulary (RIC) can be obtained by contacting Jim Herlihy

The service records for the first 8,000 members of the Garda Síochána (Ireland's national police force) can be obtained by writting to;-

The Curator,
Garda Museum/Archives,
Records Tower,
Dublin Castle,
Dublin 2,

For further information on Dublin Castle, see the following;-

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History Television Approved
Top Ten Irish 
October 1997

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