The Government has deferred controversial plans for a commemoration of the Royal Irish Constabulary.

In a statement last night, the Justice Minister Charlie Flanagan says - given the disappointing response of some to the planned event on 17th January - it cannot now take place in an atmosphere that meets the goals of the overall commemorative programme, therefore it's being deferred.

Minister Flanagan said he will proceed with an alternative commemoration in the months ahead, after consulting with the Advisory Group on Centenary Commemoration and other stakeholders.

Mayo Fianna Fail TD Dara Calleary told Midwest News yesterday that he would not be attending the event, given the history of the Black & Tans in Co Mayo.

This morning, the Fianna Fail deputy leader welcomed Fine Gael's U-turn on the event, and said it's an embarrassing climbdown for the Government which could have been avoided, if they had consulted historians and others on the matter, before forging ahead with its plans.

Meanwhile, the Justice Minister says any future commemoration of the RIC will have to be inclusive and respectful of all traditions. Minister Charlie Flanagan says he hopes agreement can be reached with all interested parties so a future commemoration goes ahead.




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