Dublin Metropolitan Police
The Dublin Metropolitan Police (DMP) was the police
The police is a personification of the state designated to put in practice the enforced law, protect property and reduce civil disorder in civilian matters. Their powers include the legitimized use of force...

 force of Dublin, Ireland
Ireland is an island to the northwest of continental Europe. It is the third-largest island in Europe and the twentieth-largest island on Earth...

, from 1836 to 1925, when it amalgamated into the new Garda Síochána
Garda Síochána
, more commonly referred to as the Gardaí , is the police force of Ireland. The service is headed by the Commissioner who is appointed by the Irish Government. Its headquarters are located in the Phoenix Park in Dublin.- Terminology :...


19th century

Organised rural policing in Ireland began when Robert Peel
Robert Peel
Sir Robert Peel, 2nd Baronet was a British Conservative statesman who served as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom from 10 December 1834 to 8 April 1835, and again from 30 August 1841 to 29 June 1846...

, then Chief Secretary for Ireland
Chief Secretary for Ireland
The Chief Secretary for Ireland was a key political office in the British administration in Ireland. Nominally subordinate to the Lord Lieutenant, from the late 18th century until the end of British rule he was effectively the government minister with responsibility for governing Ireland; usually...

, created the Peace Preservation Force in 1814. This rudimentary paramilitary police force was designed to provide policing in rural Ireland, replacing the 18th century system of watchmen, baronial constables, revenue officers and British military forces
British Army
The British Army is the land warfare branch of Her Majesty's Armed Forces in the United Kingdom. It came into being with the unification of the Kingdom of England and Scotland into the Kingdom of Great Britain in 1707. The new British Army incorporated Regiments that had already existed in England...

. Peel went on to found the London Metropolitan Police.

In 1822, a new Act created four improved "County
A county is a jurisdiction of local government in certain modern nations. Historically in mainland Europe, the original French term, comté, and its equivalents in other languages denoted a jurisdiction under the sovereignty of a count A county is a jurisdiction of local government in certain...

" Constabularies
Constabulary may have several definitions.*A civil, non-paramilitary force consisting of police officers called constables. This is the usual definition in Britain, in which all county police forces once bore the title...

, whose organisation was based around the traditional provinces of Ireland
Provinces of Ireland
Ireland has historically been divided into four provinces: Leinster, Ulster, Munster and Connacht. The Irish word for this territorial division, cúige, literally meaning "fifth part", indicates that there were once five; the fifth province, Meath, was incorporated into Leinster, with parts going to...


1836: reform

In 1836, the county constabularies were merged into a new centralised Constabulary of Ireland
Royal Irish Constabulary
The armed Royal Irish Constabulary was Ireland's major police force for most of the nineteenth and the early twentieth centuries. A separate civic police force, the unarmed Dublin Metropolitan Police controlled the capital, and the cities of Derry and Belfast, originally with their own police...

, and the Peace Preservation Force ceased to exist. At the same time separate non-paramilitary
A paramilitary is a force whose function and organization are similar to those of a professional military, but which is not considered part of a state's formal armed forces....

 forces were set up in the larger towns: Dublin, Belfast
Belfast is the capital of and largest city in Northern Ireland. By population, it is the 14th biggest city in the United Kingdom and second biggest on the island of Ireland . It is the seat of the devolved government and legislative Northern Ireland Assembly...

, and Derry
Derry or Londonderry is the second-biggest city in Northern Ireland and the fourth-biggest city on the island of Ireland. The name Derry is an anglicisation of the Irish name Doire or Doire Cholmcille meaning "oak-wood of Colmcille"...

. A perceived lack of impartiality following rioting in the municipal police forces of Belfast and Derry saw both forces absorbed by the national force in 1865 and 1870 respectrively, and only Dublin maintained its separate force. The DMP was established under the Dublin Police Act 1836 and was a more efficient organisation than the untrained constable
A constable is a person holding a particular office, most commonly in law enforcement. The office of constable can vary significantly in different jurisdictions.-Etymology:...

s and night watchmen it replaced.

The 1836 Act authorised the "chief governor of Ireland" to establish a police office in Dublin, supported by two salaried justices, to administer the police force which would be under the direction of the Chief Secretary for Ireland. It also provided for the recruitment and appointment of policemen and the regulation of their conduct. It also created powers of arrest and made arrangements for the financial affairs of the new force, including new taxation.

The DMP was modelled closely on London
London is the capital city of :England and the :United Kingdom, the largest metropolitan area in the United Kingdom, and the largest urban zone in the European Union by most measures. Located on the River Thames, London has been a major settlement for two millennia, its history going back to its...

's Metropolitan Police
Metropolitan Police Service
The Metropolitan Police Service is the territorial police force responsible for Greater London, excluding the "square mile" of the City of London which is the responsibility of the City of London Police...

. Not only were the uniforms of the two forces almost indistinguishable, especially after the helmet and Bath Star were adopted, but the two forces also had a similar organisational structure; rather than a Chief Constable
Chief Constable
Chief constable is the rank used by the chief police officer of every territorial police force in the United Kingdom except for the City of London Police and the Metropolitan Police, as well as the chief officers of the three 'special' national police forces, the British Transport Police, Ministry...

, they were commanded by a Commissioner
Police commissioner
Commissioner is a senior rank used in many police forces and may be rendered Police Commissioner or Commissioner of Police. In some organizations, the commissioner is a political appointee, and may or may not actually be a professional police officer. In these circumstances, there is often a...

, who was not a police officer, but a magistrate
A magistrate is an officer of the state; in modern usage the term usually refers to a judge or prosecutor. This was not always the case; in ancient Rome, a magistratus was one of the highest government officers and possessed both judicial and executive powers. Today, in common law systems, a...

 holding a Commission of the Peace. This was descended from the 18th century system of controlling parish
A parish is a territorial unit historically under the pastoral care and clerical jurisdiction of one parish priest, who might be assisted in his pastoral duties by a curate or curates - also priests but not the parish priest - from a more or less central parish church with its associated organization...

A constable is a person holding a particular office, most commonly in law enforcement. The office of constable can vary significantly in different jurisdictions.-Etymology:...

s, and was a sop to the public's fears about the danger of a standing police force under government control.

1880s: Land Wars

The force came under considerable pressure in the 1880s during the Land Wars, in which 500 policemen were injured. A series of protest meetings were held and strikes were threatened in 1882.

20th century

1913-14: Dublin Lock-out

Two men died and several hundred people were injured over the course of the 5-month Dublin Lock-out, including two hundred policemen. Although the police were involved in "frequent collisions" with union members and used tactics such as baton charge
Baton charge
A baton charge is a coordinated tactic for dispersing crowds of people, usually used by police or military during public order situations. In certain countries, police are not authorised to use the tactic unless no other means can be practiced....

s against them, a vice-regal commission cleared them of wrong-doing after the events - though their reputation had suffered considerably.

1916 onwards

As they were unarmed, the Dublin Metropolitan Police were confined to barracks and did not take the side of the British
United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland was the formal name of the United Kingdom during the period when what is now the Republic of Ireland formed a part of it....

 in the War of Independence
Irish War of Independence
The Irish War of Independence , Anglo-Irish War, Black and Tan War, or Tan War was a guerrilla war mounted by the Irish Republican Army against the British government and its forces in Ireland. It began in January 1919, following the Irish Republic's declaration of independence. Both sides agreed...

 as actively as did the RIC, and as such did not suffer the casualty rate of that force, although three men were killed and seven injured. The political "G" Division did not come off so lightly, and selected "G men
G-Man (slang)
G-Man is a slang term for Special agents of the United States Government. It is specifically used as a term for a Federal Bureau of Investigation agent....

" were first warned by the Irish Republican Army
Irish Republican Army
The Irish Republican Army was an Irish republican revolutionary military organisation. It was descended from the Irish Volunteers, an organisation established on 25 November 1913 that staged the Easter Rising in April 1916...

 in April 1919, and the first was shot in July. Many DMP officers actively assisted the IRA, most famously Edward Broy, who passed valuable intelligence to Michael Collins
Michael Collins (Irish leader)
Michael "Mick" Collins was an Irish revolutionary leader, Minister for Finance and Teachta Dála for Cork South in the First Dáil of 1919, Director of Intelligence for the IRA, and member of the Irish delegation during the Anglo-Irish Treaty negotiations. Subsequently, he was both Chairman of the...

 throughout the conflict. Another DMP "G" Division spy for Collins was David Neligan
David Neligan
David Neligan , known by his soubriquet "The Spy in the Castle", was an important figure involved in the Irish War of Independence 1919-1921, and subsequently became Director of Intelligence for the Irish Army after the Irish Civil War -Early life:David Neligan was born at Templeglantine, Limerick,...

. Five of the "G" Division were killed by the IRA.

In the 1996 film Michael Collins
Michael Collins (film)
Michael Collins is a 1996 historical biopic written and directed by Neil Jordan and starring Liam Neeson as General Michael Collins, the Irish patriot and revolutionary who died in the Irish Civil War. It won the Golden Lion at the Venice Film Festival....

, Broy is discovered and subsequently tortured and killed by the British. In reality he was not caught and went on to become the Commissioner of the in the 1930s.

After the creation of the Irish Free State
Irish Free State
The Irish Free State was the state established as a Dominion on 6 December 1922 under the Anglo-Irish Treaty, signed by the British government and Irish representatives exactly twelve months beforehand...

, the DMP became known as (Police of Dublin) from 1922–1925, after which the force ceased to exist as a separate entity, and was absorbed into the (Guardians of the Peace). Its last Commissioner was W.R.E. Murphy
W.R.E. Murphy
William Richard English Murphy known as W.R.E. Murphy was an Irish soldier and policeman. He served as an officer with the British Army in the First World War and later in the Irish Army in the Irish Civil War. In the Civil War he was second in overall command of the National Army from January to...

. "Dublin Metropolitan
Dublin Metropolitan Area
Dublin Metropolitan Area is a term used by various bodies to describe the area of Dublin, Ireland, and its surrounding counties which have an urban designation; between these bodies its definition is not always consistent.-Garda usage:...

" is today a geographic region of the 's command structure.

Unlike the RIC but in common with police forces on the island of Great Britain
Great Britain
Great Britain or Britain is an island situated to the northwest of Continental Europe. It is the ninth largest island in the world, and the largest European island, as well as the largest of the British Isles...

, the DMP was an unarmed force. In this, it provided the inspiration for the first Commissioner of the , who declared that the new force should also be unarmed.

External links

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