Councillors to discuss plans for Mid & East Antrim to mark 100th Anniversary of RUC formation
Elected members at Mid and East Antrim Council are to consider marking the 100th Anniversary of the formation of the Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC) in the borough.
A letter from the Ballymena RUC George Cross Association highlighted the date of the 1st June and enquired if the council had any plans to mark the “important Anniversary.”
The Honourary Secretary of the association noted:
“The Royal Ulster Constabulary played a big part in the Council area, and in the past was given the freedom of the Borough, also a number of officers were murdered in the council area by terrorists during this time.”
The Royal Ulster Constabulary was established on 01 June 1922 as the police force for Northern Ireland. A women's section was established in 1943, with the role of female officers expanded after the 1970's and again in 1993.
The civil disorder and campaign of violence during the "the Troubles" of the 1970's and 80's, saw the RUC developed in size to a maximum strength of 13,500.
In April 2000, the force was awarded the George Cross as a recognition of its work through the Troubles. At the time, the award had only been collectively awarded once before, when it was awarded to the Island of Malta, during the Second World War.
A large number of Officers also received individual awards for gallantry. From 1969, 303 police officers were killed and many thousands injured as a result of the security situation in Northern Ireland.
During 2022 the centenary of the Royal Ulster Constabulary George Cross will be marked at Church Services in St Anne's Cathedral, Belfast and at the National Memorial Arboretum in Staffordshire.
There will also be a concert, lecture, gala dinner and a number of Acts of Remembrance to mark the inception of the RUC.
In Ballymena, a Royal Ulster Constabulary George Cross memorial is due to be unveiled and dedicated in the Memorial Park on 22 May 2022 by the Ballymena RUC George Cross Association.
The item is set to be discussed at a meeting of full council tomorrow evening, Monday 9 May.