08 January 2020
DUP MP Sir Jeffrey Donaldson said,
Parliamentary Chief Whip; Spokesman on Defence and business in the House of Commons
“The cancellation of plans to commemorate the Royal Irish Constabulary and Dublin Metropolitan Police is a retrograde step. We are drawing towards the conclusion of a decade of centenaries, which to date have taken place respectfully. Whilst everyone may not have been active supporters of all events, this is the first occasion where there has been such high profile political opposition to a commemoration.
Those who served in the RIC and DMP and their families were Irish men and women from all religious backgrounds who lived and worked in an Ireland that was politically united. Many of them suffered or were murdered for no reason other than the fact they wore a Crown on their uniform, and it is difficult to escape the conclusion that opposition to this commemoration is based again on that.
Those leading the vehement opposition to this event are the same people who tell those of us in Northern Ireland that British identity would be respected and accommodated within some mythical ‘new Ireland’. When agreement cannot be found to commemorate those who died 100 years ago it is a clear demonstration of how far we still have to travel in terms of respect and reconciliation, particularly in relation to the British identity in Northern Ireland by republicans.”