March 25, 1920

On this day in 1920, the first “Black and Tans,” or auxiliary policemen, officially arrived in Ireland. 1919 saw the first declaration of an independent Irish Republic, which in turn led to IRA guerilla attacks on the Royal Irish Constabulary. The Royal Constabulary in turn hired Temporary Constables from 1920-1921. The force was established as a means of suppressing revolution, its main target the Irish Republican Army. However, the Black and Tans became known for their attacks on Irish civilians. The nickname “Black and Tan” comes from the color combination of the force’s uniforms, which reminded one Irish reporter of Kerry Beagles.

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