The Wind That Shakes The Barley – Black And Tans Brutality Scene

Recently, in the Irish Free State, an issue has come to light regarding the historical perspective attached to members of the British colonial forces in Ireland during the early 20th century. It is now de rigueur to celebrate the involvements of tens of thousands of Irish “Nationalists” in the First World War, men who fought and died on behalf of the British Empire, then in occupation of all of Ireland. In few other states would it be deemed appropriate to celebrate the “heroism” of those who fought for the enemy. In Ireland, there are those who insist that we do. Many of them are in government.

Likewise, moves are now underway (although recently stymied) to commemorate members of both the RIC (Royal Irish Constabulary) and DMP (Dublin Metropolitan Police), also colonial forces who operated on behalf of the British occupying forces. The current Irish government arranged a celebration of those who served in these fetid British institutions long recognised as part and parcel of the oppression suffered by the Irish people. The proposed celebration, however, turned into a cause for outrage as Irish people lashed out at this arrogant and idiotic attempt to rewrite Irish history. People often hate politicians for a very good reason.

One other institution of the British colonial forces that inspires hatred in Ireland to this very day is the Black and Tans, a hotch-potch section within, or adjoined to, the RIC. These special constables earned a reputation for brutality, war crimes and inhumanity. They consisted mostly of demobbed British soldiers from the island of Britain and appeared to revel in their role as thugs and killers. If not stopped, there will be those today who would see the people of Ireland celebrate the part played by this group of callous murderers. It could be seen as part of a wider agenda to further Anglicise all of Ireland, thus killing off the unique Irish identity, and rewriting history to suit an Anglophilic campaign.

The following is a clip from the movie, The Wind That Shakes The Barley. This fine piece of cinema is a firm favourite with Rebel Voice. In this scene we can get a sense of the kind of kinds the Black and Tans were notorious for. Please note, the events shown in this movie were not exaggerated. If anything they were downplayed to pass the film censor. The movie was directed by Ken Loach, a solid and honourable Englishman, representative of the vast majority of the people of England, and the total opposite of those shown in uniform in this clip.

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