Rebel song tops charts in Ireland amid commemoration row

By Rebecca Black, PA

An Irish rebel song has topped the iTunes charts in the UK and Ireland following a row over a planned commemoration of the former Irish police force.

The Irish Government deferred the event in memory of the Royal Irish Constabulary (RIC) which has been widely criticised by the public and politicians.

The event was to acknowledge the place of the RIC and the Dublin Metropolitan Police (DMP) in Irish history.

Minister for Justice Charlie Flanagan announced the commemorations, planned for next week at Dublin Castle, would be deferred.

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar backed the decision saying it had become an unnecessary controversy and “very divisive”, adding that he hopes to have it at a later date in a more appropriate way.

Since the row, the Wolfe Tones rebel song Come Out Ye Black And Tans has risen to the top of both the Irish and UK iTunes charts.

The band responded by posting on Twitter, “Come Out Ye Black n Tans No. 1 in Ireland… Fine Gael got their answer”

They had previously backed calls for the RIC event to be cancelled.

The song Come Out Ye Black And Tans was originally released in 1972.

It refers to additional part-time officers recruited to bolster RIC numbers in Ireland during the War of Independence, many of whom gained a violent reputation.

The RIC was disbanded following the partition of Ireland in 1921 and replaced by An Garda Siochana.