Objects > Irish Constabulary station badge


Irish Constabulary station crest

Date: 1840s

Material: iron

Dimensions: 17 x 31 cm

Organisation: Irish Constabulary

Source: Police Museum

Map of Irish Constabulary barracks

Date: 1852

Material: paper

Dimensions: 34 x 48 cm

Organisation: Irish Constabulary

Source: Police Museum, Sir F.B. Head, 'A Fornight in Ireland'

This cast iron station badge features the belted shamrock; the crest of the Irish Constabulary. The Constabulary Act (Ireland) 1836 brought together the four provincial County Constabulary forces to form the national Irish Constabulary. Station badges were attached above the door of a building to denote the presence of a police barracks. The majority of constabulary stations were in rented houses or disused military barracks in towns and villages. The only purpose-built barracks were either strategically important, erected by landlords for the protection of their land or where there was no suitable building to rent. Men were deployed to barracks in small groups (normally four) under the command of a head constable or sergeant.

As transport was limited, policemen patrolled their sub-district on foot. In order to provide policing for the whole country, a large number of small barracks were erected in each district. By the 1850s, there were 290 Irish Constabulary barracks in Ulster and 1,594 in the whole of Ireland. Mounted messengers were used to communicate between stations, and carrier pigeons or flares were used for communication between more remote barracks.