The Word of the Day comes from "The Boatman and Other Stories" by Billy O'Callaghan. This was a buddy read with the Wonderful Nat K and the equally wonderful Kevvy Ansbro.


The Black and Tans were constables recruited into the Royal Irish Constabulary as reinforcements during the Irish War of Independence. Recruitment began in Great Britain in January 1920 and about 10,000 men enlisted during the conflict. The vast majority were unemployed former soldiers from Great Britain who fought in the First World War, although some were from Ireland.

Their strange name came about because of a shortage of uniforms which resulted in the members having to wear a mixture of police and military clothing.

Historians from both sides of the conflict recorded that they were a vicious brutal force, using violence and bloodshed to intimidate and destroy moral.

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