On This Day In Clare History – Clare’s first professional policeman

On This Day In Clare History – Clare’s first professional policeman

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George Warburton - County Clare's First Professional policeman
George Warburton – County Clare’s First Professional policeman

On this day 200 years ago in 1814, then Chief Secretary for Ireland Robert Peel established the Peace Preservation Force to counter rural unrest in Ireland. The move led to the arrival in Clare of its first professional policeman, George Warburton.

Warburton spent seven years in Clare, beginning as chief magistrate of the three western baronies, and later of the entire county as the peace preservation act was extended to the baronies of Bunratty and Tulla in 1817, and to all the remaining baronies in 1820.

The Peace Preservation Force replaced the 18th century system of watchmen, baronial constables, revenue officers and British military forces. The Peace Preservation Act of 1814 is seen by many as the precursor to the establishment of the Irish Constabulary and of the modern police services on the island of Ireland.

Robert Peel went on to found the London Metropolitan Police. These policemen became known as Bobby’s boys or “bobbies”.

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