The Dublin Metropolitan Police was formed in 1836, after twenty years of attempts to create an effective policing force in Ireland
Rural policing in Ireland began when Chief Secretary for Ireland, Robert Peel created the Peace Preservation Force in 1816. This rudimentary paramilitary police force was designed to provide policing in rural Ireland, replacing the 18th century system of watchmen and British military forces.
In 1822, a new Act created four improved "County" Constabularies, based on the historic provinces of Ireland.
These were merged into a new centralised Constabulary of Ireland, in 1836 and the Peace Preservation Force ceased to exist. At the same time separate non-paramilitary force set up in the larger towns, for example Dublin, Belfast, and Londonderry. Discipline problems saw the Belfast and Londonderry forces absorbed by the national force, and only Dublin maintained its separate force.
The DMP was modelled closely on the London Metropolitan Police; not only were the uniforms of the two forces almost indistinguishable especially after the helmet and Bath Star were adopted, but the two forces was governed alike too; rather than a Chief Constable their most senior officers were "commissioners" not police officers at all but magistrates holding Commissions of the Peace. This copied the 18th century system of controlling parish constables, and was a sop to the public's fears about the danger of a standing police force under government control.
The DMP did not take the side of the British in the Anglo-Irish War as stridently as did the RIC, and as such did not suffer the casualty rate of that force. Many DMP officers actively assisted the IRA, most famously Edward "Ned" Broy, who passed valuable intelligence to Michael Collins throughout the conflict. In the 1996 film Michael Collins, Broy is discovered and subsequently tortured and killed by the British. In reality he was never caught and went on to become the Commissioner of An Garda Síochána in the 1930s.
Like those in Britain, the DMP was always an unarmed force until amalgamated into An Garda Síochána in 1925. In this, it provided the inspiration for the first Commissioner of An Garda Síochána who declared the new force should be unarmed. An Garda Síochána was formed to replace the Royal Irish Constabulary, and merged with the Dublin Metropolitan Police in 1925.
Roll of Honour
The National Police Officers Roll of Honour covers UK police forces; therefore the Dublin Metropolitan Police pages only cover up to 1922.