RUC crest from police station dedicated at poignant church service


Bishop Ian Ellis dedicating the RUC plaque with Revd John McClenaghan and Viscount Brookeborough.

The RUC Crest which was once in Fivemiletown RUC Station has now been erected in St. Ronan’s Parish Church, Colebrooke and dedicated by the Bishop of Clogher.

The service conducted by the Rector, the Revd John McClenaghan was attended by the Bishop of Clogher, the Right Revd Dr. Ian Ellis, who was the preacher; His Majesty’s Lord Lieutenant, Viscount Brookeborough and Lady Brookeborough as well as members of the RUC GC Association in East Tyrone and Fermanagh.

The service also celebrated the service and sacrifice of the RUC and RUC Reserve.

Bishop Ellis, in his address, said an occasion such as this, of the laying up and dedication of the Fivemiletown RUC station crest, gave everyone an opportunity to consider and be thankful for the work for the police in our community.

“It will also cause us to reflect on the cost of that service over the period of our troubles in NI in the lives lost and hearts and homes broken. Located near the border, this area was constantly vulnerable and was particularly impacted by acts of terrorism over those terrible years. We must never forget those who sacrificed their lives; their names are well known to us and their families continue to carry the pain of loss,” he said.

“Throughout the long years of terror, it was the dedicated work of the RUC and later the PSNI which kept us from slipping into the abyss of civil war and to even greater horrors than those which we did endure. Over 30 years ago I was a curate in Armagh and we used to be invited as clergy to attend the annual Remembrance Service held in Newry Road police station. I clearly remember hearing the names read aloud, as we heard today of those from the subdivision who lost their lives in the service of the community. I could not help but reflect on the length of the list, so many lives destroyed, and families devastated.

“This crest placed in this church today remains a powerful symbol of the service of police officers from this district and of those who made that supreme sacrifice. We are thankful to God that because of the work of such men and women we have been spared and could bring up our families and enjoy freedom and a relatively normal life.”

In conclusion, he said; “So today as we dedicate this crest, we give thanks for the work our police service in this district, in their vocation to protect life and uphold the law and to pray that they may live up to that high calling. May it remain a symbol of gratitude and honour those who have served with distinction in the past and ask especially for God’s mercy upon those who have lost a someone dear to them because of their devotion to the service.

“If we fulfil these three things: to do justice to love kindness and to walk humbly with our God then we will have nothing else to fear in life or in death, because God requires no more of us, and his great love will never let us go,” he added.
A history and celebration of the 100th anniversary of the RUC was given by Revd Isaac Thompson, from the Presbyterian Church in Ireland and Chaplain to East Tyrone RUC GC Association.

The Order of Service included a roll of honour to those from East Tyrone RUC GC from 1946-2001 and Fermanagh RUC GC 1956-2001 who were killed on duty or died from injuries sustained.
Murley Silver Band provided the music accompaniment and a Piper’s Lament was also played.