[[ Free Best ]] A Force Like No Other: The real stories of the RUC men and women who policed the TroublesAuthor Colin Breen – Entrecielos.co

A great read about the men and women of the RUC whose story is seldom heard It swings from tragedy and despair to dark humour and everything in between, lifting a veil into the daily life of policing the troubles Strong stuff indeed The author Mr Breen has done a fine job in interviewing the officers involved and tells it in a gripping way, its a hard book to put down I m sure this book just scratches the surface of what happened and I wold love to have read. Far too short, but one of the best in their own words books I have come across A mixture of the heroic, the mundane, heart wrenching, amusing, unimaginable pressure relieved by almost philosophical humour Like a drug, once you start, hard to put down And very important the , perhaps unavoidable, requirements of the peace process will result in legacies being changed, altered, muted, and invariably judged by those who knew naught , so better that those that did know go on record.Fascinating, and much of it seems as close as last night s news. Written in the same format as Roger Graeff s Talking Blues from the 1980s, short anecdotes of the experiences of front line officers Occasionally amusing, mostly harrowing stories of their fight against the psychopathic savages of both sides How they managed to stay in the job living under the constant threat to their families and themselves fills me with admiration I wouldn t have done it for double the salary. Depending on where you stand on the streets of Northern Ireland, officers of The Royal Ulster Constabulary were good cops or bad cops, heroes or villains, firm upholders of the law, or the essence of sectarian bigotry But the title of Colin Breen s thorough and gripping book is entirely appropriate it was indeed A Force Like No Other.In the late 60s the RUC was another provincial police force a couple of thousand strong, with a patch stretching from inner cities to some of the most beautiful rural landscape in europe All that changed when terrorist violence took hold at its peak, the RUC strength rose to 13,000 As Colin Breen points out in his introduction, it was a very steep learning curve, as officers tried to keep pace with fast moving events..for which they were totally unprepared As journalists covering the Troubles good contacts in all parts of the picture were vital Colin Breen would always offer a word to the wise he was straightforward, fair, well connected, and good company, equally at home with hacks or the top brass in the security forces His plain dealing has encouraged former colleagues to shine some light on their darkest experiences on the front line what Interpol described as one of the most dangerous places in the world to be a police officer.Many of the memories have never been spelled out before some are clearly painful in those days, the only post traumatic stress counselling was a sympathetic clap on the shoulder from the station sergeant, and a bottle of whiskey to deaden the hurt The 18 year old rookie who has just seen his mate and mentor blown to pieces in a booby trapped lorry in West Belfast There s no one you can talk to, you can t put your family through it Other cops get it and understand where you re coming from Normal people don t The voices that speak to Colin Breen are often harsh, rarely polished, but always authentic one survivor of a patrol that comes under sniper fire in Londonderry The first I noticed was white dots appearing across the windscreen Then Peter s head exploded I knew he was dead, bits of him were splattered over me.This is not pulp fiction, it is not Afghanistan nor Iraq, it happened on the streets of the United Kingdom within our lifetime It is a society where a police officer hides his true occupation from his neighbours, where his wife can never hang the distinctive pale green RUC shirts on the washing line where a Roman Catholic officer carries his gun to Mass, and narrowly escapes assasination as a traitor by a former schoolmate turned Republican terrorist There is frustration, most keenly felt when known murderers escape justice because of political expediency it is a shadowy world.But there is also the wry dry Northern Irish humour I chuckled to be reminded of a familiar character the ODC, or Ordinary Decent Criminal the petty thieves, drunk drivers, traffic offenders, weekend pub brawlers, the daily routine of every police force in every part of the UK But the Northern Ireland peelers had to deal with the added layer of evil, the overshadowing nightmare of terrorism that never went away why the RUC was A Force Like No Other Colin Breen s book is packed with stories that need to be told we should read them, and think on. In , Interpol Named Northern Ireland The Most Dangerous Place In The World To Be A Police Officer In , The RUC Was Catapulted Into The Troubles Bombs, Death Threats And Murder Became A Regular Part Of The Day Job Working Right At The Heart Of The Conflict, Police Officers Were Often Caught In The Middle Heroes To Some, Villains To Others Now, For The First Time, The Men And Women Who Policed The Troubles Tell Their Own Stories In Their Own Words Covering All Aspects Of Police Work, From Handling Informants And Conducting Interviews With Notorious Criminals To Dealing With The Aftermath Of Tragic Bombings, These Candid, Moving And Sometimes Blackly Comic Stories Show The Unpredictable, Brutal And Surreal World In Which The RUC Operated As A Former Police Officer, Colin Breen Has Unparalleled Access To Former RUC, Special Branch And CID Officers Who Have Never Spoken Out Before Their Stories Reveal The Mayhem And Madness That Officers Dealt With Every Day The Psychological And Personal Toll Of The Job And The Camaraderie And The Whiskey That Helped Them To Cope Raw, Unsettling And Frank, A Force Like No Other Tells The Real Story Of The RUC