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This major historical study of the Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC) by one of Northern Ireland's foremost commentators traces the fundamental flaws that haunted its entire service.
The Fateful Split is the graphic and often disturbing story of a uniquely controversial institution, from its formation as a barrier between sectarian factions, to its contentious and tragic role in the Troubles of the last thirty years.
At the same time, it provides an astonishing background history to more than a century of Irish domestic discord, including Gladstone's failed Home Rule Acts of the late nineteenth century, the partition of Ireland, the horror of the Troubles, and the establishment of the brittle Good Friday Agreement, in which, amid accusations of sectarian bias, the RUC was generally recognized as an impediment to reconciliation and began its transformation into the Police Service of Northern Ireland.
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