The British invasion of Ireland involved, naturally, control and reform of the legal system, replacing the Irish Brehon system with its feudal legal system. As formalised watch systems developed in England, they were replicated in Ireland. In time, Ireland became a site of experiment for structured policing as concerns and objections were raised in Westminster to proposals for England. The result was the Royal Irish Constabulary (RIC), a force which held an awkward position in Irish society and whose demise was inevitable following the bitter War of Independence. From its ashes emerged an Garda Síochána. A central argument of this book is that modern policing in Ireland was fundamentally shaped by preindependent policing in two confl icting ways. On the one hand a desire existed in the 1920s to differentiate policing in independent Ireland from the RIC and colonial policing that had been used politically to control and suppress. On the other hand, when the country achieved independence, time constraints and a lack of alternative experience led to the retention of many of the core features of colonial policing. Therefore, twentieth-century policing was defi ned by efforts to be ideologically different but practically similar to the RIC of the nineteenth century. Appreciating that legacy and why it developed as it did is, therefore, essential to our understanding of modern policing, as much as an understanding of the colonial context underpins an understanding of the desire for change in the 1920s.