The Black and Tans (Dúchrónaigh) were constables recruited into the Royal Irish Constabulary (RIC) as reinforcements during the Irish War of Independence. Recruitment began in Great Britain in January 1920 and about 10,000 men enlisted during the conflict. The vast majority were unemployed former British soldiers who had fought in the First World War. Some sources count a small number of Irishmen as 'Black and Tans'.
The British administration in Ireland promoted the idea of bolstering the RIC with British recruits. They were to help the overstretched RIC maintain control and suppress the Irish Republican Army (IRA), although they were less well trained in ordinary policing. The nickname "Black and Tans" arose from the colours of the improvised uniforms they initially wore, a mixture of dark green RIC (which appeared black) and khaki British Army. They served in all parts of Ireland, but most were sent to southern and western regions where fighting wa