This major historical study of the 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 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 recognised as an impediment to reconciliation and began its transformation into the Police Service of Northern Ireland.
Chris Ryder is a writer and journalist who was Northern Ireland correspondent for the Daily Telegraph and was previously on the staff of the Sunday Times. He lives in Belfast.