A new book on the history of policing in Fermanagh is to be launched this weekend in Enniskillen.

The book is authored by Springfield man George Elliott – a former part-time reservist and teacher – and will be launched at St. Macartin’s Cathedral Hall on Saturday, September 9 at 7pm.

Mr. Elliott said: “The book is a history of policing in Fermanagh. It is a wide social history, about why policing survived in Fermanagh and how it was slightly unique in Fermanagh.”

He explained that the book charts the history of policing in this area from the Medivial period through to the modern-day PSNI.

Many of his ancestors and family were involved in policing and he suggested that the book is a “thinly-veiled family history”.

He noted that the book begins with the story of his great-aunt Annie Dickson, who was murdered by a member of the Black and Tans in Clones, Co. Monaghan.

The book has 450 pictures and documents contained inside it, and Mr. Elliott spoke to many people in the course of his research.

Explaining his findings he said: “It is interesting from a family perspective as to why people joined the police. The universal message from both Protestants and Catholics was that people were very poor, and the one job that gave a pension was the police – they always had a pension.”

One of those featured in the book is 102-year-old Noble Hetherington, who lives in Netwownbutler, and who is the “longest surviving RUC man”, according to George.

“He is the last entry in the book, so the book can finish on a pleasant note.”

While Mr. Elliott took much pleasure in researching the book and collecting data, he said that one of the key reasons for publishing the book was to raise funds for welfare at Brooke House Health and Well-Being Centre, an organisation which supports veterans and retired police officers.

He said: “We’re discovering a lot of men who have retired 20 years are starting to get mental health problems. I hope people support it for that reason alone.”

Mr. Elliott has invited former Chief Constable Sir George Hamilton to the launch and teased that “he will perhaps speak” .

A History of Policing in Fermanagh, compiled and edited by E. G. Elliott MBE, will be launched at 7pm on Saturday evening, September 9 in St. Macartan’s Cathedral Hall; refreshments will be served.