The Irish Revenue Police was formed in 1832 and disbanded on 1 October 1857 when its role was taken over by the Irish Constabulary. Its duties include the detection of illicit liquor stills and the capture of offenders. It was nicknamed ‘The Potcheen Hussars’.
A major revision in 1836 saw the building of a training depot and headquarters in Clonliffe, Dublin. The force of over 1,100 men was distributed in 76 ‘Parties’ in 16 counties mainly west and north of the River Shannon. Each Revenue station had a Revenue Party of 1 sergeant and 13 privates who performed still-hunting over three days and two nights in a week over an 8 hour ‘Excursion Period’ at a time, on a radius of 20 Irish miles.
A Revenue Cruiser ‘The Seamew‘ and a Revenue Party and crew were based at Rathmullen, Co. Donegal for patrolling the western seaboard from Galway Bay to Lough Foyle and the islands off Co. Donegal during the winter months. On disbandment in 1857 some 598 Irish Revenue Policemen transferred as sub constables in the Irish Constabulary and 28 transferred as 3rd class sub inspectors in the Irish Constabulary. The Revenue Police suffered only one casualty during its existence when on 22 April 1836 a Constable Stewart was fatally injured by a mob attacking his patrol which had seized contraband.