RIR Home Service to be disbanded

It is being reported this afternoon that the GOC NI has announced that the Home Service Battalions of the Royal Irish Regiment are to be disbanded.

Well done the DUP, clearly concessions to republicanism have stopped since they are providing leadership that’s working!

UPDATE: Sir Reg Empey has issued his response.

Predictably the DUP hides its embarrassment at further concessions to Republicans by trying to blame the UUP for this decision. This is lies. Let us not forget that for nearly 2 years the DUP has been the larger Unionist party and promised people that if they voted for them concessions would stop. The last few months have shown this to be a false promise. Apparently Mr Blair didn’t even inform the DUP about this decision.

  • G2

    “Besides which, if they really want to be soldiers as distinct from play at it, they can join the regular ARmy and serve in Iraq – one of the more effective laxative solutions.”

    Of course they can Jo. Then these RIR guys who never leave Norn iron can get a chance to fight against real *TERRORISTS* for Queen and Country. As Tony Blair dosn’t consider the IRA to fall under that so called category anymore.

    Maybe it was because SF leader Gerry failed to wave the Koran every time he spoke on TV

  • Jo

    G2:
    I understand 1 section (battalion?) of the RIR does actually serve in Iraq. Personally speaking, my own experiences of the regiment, going back some years, would suggest to me that the battle there for hearts and minds would not be assisted by the attitudes of many of the soldiers who I have encountered.

  • Jo

    This is from 2 years ago…

    “Northern Ireland regiment will be cut to the core

    Rosie Cowan, Ireland correspondent
    Wednesday May 28, 2003
    The Guardian

    The army is to press ahead with plans to disband most of the Royal Irish Regiment, despite the IRA’s failure to destroy all its weapons and end paramilitary activity, military sources said last night.
    As revealed in the Guardian last month, the three home battalions are to be phased out as part of the British/Irish government blueprint to help persuade the Provisionals to move on decommissioning.

    Some of the 3,000 full- and part-time soldiers in the 2nd, 3rd and 4th Battalions will be given the chance to transfer to the 1st [general service] Battalion, which served in Iraq under the Belfast-born Lieutenant-Colonel Tim Collins, but most will have to leave the army, according to an army source who spoke to the Guardian in April.

    Now it has emerged that an internal memo to senior officers from the general officer commanding in Northern Ireland confirms that the cuts, codenamed Operation Banner, will “inevitably mean the disbandment of the home battalion element of the RIR.” Trade union representatives have already been consulted about redundancy packages.

    Unionists are furious at the dismantling of units they see as heroes in the frontline against terrorism.

    The RIR hit the headlines recently because of the controversy surrounding Col Collins, currently the subject of two separate investigations – one for alleged war crimes in Iraq, the other regarding the overall management of the regiment, which some soldiers claim has a vicious and pervasive bullying culture.”

  • Comrade Stalin

    I’m puzzled about why unionists have taken it upon themselves to be bothered by this move which really has no effect on them whatsoever. The RIR troops in any case spent most of their time in the barracks. A normal society does not have troops everywhere.

    With today’s news, the British government is sending a few important messages. First of all, it is reiterating the policy it has had towards unionism since the suspension of Stormont in 1972, namely that if you refuse to play ball, we will simply go over your head and do a deal without you. They did just that in 1985, and would have done again in 1998 if Trimble hadn’t headed them off. They will keep doing it until you guys get the message that you will have to start stepping up and taking responsibility for your actions.

    With the arrest of Sean Kelly and his subsequent release, the British government explained to the republicans that if they refused to play ball then the government would quite simply put them back in jail again, with the flourish of a ministerial pen. With hindsight, it appears that Kelly’s arrest was tactical; the government likely wanted to sharpen the minds busy considering how they would proceed with the IRA’s winding down. The republicans got the message, as their statement and the imminent decommissioning process will likely show.

    The overall message is – stay in the game, play the ball, and you will take home the prize. The unionists need to start understanding that. Unionists are utterly powerless to block decisions made by the British government.

  • slug

    Jo

    I think the RIR (RIRegiment) is made up of the bits that only serve in NI and are there to provide back-up to the police, and those bits that serve world wide (formerly Royal Irish Rangers). I understand, and I may be wrong, that the latter will continue, and will continue to have barracks in NI as currently at Ballymena.

    All:

    This thread is pretty negative and shows UUP and DUP posters in a pretty pathetic light, as well as some unattrative gloating from nationalists.

    I have some problems with the timing of the announcement, but overall do not see why we need these unusual arrangements to be made into the longer term, provided the police can indeed operate without army backup.

    So I think there are some measured criticisms to be made, as Alliance did, but the two main unionist parties didn’ conduct themselves that well.

    Things are not that gloomy for unionists. In fact they are not gloomy at all. Unionists have to be realistic, however.

  • bretagne

    To build on Beach Tree’s blog :

    ….we might be left with Direct Rule? Oh God, that’s scary! Lets see, no RIR, no Army Bases, End of the watchtowers, further London Dublin co-operation, possible speaking rights in Seanad, Beefed up powers for councils giving practical power to nationalists in various parts of the country anyway, the slow but likely rise of SF int he south, the nationalist parties able to work together again, the governements of both island putting the blame for any impasse on the unionists – oh, and now you’re offering not having to look at the Doc’s mug as First Minister as well?…..

    Can I add SF’s increasing all-island dimension that when (& if) the Doc is ever ready to do a deal – he’ll have the embarassement of SF putting the coalition deal on offer to their ArdFeis in Dublin…- the Doc will avoid this – so SF doesn’t need any help to make the place ungovernable – its inevitable. YOu gotta hand it to McGuiness, game,set and a couple of match points!

  • G2

    Jo,

    Here is the RIR website:
    http://usite.army.mod.uk/HQNI/Royal%20Irish%20Regiment.htm

    If they do disband in two years time its my belief only those full time soldiers (serving in the home Battalions) will be offered a transfer to other regiments in UK to finish their 21 years service for pension.

    All the rest (partimers) will be disbanded as they are still considered civilians who serve one or two days a week part time.

    Part-timers are awarded a medal for 12 years service called a Northern Ireland Home Service Medal, “NIHSM” see website: http://www.udrassociation.org/Medals/NIHSM.htm

    Full time servicemen are not intitled to this medal. They have to do 18 years to get their long service & good conduct medal.
    http://www.kotfsc.com/aviation/decorations/alsgcm.htm

  • martin

    Dont people think it wrong of successive British governments to keep sending young British men,who had no other prospect of employment in their own country except the army—to occupy/(and bolster a section of biggots who insisted they were super British in) an area where the majority of their fellow country men and women didnt want/knew almost nothing about/and werent in the slightest bit interested in keeping=6 counties

    Now the thanks they are getting from the Unionists who they protected—lets send them to IRAQ where they can do some real soldiering—gratitude or what–its not a bit wonder they cant wait to get out as does TB

  • Robert Keogh

    Let us not overlook the true reason for unionist outrage. The parttime UDR/RIR gigs are a nice little earner. Pork barrel nepotism that won’t be handed out to the unionist community anymore.

  • Comrade Stalin

    slug, wise words. The unionists, to me, are basically showing weakness in the face of the IRA’s statement. The DUP’s harder negotiating line has already delivered fairly clear results, but now that those results have come they are falling to pieces, what with this nonsense over the Dail and the insane screaming over the RIR. All of this lends credibility to the notion that some people have that the unionists are going to have a hard time without there being a bogeyman for them to complain about.

    I’m reading Paisley’s statement today and he’s saying “.. we want to make it clear that [the government] will pay a high price for the approach that is being taken.” Exactly what price is Paisley going to make the government pay ? Why do unionists labour under this weird notion that they have some kind of power (other than using the threat of loyalist violence) to force the government’s hand ?

  • martin

    simple way for Westminster to deal with Paisley–cut all the DupS pay and little perks for as long as he denys the people of the north democracy.nothing hurts a man like through the pocket.

  • slug

    “Dont people think it wrong of successive British governments to keep sending young British men,who had no other prospect of employment in their own country except the army—to occupy/(and bolster a section of biggots who insisted they were super British in) an area where the majority of their fellow country men and women didnt want/knew almost nothing about/and werent in the slightest bit interested in keeping=6 counties”

    A useful reminder of the fact that throughout the troules the Army stood firm and protected Northern Ireland and the UK from the threat of violence. In so doing the men of violence did not win and eventually ended their campaign.

  • slug

    Robert Keogh you are right to mention the financial costs. If there is no need for the RIR NI-based battalions the taxpayer should not pay them. We have to make government spending leaner and more efficient. The costs of Northern Ireland are partly due to security costs and there will be efficiency savings to be made that benefit the taxpayer (I like everyone pays too much!).

  • bill

    Great news

  • hay ho hay ho

    How will members be absorbed into other battalions.

    Does the British army have a regiment for midgets

  • Young Irelander

    Great news. Should’ve happened years ago…

  • Young Irelander

    Great news. Should’ve happened years ago…

  • Traditional Unionist

    “If they do disband in two years time its my belief only those full time soldiers (serving in the home Battalions) will be offered a transfer to other regiments in UK to finish their 21 years service for pension.”

    It is also possible that they could create a second general service battalion for those who wish to remain in the Army. Lets not forget that only the Paras are a bigger British Army Regiment.

  • G2

    “Great news. Should’ve happened years ago..”

    Young Irelander

    It would have happened at least five years ago had Gerry implemented Sf side of the GFA by decommissioning IRA arms.

    If the IRA dont keep their word this time then the British Government will keep the three battalions.

  • G2

    Traditional Unionist,

    You could be right. However, the TA (Rangers reserve) RIR battalion is also based in NI. I think their headquarters are at Ballymena. They always have openings for full time older soldiers as instructors.

    The 1st battalion RIR (like all UK battalions) are below batlalion strength at 650. They use TA soldiers to boost this strength overseas.

  • Traditional Unionist

    Wasn’t it announced that the Rangers were becomming 5 R IRISH next year anyway?

  • headmelter

    When all is said and done did anyone else catch a glimpse of big Ians moses sandals as he came down the steps at stormont? Mind you he was pushed hard in the fashion stakes today by Peters shirt and Jeffreys tie.
    I just can’t seem to stop laughing today.

  • cladycowboy

    Must be a kick in the teeth for the RIR. Still what goes around….

  • True blue

    Today it is the DUP’s agenda that dominates the political process with London, Dublin and Washington accepting our demands as fundamental prerequisites. The pan-nationalist front has been fractured and Sinn Fein is more isolated than ever before.”

    No more excuses, get it sorted.

  • G2

    30% soldiers in the 1st battalion RIR (now in Iraq) are from the Republic of ireland. And are probably from a Catholic background.

    “That is why most of us join anyway. youve got about 30% Southern Irish at the moment, which is quite good.”

    But Catholics from Northen Ireland who join the RIR (1st battalion) get a hard time from their own people.

    “Gary Hilton hasnt been home for more than two years. As a Roman Catholic serving in the Army, visiting family and friends can be a hazardous experience.”

    http://www.ulster-scots.co.uk/docs/articles/cultural/rir2.htm

  • G2

    After the recent news I wonder will anyone from Northern ireland want to join the RIR
    part time knowing rightly they will be disbanded in two years? They had better change their recruiting ad’s on the internet.

    Recruits wanted for Home Service in Northern Ireland – FULL TIME and PART TIME 

    We are also actively seeking recruits to serve in the Northern Ireland based 2nd, 3rd and 4th Battalions. Service in the Northern Ireland based Battalions will mean you are liable to serve only in Northern Ireland, however oppotunities are available for service with the 1st Battalion and other units on short attachments.

     If you are interested in joining the Northern Ireland based 2nd 3rd and 4th Battalions, then contact the Recruiting Officer on…

    http://www.army.mod.uk/royalirish/recruiting_join_us.htm

  • The Watchman

    Having read all your literary diarrhoea, G2, do you want to defend Trimble for requesting the removal of watchtowers way back in 2000, as described in Dean Godson’s book?

    Any other pro-Agreement unionist posters want to comment?

  • Jo

    5-30am???????

  • Moderate Unionist

    The Watchman
    What do you think we should do now? What is the appropriate response?

  • reality check

    Good riddance to this infamous loyalist militia.typical unionist reaction to the end of “their” regiment.It had inextricable links to the uvf/uda.the systematic attempt to cause terror to the catholic population and its implemication in several murders(the miami showband massacre being the most famous)and providing intelligence and training for loyalists to target catholics.given the recent case for apologies one would be nice but i for one will settle for this final goodbye

  • Jo

    How about emphasising the contingency of these measures on what the IRA actually do do over the next 2 years?

    How many more times does it have to be said?

    All of the jumping up and down on this issues is such predictable unthinking reaction – similar, I may say, to the hoo hah over the appointment to the Equality Commission a few weeks ago. One would have thought then the world was about to end…why on earth do people make such a fuss which ultimately shows their own impotence to actually achieve any meaningful change?

    The very notion of imposing penalties on the PM shows that the DUP really have lost the run of themselves..

  • reality check

    Good riddance to this infamous loyalist militia.typical unionist reaction to the end of “their” regiment.It had inextricable links to the uvf/uda.the systematic attempt to cause terror to the catholic population and its implemication in several murders(the miami showband massacre being the most famous)and providing intelligence and training for loyalists to target catholics.given the recent case for apologies one would be nice but i for one will settle for this final goodbye

  • Jo

    Lest we forget, 30 years ago:

    1976: UDR men jailed for Showband killings

    Two men from the Ulster Defence Regiment (UDR) have each been jailed for 35 years in connection with the murders of members of the Miami Showband.

    Imposing the longest life sentences in Northern Ireland history, the judge said “killings like the Miami Showband must be stopped.”

    Thomas Raymond Crozier and Rodney Shane McDowell, both from Lurgan, Co Armagh, were sentenced for their part in a UVF ambush when three members of the cabaret band were shot dead.

    Players were returning from a gig in Belfast in July 1975 when their minibus was flagged down near Newry at what appeared to be a military roadblock.

    Two terrorists were killed by their own bomb as they tried to plant it in the back of the band’s van. Three of the players were then summarily executed.

    Police said they were dismayed that the gang of UVF militants had also been locally recruited into the British Army’s UDR.

    In court the judge said the death penalty would have been imposed had it not been recently abolished.

  • Fishfiss

    Isn’t the DUP in impotent rage mode just a scream ? There’s something very Oliver Hardy about it all, those elements of manic Basil Fawlty.

    Class.

  • Jo

    Fishfiss:

    I dont know what yoyur gender is, but I think its a very male thing – nothing more frustrating than when guys cant get it up! 😉

  • Viewpoint

    DUP Manifesto Westminster 2005
    “Today it is the DUP’s agenda that dominates the political process with London,
    Dublin and Washington accepting our demands as fundamental prerequisites. The pan-nationalist front has been fractured and Sinn Fein is more isolated than ever before.”

    It is clear from recent events that republicans have proven themselves to be incapable of making the move to exclusively democratic means. It is time to move on. Send a clear message to the Government that it must proceed without Sinn Fein.

    “We will not take this lying down” Poots

  • spirit-level

    The very fact that the DUP are lost without a bogeyman to attack shows the hollowness of their rhetoric, the hypocracy of their respectability, and as our bright filly Jo points out: they can’t get it up anymore 🙂

  • Fishfiss

    What are they going to do about it, gather at city hall and blow a big collective raspberry at HM’s government ?

    Well they’re already in a huff with the rest of the world so that option’s out, my guess is they’ll continue to take their salaries and sip hot sweet tea while time slips by and the media indulges them in their puerile 17th century rabble rousing.

  • Jo

    “We will not take this lying down” Poots

    ..stand against the washing machine then?

  • spirit-level

    Fishfiss
    Doesn’t it remind you of a girl shunned at a dance hall who is no longer centre stage, because someone prettier has come along, so now she’s sulking in the corner and refuses to dance
    like a spoilt posh child.

  • Fishfiss

    spirit-level

    Yeah the plain tomboyish one. Her mammy tells her she’s gorgeous but has the wrong clothes, wrong hair, wrong glases, wrong teeth, wrong attitude and who can’t dance. No man wants her. Deep down it’s not men she hates, it’s herself.

  • abucs

    The arguement now seems to be between different types of local democracy.

    Colonial/garrison democracy
    Pluralistic/inclusive democracy

    There seems to be no vehicle Unionists have to prevent the second type being implemented, which, by definition will mean a more Irish state.

  • spirit-level

    abucs I blame Lloyd George way back in 1922 🙂

  • Jo

    It was always excruciating when DT ran whimpering to Downing Street everytime his stress levels hit the deep purple level – are we in for twelve months of whinging/gurning in Tony’s (and then Gordon’s)lugs before the DUP start acting responsibly and returning government to the people?

    Can I suggest as an amendment to the Stop Water Charges campaign that all bills received should be forwarded to DUP constituency offices?

  • abucs

    Fair enough spirit-level. More attention to democracy back then could have saved a lot of trouble.

  • Jo

    I blame the wee bugger who shot Michael Collins meself….

  • spirit-level

    Fair enough Jo

  • Jo

    ..or the weather that blew back the French fleet and revolutionary Army from the south west coast in 1796? 😉

  • G2

    The Watchman,
    What do you think we should do now? What is the appropriate response?

    Maybe Watchman will give the DUP a helping hand at writing another agreement, or think up some smart idea with which to save the three RIR home battalions from being disbanned. if the IRA totally decommision.instead of still trying to put the blame on David trimble.

  • The Watchman

    G2,

    If the government does go ahead with abolishing the home battalions, sadly there is little that either wing of unionism can do to stop it. However, it seems that this is a golden opportunity to inflict some damage on the Government for its blatant double standards over the IRA as opposed to al-Qaeda. Much will depend on whether the Opposition and the Tory press see this as an issue where they can harass Blair. New Labour has always been very sensitive about criticism over law and order and the task for unionists will be to encourage others to make as much noise over the betrayal of the RIR as possible.

    I don’t believe the IRA has any intention of decommissioning totally, so the premise of your statement is wrong. It’s just as well that the UUs have a new leader, otherwise I suspect Trimble would have confined his girning to matters of timing or consultation rather than going for Blair’s jugular.

    I notice that you have no explanation for your former leader’s watchtowers-for-guns proposal. That’s not surprising.

  • G2

    “It’s just as well that the UUs have a new leader, otherwise I suspect Trimble would have confined his girning to matters of timing or consultation rather than going for Blair’s jugular.

    I dont hear the new UU leader support your girning over Trimble. Instead here is what he said against the DUP regards the disbanning the RIR 3 battalions in the News letter today.

    Sir Reg added: “Predictably, the DUP hides its embarrassment at further concessions to republicans by trying to blame the UUP for this decision. “Let us not forget that for nearly two years the DUP has been the larger unionist party and promised people that if they voted for them concessions would stop. The last few months have shown this to be a false promise.”

    Tell us Watchman Do you support Sir Reg’s statement ?

  • Unionist Observer

    The DUP were said to be shell shocked at this announcement, how so when accoridn to them D Trimbl conceeded it 2 years ago, surely they shouldve been expecting it?

    This plus the release of sean kelly makes people ownder what other concessions the DUP have conceeded in order to get stormont back up and running

  • Moderate Unionist

    The Watchman
    “However, it seems that this is a golden opportunity to inflict some damage on the Government for its blatant double standards”

    Why??? What good does that do? Does it change the decision, does it make him more likely listen to the Unionist point of view, does it make him less likely to impose water taxes?

    The problem for Unionism is that it has not got it’s head around the fact that you cannot bite the hand that feeds.

    No amount of Northern Ireland MPs, no amount of bluster and demonstrations will change the fact that Westminster wants a quiet life. It will continue to support us only in so far as this is easier than getting rid of us.

    No bombs in London is their priority and they profess no selfish or economic interest in the place.

    Bereft of ideas, you resorting to slagging people off. Let’s hear a constructive way forward from you.

  • Fraggle

    If the british government were being selfish, they’d get rid of northern ireland quickly. after all, you are costing them £8000 per unionist per year.

    Money that could be spent in Britain.

  • DCB

    Fraggle

    Money that could be better not spent by allowing our taxes to be cut.

    Watchman

    Do you really believe that any Unionist leader has the ability to land any blows to Blair at the moment. News of his death has been greatly exaggerated. The Tory press are going to get far more mileage in attacking Blair out of the London bombs – immigration, multiculturism, intelligence failures etc – than they will out of NI. Provided the provies don’t bomb London they can probably get away with quite a few more bank robberies before anyone over here cares.

  • Sean Og

    Spat on
    called a fenian b####d
    my gaelic football bag getting urinated on during a search
    a slap in the mouth for being a catholic
    collaboration with uda/uvf etc.

    slan abhaile UDR

  • The Watchman

    G2,

    Yes, I think the DUP was a bit too sanguine about its ability to block all kinds of concessions e.g Paisley’s speech to the Independent Orange in July. But it’s not a particularly damning criticism, especially when it comes from the party that took such a softly-softly line over the Joint Declaration. The DUP does have its weak points and the UUP will need to exploit them. But this matter isn’t one of them.

    DCB

    I don’t believe that unionists by themselves can land blows on Blair. But in a dispensation where national security is a hot issue, there is plenty of scope for others to expose the hypocrisy of fighting Osama whilst rolling over for Gerry, not least because if a state displays weakness in relation to one set of terrorists, it does so to them all. How the Tory front bench runs with the issue remains to be seen, but policing reform and the granting of Commons facilities to Sinn Fein show that Labour can be discomfited very easily even by relatively pedestrian criticism. I suspect if there is any anti-Labour mileage to be made over this surrender to the IRA, the Tory Party and Tory press will do so.

    Moderate Unionist

    Yes, when it comes to defending a unionist position robustly I am indeed guilty as charged. That’s because I think one can be constructive without being a doormat. You can’t be constructive to any good end if you don’t have the self-respect to stand up to the Fake Tan Brigade in the hope that they won’t charge you for your water. (It’ll only work out at £25-30 a month, only a quarter what Mr Brewster would spend for a day at Highbury, so get over it.) Far too many UUP people are laughably passive: they think aggression goes no further than snatching the last crab puff at a Lady Sylvia soiree. Oh, and remember that “moderate unionism” is worth 1 Westminster seat, as you’ve come to know from experience.

    The time to be constructive is when you’re in a position of strength and not of weakness. If the UUP can discomfit New Labour for dismembering the RIR then it should do so. I don’t believe in tugging my forelocks or genuflecting for anyone. No one ever won a battle from a crouching position.

    Sean Og,

    At least you didn’t end up in a South Armagh ditch.

  • TRUTH

    yes

  • Bored

    Yes, good riddance RIR. Off to the scrap-heap with the other sectarian vermin of the Black and Tans, B specials, and UDR.

    It really warms the cockles of the heart to finally see the naked sectarian nonsense of the wider Unionist political family starkly exposed as a result of one (long overdue) IRA statement.

    Listen to these prats – ranting about demilitarisation, speaking rights in the Dail, the RIR etc. etc. etc. Christ only knows what sort of news reports these punters THINK they’ve been reading for the last number of years. For those of us who’ve actually been living in the North we know what everybody else has known for some time :- The only real threat to peace and stability here is loyalist violence in all it’s odious, squalid, criminal, sectarian forms. Ten years of caricatured grotesques like Paisley et el spluttering and thundering about the bogeymen of the IRA seems to have rendered even semi-sensible punters like Empey utterly deluded in their priorities.

    Have to say , as someone who has no time for the Provos and very little time for Adams, McGuinness et al., it’s starting to seem that they were right about one thing all along – maybe the Unionists don’t want a Fenian about the place after all…………?????????

  • Chris

    Bored,

    When you label 3,100 mostly honourable men and women “sectarian vermin” because of the actions of a handful over the years you become one of your caricatured grotesques. There’s a time for propaganda and a time for letting your adversary leave the field with honour. Grow up.

    You’re right about the Unionist response though.

  • G2

    “If the UUP can discomfit New Labour for dismembering the RIR then it should do so.”

    Watchman,

    Why should it do so? The British Government are only keeping their word if the IRA keep theirs and completly Decommission all their weapons as laid down in the GFA.

    Security:

    (i) the reduction of the numbers and role of the Armed Forces deployed in Northern Ireland to levels compatible with a normal peaceful society;

    (ii) the removal of security installations;

    (iii) the removal of emergency powers in Northern Ireland; and

    (iv) other measures appropriate to and compatible with a normal peaceful society.

    See “Decommisioning” & “Security” sections in the GFA
    http://www.wesleyjohnston.com/users/ireland/today/good_friday/full_text.html

    The DUP promised their electorate to smash the GFA and give no more concessions.once they became top party in the 2003 MLA elections. The DUP failed miserably. in keeping their promises to their electorate.

    Watchman a normal peacetime society does not have three home battalions of part time soldiers to hepl the police.

    Are you not happy Northern Ireland will for the first time in 35 years be returning to a normal peacetime society?

    .

  • G2

    maybe the Unionists don’t want a Fenian about the place after all…………?????????

    Certainly not one like you. Because your post only shows your own vindictive hatred and bigotry towards protestants & Unionists in Norn iron.

  • looking in

    As a newbie and posting to a multi-directional thread I thought it easiest to post a comment I made to another thred tonight …but i reckon it sums up the situation

    Whilst I find it hard to appreciate the civil function that home-RIR have provided in NI all that can be said is that there is plenty of opportunity for proper soldiering in the British Army. IIRC most regiments are under-strength – if the love of all thing British is paramount to those supporting RIR then I’m sure OC’s in RIR will be delighted to arrange transfers to front-line battalions on the duty cylcle for Iraq/Afganistan for foreseeable future.

    Thought Tim Collins gave very good synopsis this a.m. on R4 Today. When decomissioning comes about – job-done – cease to exist – and anyway we have an armed and significantly larger police force (per capita) than rest of UK – for 30K p.a. they can do the coppering..

  • G2

    “if the love of all thing British is paramount to those supporting RIR then I’m sure OC’s in RIR will be delighted to arrange transfers to front-line battalions on the duty cylcle for Iraq/Afganistan for foreseeable future.”

    Looking in, the three home Battalions are nearly all part time.soldiers These guys have other jobs. Most are older and dont want to serve away from home. In fact some are ex-service veterans who have already served overseas in the General armed forces.

    They will all get settlement payments depending on the time served.

  • looking in

    G2 – what you describe is seemingly a Unionist “Home Guard” a la Dad’s Army who are clearly working for pin money to top up their other income/s. Per-chance how many might be inefficient/ineffective farmers etc who already rely on EC handouts etc.?

    The country is struggling to cover the costs of health, social security, education, infrastrcture and dare I quote the new DUP “stipulation”, the impending water rates. So why the heck should working Joe Public’s taxes go to fund this small unrepresentative group of toy-town part-time soldiers when they are not wanted (to 50%) or needed (to 90%+)?

  • Comrade Stalin

    looking in, agreed.

    I don’t know if it’s just me but I find living on a huge handout from the British government to be embarassing. I think we need to work to cut that back, both by getting rid of all this security and civil service wastage (only where possible of course) and boost our tax receipts by creating prosperity in NI. The DUP/UUP’s plans for this seem to be rather thin on the ground.

  • G2

    Looking in,

    You make a good point. But regardless of what vocations part time RIR soldiers work at when they are not on duty, the 3000 of them
    would have been long out of an army job five years ago had the IRA kept their promise and decommisioned their arms.by 2000 as stated in the GFA.

    I dont think the IRA were worried about how much of Joe Public’s tax was used to pay out compensation claims to all those Norn Iron citizens whose property and loved ones were blown to pieces over a period of 30 years.

  • Fishfiss

    All

    Well look, you can use the same argument about street-cleaners, it’s not the nicest of jobs but then again if Joe & Josephine Public didn’t toss litter on the roadsides then there’s be little or no work for them to do. Sad in raw employment/unemployment terms of course but let’s face facts – it’s be a better more civilised place if there was no rubbish to pick up, ditto the need for or depeloyment of armed troops. Let’s be glad (and/or hopeful) they never return instead of mourning their loss, perhaps it’s a case of nothing becoming them quite like their passing. Let’s move to a time and place where young men from here or anywhwere else don’t have to join armies to secure a living wage, especially so in the name of the ruling class.

  • Bored

    Chris – the Fair Employment Tribunal in Belfast have, over the last ten years, received umpteen applications pertaining to Religious/political discrimination in which the R.I.R. appear as Respondents. Go to the Bar Library, Law Society library or Law library at Queens and dig them out. Therein you will find staggering, objectively upheld descriptions of sectarianism on an organisational/institutional level. The RIR are the last in a clear lineage dating back to the Black and Tans and beyond. I say again, good riddance.

    Labelling every single member in the Regiment’s history as ‘sectarian vermin’ may have had a touch of the blunderbuss about it, however, and for that I apologise and withdraw.

    G2 – my own vindictive hatred for Protestants in Norn Iron ? What – like me?

    Christ, you silly, silly man. Helpful hint for future reference – just because somebody criticises politicians who happen to be Protestant doesn’t mean that (a) they hate Protestants, or (b) they’re Catholic etc. etc. et bloody cetera ad nauseum.

    Really, you sound like a prime swallower of The Combover Kid and Dr. Evil’s risible current line in hysterical paranoiac shite.

    Keep up the good work.

  • G2

    “Really, you sound like a prime swallower of The Combover Kid and Dr. Evil’s risible current line in hysterical paranoiac shite.”

    Bored.

    Looking in the mirror I see. Even one of you own has to pull you up for your OTT remarks.

    Your wonderful Republican way of dealing with discrimation among your own , is a hurley stick beating, a bullet in the kneecaps. or found 30 years later lying in an unmarked graves in Co Louth. like Ms McConville and a numbers of others.

    What have you to say about this form of discrimation amongst your own Bored?
    Or are you scared to speak out incase you become the next victim of these *VERMIN*

  • G2

    Looking in,

    The UDR & RIR home battalions were not a Home Guard or la dads army. Such dads army’s are when the country is at war with another country. The Dad’s army in UK in WW2 didn’t get shot dead by the enemy.when on or off duty.

    Unlike the Dads army of WW2 a part ttime servicemen in the UDR -RIR had more chance of being shot by the IRA than a full time soldier in the regular Army. The full time soldier had his barracks to protect him when off duty. The part time UDR-RIR man was more vunerable to being shot by the IRA off duty than he was on duty.

    Likewise the full time soldier’s regiment in the regular Army was only in Northern ireland for six months tour of duty.at any one time.

    The part Time UDR-RIR was on active duty constantly for 30 years. Their role (unlike a full time offensive regular army ) was totally defensive. Guarding buildings, doing road blocks, and working with the Police.

    The UDR-RIR did an exellent job over 35 years. Forby a few bad apples who were rightly punished by the law of the land had it not been for them the casuality list amongst the citizens of Northern ireland would have been twice if not three times as high.

    The only people who hated the UDR -RIR with a vengence were the IRA and their republican supporters.who were out to create anarchy and destroy law and order.by violent terrorism. The UDR – RIR upheld law and order.

    The IRA failed to force all the citizens of Northern ireland into a Republic of Ireland.
    So now the UDR-RIR home battallions can stand down with dignity.

    Petty minded Unionist politicians are only letting themselves down by their so called antics over the disbanning of the RIC home battalions. Their stand down in two year time will be strictly military tactics in response to the IRA’s final decommissioning as signed up to in the Good Friday Agreement.

    If the IRA refuse to put into action their latest statement then the RIR three home battalions will not be stood down.

  • davidbrew

    (It’ll only work out at £25-30 a month, only a quarter what Mr Brewster would spend for a day at Highbury, so get over it.)

    Whoa there watchman, less of the negativity. Comparing water with Arsenal is foolish. One of them is essential for life, and the other is something you weaken good whisky with.

    BTW aren’t we all astonished when the colonel in chief of the RIR gets hauled out in front of the media to say what a good thing this is. Remember Ronnie Flanagan and his reward for collaboration with the neutering of his own force? What we need now is another Curragh incident.

  • The Beach Tree

    davidbrew

    I can only hope David as an officer of the court, you were in jest when you essentially called for a mutiny in the armed forces in your post above.

    Because if not, you are talking yourself into serious trouble.

  • The Beach Tree

    cont’d

    Of course, if all you are suggesting is mass resignation, that would probably make Tony’s job easier, and help reduce redundancy payments….interesting idea.

  • realty check

    those virulent,sectarian filth who served in those infamous excreable regiments don’t deserve a damn penny!

  • The Beach Tree

    reality check

    You really need to calm down. The amount of bile in your system cannot be good for the intestines.

  • G2

    “those virulent,sectarian filth who served in those infamous excreable regiments don’t deserve a damn penny!”

    Reality Check,

    Thats not what the British Government think.
    Indeed the UDR and RIR part time battalions have been thought so highly of they had a medal struck in their name.

    The Ulster Defence Medal, “UD” for the old UDR and the more recent “Northern Ireland Home Service Medal, “NIHSM”

    Full time General service soldiers are not intitled to any of these medals.

    http://www.udrassociation.org/Medals.htm

    No other Regiment in British History has ever had an Official Medal struck in its name.

    The “SAS”, the “Parachute Regiment” the “Submarine service” or “Bomber Command” to name a few were never honoured as was the UDR -RIR 50,000 servicemen from Northern Ireland.

    Like the RUC who was awarded the George Cross & the George Cross medal, to every police officer for 18 month service the men & women who served in the UDR & RIR can likewise hold their heads up high having served their country with pride, honour and dignity against the evils of IRA terrorism.

  • G2

    Correction from last post this should read:

    The “SAS”, the “Parachute Regiment” the “Submarine service” or “Bomber Command” to name a few were never honoured *WITH A SPECIAL MEDAL IN THEIR NAME* as was the UDR -RIR 50,000 servicemen from Northern Ireland.

  • Bored

    G2 “Your wonderful Republican way of dealing with discrimation among your own , is a hurley stick beating, a bullet in the kneecaps. or found 30 years later lying in an unmarked graves in Co Louth. like Ms McConville and a numbers of others.

    What have you to say about this form of discrimation amongst your own Bored?
    Or are you scared to speak out incase you become the next victim of these *VERMIN*”

    Of Christ ! PLEASE read my post again you silly, silly, silly man. I AM NOT A REPUBLICAN!

    For the SECOND time – just because I criticise a particular decision or piece of behaviour by an individual or organisation of a particular religious/political hue DOESN’T meant that I am by definition of the precise opposite persuasion.

    All that your posts confirm are your own deeply ingrained, pathetic, knee-jerk sectarianism.

    Of course the IRA are scum, of course punishment beatings, Jean McConville, Robert McCartney etc. etc. etc. ad infinitum are outrageous. That you would think that I think otherwise merely confirms your own odious bigotry.

  • G2

    Bored,

    Go tell that one to the marines.

    Only a republican (or a republican sympathiser) would come off with the following statement:

    “Yes, good riddance RIR. Off to the scrap-heap with the other sectarian vermin of the Black and Tans, B specials, and UDR.”

  • reality check

    The british goverment honoured them because they carried out their torture of the catholic population well.Also the new uvf mural honouring udr/uvf terrorists harris boyle and wesley summerville in portadown is highly sickening in the extreme

  • reality check

    g2-your beloved udr may have fought ira terrorism but assisted loyalist terrorism as well

  • Bored

    “Go tell that one to the marines” – huh?

    You are patently incapable of seeing beyond your own disgusting prejudice. You are, in short, just the sort of punter that Paisley, Empey and successive British administrations view as dispensible cannon-fodder. Congratualtions.

  • Bored

    “Go tell that one to the marines” – huh?

    You are patently incapable of seeing beyond your own disgusting prejudice. You are, in short, just the sort of punter that Paisley, Empey and successive British administrations view as dispensible cannon-fodder. Congratulations.

  • G2

    “The british goverment honoured them because they carried out their torture of the catholic population well”

    Reality Check,

    Thats why 30% of the serving soldiers in the 1st battalion of the Royal irish Regiment now back in Iraq for a second tour are all CATHOILICS from the Republic of ireland .

  • You’llDoRightlies

    Spat on
    called a fenian b####d
    my gaelic football bag getting urinated on during a search
    a slap in the mouth for being a catholic
    collaboration with uda/uvf etc.

    slan abhaile UDR

    Posted by: Sean Og at August 2, 2005 05:24 PM

    Sean Og (@sdlp.ie),
    Thats terrible, was your colleague Big Danny O’Connor in that patrol??

  • looking in

    Coming back to G2’s comments, I take on board what you’re saying and in effect you conclude with what Collins said and I happen to agree with.

    By-and-large the events and issues that could have been seem as justification for having a militia raised have passed and like all military there will be a time to stand down.

    I’m just astounded that yet again we have the same suspects bleating like kids saying its not fair etc etc ad nauseum and that we have the misfortune to have to listen to there tired arguments.

    Its seems again that the unionist community just do not get the idea with being part of the UK – it is a big country with a big parliment and in the grand scheme NI is pretty insignificant – there is a lot of money/resource that will be freed up via demilitarisation that will used in our ongoing “war” on terrorism, wheter we agree with it or not.

  • reality check

    shows you the lack of credibility the sdlp has.A proud ex udr man in danny o’connor whos meant to represent the oppressed east antrim nationalists.people who vote for him have no sense of memory what so ever

  • G2

    “same suspects bleating like kids”

    Looking in,

    More like bellowing political moose communicating their own importance to a world media & their own herds

    No1) Final Decommision IRA statement in line with GFA was preplanned PR to world media (especially US) were it is trying to gain back the confidence of irish Americans since 9/11 and last st patrick’s day total disaster.

    No2) Security British Government statement to world media (especially America) in line with GFA to compliment IRA statement and state its promise to complete demilitarisation once IRA decommission all arms. An unusual Use of Col Campbell C/O of the RIR barracks to support the government at Ballymeana was a well planed approved PR stroke. Such tactics are American in nature as British Military officers usually stay well out of such political statements due to prodicol.

    No3) DUP’s biggest bellow of all to their own herd, was more of a moan than a bellow because the DUP were not involved and anyway they cannot stop the GFA being implemented after promising their electorate over the past two years they intended to smash it.. Their anger is more at their incompetence to do anything.

    71% of the people who voted for the GFA still want peace and a devolved government. We will see many of those Unionists who voted for the DUP instead of the UUP at the 2005 election out of fear the IRA would not decommission now come back and vote for the UUP.at the next MLA election in two years time. Who knows Dr Paisley may be knocked off his pedestal at stormont. before he even had time to sit on it. Sir Reg Empey may be first minister instead. Interesting days ahead with spark of light of a comback for the UUP.

  • darthrumsfeld

    And don’t forget wizened Shinner MLA Mary Nelis, who probably won’t be joining the Royal British Legion even tho’ her hubby was a member of the UDR

  • G2

    “same suspects bleating like kids”

    Looking in,

    More like bellowing political moose communicating their own importance to a world media & their own herds

    No1) Final Decommission IRA statement in line with GFA was pre-planned PR to world media (especially US) were it is trying to gain back the confidence of irish Americans since 9/11 and last st patrick’s day total disaster.

    No2) Security British Government statement to world media (especially America) in line with GFA to compliment IRA statement and state its promise to complete demilitarisation once IRA decommission all arms. An unusual Use of Col Campbell C/O of the RIR barracks to support the government at Ballymeana was a well planed approved PR stroke. Such tactics are American in nature as British Military officers usually stay well out of such political statements due to prodocol.

    No3) DUP’s biggest bellow of all to their own herd, was more of a moan than a bellow because the DUP were not involved and anyway they cannot stop the GFA being implemented after promising their electorate over the past two years they intended to smash it.. Their anger is more at their incompetence to do anything.

    71% of the people who voted for the GFA still want peace and a devolved government. We will see many of those Unionists who voted for the DUP instead of the UUP at the 2005 election out of fear the IRA would not decommission now come back and vote for the UUP.at the next MLA election in two years time. Who knows Dr Paisley may be knocked off his pedestal at stormont. before he even had time to sit on it. Sir Reg Empey may be first minister instead. Interesting days ahead with spark of light of a comeback for the UU

  • darthrumsfeld

    G2
    You must have more sun in your part of NI, because you’ve certainly been out in it too long.
    As John Cleese would have said of the UUP ” You could put thirty thousand volts through it and it wouldn’t go vooomph.It’s an ex party. It has ceased to be. it’s a stiff “. And by your analysis this statement is a good thing. Well watch out-even Sylvia Hermon will be denouncing you as a Lundy for that outlook.

  • Vision

    darthrumsfeld
    So you think the sun will never set on the DUP, what NEVER, Never, nev..?

    You can’t hold the tide back forever. The DUP can do nothing to stop it. The British obviously want out. What will the DUP do then?

  • G2

    “And by your analysis this statement is a good thing.”

    By the analysis of any rightminded citizen of Northern Ireland both the IRA and the government statements regards decommissioning arms and de·militarization are to be welcomed.

    Only the DUP and anti Trimble haters dont support the statements because they promote the GFA which Dr Paisley promised his electorate he would smash if he & the DUP got into power.

    http://www.wesleyjohnston.com/users/ireland/today/good_friday/full_text.html

    We are all still waiting for the GFA to be smashed. I wonder when its going to happen? Any ideas?

  • G2

    “The British obviously want out. What will the DUP do then?”

    The IRA failed to destroy the Union for 35 years, by violent terroism. The DUP may accomplish that destruction in two years by intransigence.

  • G2

    darthrumsfeld
    So you think the sun will never set on the DUP, what NEVER, Never, nev..?

    You can’t hold the tide back forever. The DUP can do nothing to stop it. The British obviously want out. What will the DUP do then?

    Vison

    The DUP will just keep blaming DavidTrimble. But even the electorate who supported them last two elections are having second thoughts. Read these three letters in News letter today:

    DUP Has A Lot Of Explaining To Do Now
    Friday 5th August 2005
    I am concerned that steps will be taken by the Dublin Government in September to allow MPs and MEPs from Northern Ireland to speak in the Dublin Parliament and to participate in Dail committees. more

    DUP Is Making Unionists Angry
    Friday 5th August 2005
    In DUP MP Gregory Campbell’s victory speech in Ballymoney on May 6, he declared that unionism was finally “getting off its knees” under the strong and confident leadership of the DUP. However, since that day back in May when the DUP swept to power, unionism has been on the back foot, forced to deal with a series of sops to republicans which have left the unionist community demoralised, dejected and defeated. more

    Forget UUP And Drive The Car, Mr Paisley
    Friday 5th August 2005
    I take no gratification whatsoever in the DUP’s current predicament. more

    http://www.newsletter.co.uk/content/letters_to_the_editor/

  • Fermanagh Young Unionist

    G2,

    Excellent point,

    It is becoming increasingly obvious that the DUP is not adequately standing up for Unionism. For years they claimed that the UUP were destroying Unionism. The UUP were forced to change the RUC name but at least the same people remained in doing the exact same job as before unlike the unfortunate RIR soldiers.

    It is interesting to see 3 letters on the one day appearing in the newsletter which are all aggravated with the DUP. For a long time the letters section of the Newsletter was full of DUP drivel. In today’s letters the people who sent them in, repeatedly mention that they have supported the DUP in the past… maybe a few sensible people in the DUP will now realise its time for them to get their act together and stop taking the majority of the Unionist voting population on a ride.

    It would be different if the DUP were actually fit to lead NI but they are not, resulting in a remaining divide in Unionism.

    The DUP only rose to power by viciously beating the UUP down. Now that the DUP have power the only thing that they have managed to do is show Unionists that they are a disgraceful, egotistical party.

    To me pushover-Unionism did not end in 2003… it only began.

  • G2

    “The DUP only rose to power by viciously beating the UUP down. Now that the DUP have power the only thing that they have managed to do is show Unionists that they are a disgraceful, egotistical party.”

    They sure did FYU, and they came out with the greatest load untruths over the past couple of days. As if they didn’t know about the disbanning of the RIR and it all came as a bit of a shock to them. Bullshit:

    See what PR has to say here about the RIR battalions back in March. trying to put the blame on the UUP again.

    http://www.peterrobinson.org/KeyArticles.asp?Article_ID=92

    Just like you say the UUP had no control or power to stop the changing of the name of the RUC. to PSNI

    At least David Trimble wasn’t seen shaking Tony Blair;’s hand after the government decision to rename the RUC as Dr Paisley was seen yesterday when Blair stuck to his guns that the RIR battalions are going whether the DUP like it or not.

  • darthrumsfeld

    FYU
    now really- since when did an obviously co-ordinated series of anonymous UUP supporters writing letters mean anything? many’s the time I did it myself, in the good old days.

  • Lorre

    UUP MLA Michael copeland has stuck his neck out to support the UDR-RIR ‘Disgusted’ Soldiers To Return Medals” by returning his own medal to the prime Minister.

    Will Jeffery Donaldson DUP MP & MLA return his medal also in support of the ‘Disgusted’ Soldiers” as he likewise served in the UDR?

    ‘Disgusted’ Soldiers To Return Medals
    9 August (news letter)

    Ulster Unionist MLA Michael Copeland is one of at least 30 ex-UDR and RIR members from across the Province who are planning to protest at what they call a “gross betrayal” by the Government.

    In a letter to the Prime Minister, Mr Copeland said it was with “sadness and deep regret” that he was enclosing the General Service Medal that he and 60,000 former RIR and UDR men received for their campaign service.

    The East Belfast MLA told Mr Blair he felt grossly insulted that the “memory of those who had served, still serve, and those who had been murdered in the service of their country” was being “sullied by a Government that was hell-bent on appeasing republicans”.

    Mr Copeland wants to meet other former soldiers who are planning to hand-deliver their medals to Downing Street and finalise alternative proposals to those put forward by the Government.

    He said: “I am appalled at how the Government is treating the Royal Irish Regiment and the memory of the Ulster Defence Regiment .http://www.newsletter.co.uk/story/21876