Royal Irish Regiment
The UDR and R IRISH (HS) Aftercare Service website - http://www.aftercareservice.org is live (20/11/2007)
The Royal Irish Regiment Reserve Battalion - 2 R IRISH is expanding and recruiting.
As part of the disbandment of the Royal Irish Regiment (Home Service Bns), association branches have been set up throughout Northern Ireland to help members stay in touch, network and enjoy the support and comradeship they always had. They meet mostly in TA facilities or British Legion clubs. These are distinct and separate from the UDR Association
It gives me great pleasure to be here on this special occasion. I congratulate you all upon your turnout and bearing and on a parade of the highest order. Today, we witness the conclusion of a remarkable 36 years of continuous operational service by the three Home Service battalions and the Ulster Defence Regiment before them.
Your contribution to peace and stability within Northern Ireland has been unique. Serving and living within the communities of the Province during the most difficult years of violence required uncommon courage and conviction.
The Regiments discharged their responsibilities without flinching in what was often a climate of extreme personal intimidation. But however perilous the conditions, no challenge went unmet. Of course, the success of the Regiments' service often came at a terrible price. Many gave their lives while others lived at the cost of grievous physical and mental injury. Families, too, unable to escape the menace of the violence engulfing them, nevertheless gave unstinting support for which many suffered greatly.
Today, we have cause to reflect upon these fine achievements while remembering the suffering. As you march off this field, you will commit this proud record to the Royal Irish Regiment into the future. Furthermore, although you depart the British Army's order of battle, you should know that your collective gallantry has secured admiration and the deepest respect throughout the land.
For this reason, and so that the extraordinary record of the Ulster Defence Regiment and the Home Service battalions will always be remembered, I wish now to present the Conspicuous Gallantry Cross as a mark of the nation's esteem.
- North Down (Bangor and Clonever). Website
- Armagh (Armagh and Downpatrick areas)
- Fermanagh/South Tyrone (Enniskillen)
- East Tyrone
- East Antrim (Newtownabbey)
- Londonderry City
The following are thought to no longer operate (unless you know diferent?)
- Newtownards - closed
- Belfast Branch - closed
- Kilkeel - closed
KITnet (Keep in Touch Net)
RHQ R Irish have a KITnet (Keep in Touch Net) which ex members can join for information
Royal Irish Aftercare Service
An Aftercare Service will be created for ex-members of the UDR and R IRISH (HS) and their families. The Service will comprise 3 main types of support:
- Benevolent Fund Support
Their stated purpose is ‘helping our people in need to live their lives’.
How and Where
- There will be 4 teams based in Coleraine (North), Enniskillen (West), Holywood (East) and Portadown (South). These will be based in existing MoD sites.
- Each team will have 3 Caseworkers and a Team Administrator.
- The headquarters of the Aftercare Service will be in Palace Barracks, Holywood with about 9 members, including dedicated mangers for each service area.
- Overseeing the Service will be a Board to ensure that it meets the purpose for which it is being established. The Board will include a mix of members including Trustees of the UDR and R IRISH Benevolent Funds.
- The Vocational Service is restricted to those Full Time personnel being made redundant as a result of the disbandment and who were serving on 1 August 2005 (approximately 2,000 personnel). This will fund additional training for those finding employment issues or wanting to try a new direction.
- The Medical Service is for any Ex-Member of the UDR and R IRISH (HS), Full Time or Part Time, and in special circumstances, family members too. It will provide support for mental health or psychological needs and physical needs such as back or lower limb injuries attributable to service.
- Welfare will continue largely as it is at the present time. Welfare is the element of the overall Aftercare Service around which medical and vocational support function.
- Benevolent Funds. The benevolent funds of the The Ulster Defence Regiment and the The Royal Irish Regiment are managed by the aftercare team.
Planned dates are as follows. Most staff in the Aftercare Service will be employed from 1 May 2007, will begin to take over from Battalion Welfare staff duties by end of June 2007. There will be “shadow running” until the end of August 2007 at which point the old welfare services will cease.
It was not possible to transfer the current Welfare staff to the Aftercare Service so new staff have been recruited. That said most have been serving and have experience.
See the contact section at www.aftercareservice.org to e-mail, call or write to the aftercare teams or HQ.
The 1st Battalion of the Royal Irish Regiment still continues to serve. MoD Site http://www.army.mod.uk/royalirish