RIR Home Service to be disbanded


Here's one for Foggy_balla....


All RIR battalions 'to be disbanded'

All Royal Irish Regiment battalions in Northern Ireland are to be disbanded within the next three years under plans to rescue the peace process, it was claimed tonight.

With republicans demanding a major military scaledown, hardline Democratic Unionists said the British government had agreed a programme of mass redundancies.

North Antrim MLA Ian Paisley Jun claimed high ranking officers have disclosed that all Home Service battalions would be phased out between 2005 and 2006.

He said: ``This is nothing short of a hideous surrender.

``Senior officers and rank and file soldiers alike are absolutely furious that they are being sold out to terrorists as part of a deal to make the Royal Irish redundant at a time when their overseas colleagues have been so gallant in Iraq.``

Under the blueprint for restoring devolution drawn up by London and Dublin, troop levels are expected to plunge from 14,500 to about 5,000 once a reduced terrorist threat has been assured.

British Prime Minister Tony Blair and the Irish Taoiseach Bertie Ahern have been pressing the IRA for clear assurances that their war is over before they will agree to release the plans.

But Mr Paisley and his party colleague Sammy Wilson have claimed the Royal Irish`s three Home Service battalions deployed in Northern Ireland will all be scrapped.

Sinn Fein loathed the regiment because its origins could be traced back to the Ulster Defence Association and the controversial B Specials before that, they said.

``Soldiers will be told they are getting redundancy packages but effectively this will be disbandment to suit a Sinn Fein demand,`` Mr Paisley said.

Mr Wilson, an East Belfast member of the Stormont Assembly, said commanders of the 3rd, 4th and 5th battalions were summoned to Army GHQ in Northern Ireland at Lisburn, Co Antrim, to be told about the demilitarisation programme.

``The regiment, long-hated by republican terrorists because of the leading role which it played in blunting their terrorist threat, is to be finally sacrificed,`` he claimed.

British government sources insisted no detail about the Royal Irish had been included in the joint document.

``The regiment simply is not mentioned in the blueprint,`` said one.

An Army spokesman insisted the claims were mere speculation.

He added: ``The Ministry of Defence is determined to proceed with further normalisation measures as soon as the level of threat allows.``


Ian Paisley Junior
Word to that effect has been doing the rounds within all three HS battalions for a couple of months at least.  So far we've had at least one C.O. and a deputy Bde Comd, on seperate occasions denying point-blank that any such deal is about to take place.  The general feeling amongst the troops on the ground is not one of confidence mind you.  However, 2005-2006 is still a long way away, so we'll wait and see what happens.  Nothing this government is prepared to do in order to appease unreconstructed terrorists surprises me anymore.   :mad:  No wonder Mrs Foggy's attempts at persuading me to emigrate and forget about this place are proving succesful.  :(
Boggy Fella -

Book your assisted passage, or whatever they call it these days, now.

I'm afraid that we will all be sold down the river - again - to appease the guilt-ridden middle class interlekchual scum who run this country.  Sorry to rant, but blood is boiling at what is going on :-X
To quote John Potter in his book, "Testimony to Courage" ,with regards to the HS R Irish and its forbear, the UDR.
"One hundred and ninety seven members of the Regiment were killed by terrorist action.  As a result 120 wives were widowed and two husbands lost their wives.  Some 158 children lost a father, and one her mother.  Fifty eight former members were murdered,fourteen of whom had transferred to the RUC.  Another five former members have been killed while serving in the Royal Irish Regiment.  Some 444 men and women were wounded.  Of these thirty five lost one or more limbs or in other ways were significantly disabled.  228 ex members are receiving support from the charity Combat Stress as a result of the effects of stress, induced by a traumatic incident or accumulated over their years of service.  No records exist for the number of cases of intimidation but they must run into the hundreds.  Since the scheme to re-house families coming under threat was introduced in 1988, some 200 have had to give up their homes and move elsewhere.  Some have left the country."
If there is any truth at all in this statement made by the DUP then the message from Tony is clear.  Terrorism does indeed pay.  :mad:


War Hero
I can hardly believe that Blair that would do this.

I served for two years with Royal Irish Rangers and know them, and what was the UDR intimately.

Quick one for you. Mate of mine called Biffo, last name not mentioned. We got back after a few months away and he was told, while we were in the block, that his dad had been dragged from the house into the street by Republicans, doused in petrol and set on fire. He died. Within a day Biffo had disappeared. Three or four years later I saw his face in an Int Cell, wanted for murder.

That wasn't uncommon, (Sorry Shotgun, statement removed, we may believe/know that to be the case, but the official standpoint is - there isn't)

This is a recipe for disaster and armed civil war on the streets of NI.

Blair is an idiot and we need to get him out before he does more damage and causes more death, all in the cause of being the man who brought peace to NI. His ego and arrogance is dangerous.


War Hero
I have a feeling that history will be repeated, with regular battalions doing a long term stint to make up the short fall in soldiers got rid off for quick political / finacial reasons - fcuking idiots the lots of them
However, 2005-2006 is still a long way away, so we'll wait and see what happens

Aye Foggy

Remember in 1994 how we were saying that 1998-1999 was a long way away, and we would wait and see what happened? Do you remember what happened to unit morale as we got closer to those dates, and the sheer scale of what was going to get axed became apparent?

The Government and the MOD need to be making a positive statement or denial , about the future of the HS.
It beggars belief. This country leads the world in the fight against terrorism , our knowledge and tactics are second to none. Yet we will happily surrender to the scum with guns. I saw the word appeasement bandied around by the armchair generals, and this government, in the run up to the drive by shooting in Iraq.I am so angry, that good men died for this bollix, yet innocents and good men die in the United Kingdom, and nothing is done.

We woud happily invade a country, and depose it's leadership, to "remove the threat of proliferation of WMD" with proof that any newly qualified solicitor, could have driven a coach and four through. But, when we have proof of malicious intent, when we know who the players are, when we know that PIRA/CIRA are part of a greater terrorist affiliation, with links to Middle Eastern terrorist organisations, dare I say even the great made up catchall "Al-quaeda". When we know there are weapons stores, in contravention of the law of the United Kingdom, when attacks have been launched against property and persons in the United Kingdom and abroad , we still say "Please, come and join in our government, let's talk"

What has the US administration, to say about this?
Very careful avoidance of the use of the word "Terrorists" I note.

Another collection of mealy mouthed words and no action. Well after all, you can hardly alienate your "Once a year Irishmen" vote can you? For exactly the same reason you can't alienate your jewish vote. I'd like to see this coterie of 4 letter words in the White house, issue the same statements they have against Syria and others. "Behave , or we are coming to kick your asses"

But it won't happen, and the supply of money and other comforts will still flow from the US. Everytime I hear the words "Remember 9/11" I just think "Get stuffed"
PTP, Yes a statment does need  to made, and soon.  However, from past experience statements tend to mean bugger all in the grand scheme of things over here.  Most of my own blokes believe that it actually is only a matter of time before we're redundant.  We don't like the idea, in fact it makes our piss boil.   The feeling is though, that if the current government policy of appeasement is carried on, its only a matter of time before we're out of here.  Pessimism or realism?


only way out it seems is to vote blair out , im not keen on any of the politician but at least Ian Duncan Smith was in the Army himself i hope he hasn't forgotten that ................ :-/


War Hero
Most of the IRA were trained by the British Army, so what will happen if the Prods decide to start a war?

Biggest regiment in the Army, RIR, with a massive reserve, all trained in urban warfare, anti-terrorist etc. etc.

This could well be a recipe for a disaster. It seems the lessons of Yugoslavia and the rest haven't been learned.


Most of the IRA were trained by the British Army, so what will happen if the Prods decide to start a war?

how could that happen , no IRA scum can be taught by the british army as they have to be security cleared before going on to the next stage in the enlistment procedure


War Hero
how could that happen , no IRA scum can be taught by the british army as they have to be security cleared before going on to the next stage in the enlistment procedure

It shouldn't happen, but it does.

When with the then Rangers there was many three year merchants, and they could slip in, and that was one regiment. You wouldn't find one in the UDR, but the regiments stationed, and banned from the Province then, had a few each year.

Int Cell walls in NI, and briefings before Ops, show who is and was what, and there were plenty ex-members of the Army.
When you get right down to it fella's.......it all boils down to money.  How much could the Government save if.......?   Those who are at the heart of it are not soldiers and never have been and sadly Foggy, the tribute which you have paid to your fallen and injured freinds (I deliberately avoid the word colleagues.....that's what office workers have), means nothing to those who control the Governments spending.  It may hurt for a while, but the world moves on and before you know it, their names, too many, will just be inscriptions on a monument.  Look at WW1 & 2, Korea, The Falkands, GW1.  Civvies aren't that interested and we will all fade away eventually.  The financiers aren't interested in the other aspects which you rightly highlighted, such as the relocations and intimidation, aspects which most of the UK public are blissfully unaware of anyway.   You're the finest when you're needed, but loyalty and emotions such as love for your freinds and indeed your country, are never considerations when cheques are being signed and money is being saved.

It would be marvellous if the rumours were just that.  But we're all big enough to appreciate that the writing is on the wall.  They done for so many on the last rounds of cuts and amalgamations.  The best you can hope for is reduction in size, but that's just another step to extinction, just takes a little longer to get there, that's all.

Listen to your wife Foggy.   There's a whole world out there and you're going to have to get onto the merry-go-round eventually.   Do it whilst you're still young enough or get into another capbadge if you can.  


War Hero
Very eloquent Masonic, and very true.

Where the problem arises though, is in the reasons why the money has to be saved. Last year alone the bill for asylum seekers, not including community things like NHS spending on them, was in the billions, and this Government since it came in has increased the PR budget of Westminster, for their benefit alone, by more than half a billion.

I don't blame civvies, of which I'm one now, because they are ignorant, in most cases, of the steps taken to save money by the Government.

And that is another crux of this, this Government doesn't save money. It takes it from one to pay for something else.
Clearly with the recent media speculation and rumours coming out of RHQ the Home Service is likely to go.  I wonder would the MoD think about at least attempting to retain the trained and quite well motivated, Full-Time soldiers of the regiment and form a 2nd General Service Battalion similar to 1 R Iirsh.  It would certainly be cheaper to recruit and retain for two general service battalions rather than a large Home Service.  There could even be scope for retaining the regimental home in Ballymena.  Obviously there are many in the Home Service who joined to fight terrorism in NI and not to travel around the world as GS soldiers but I'm sure they could get at least 700 volunteers for it.  Just an attempt at making the best out of a bad situation maybe?
Greenhackle bloke - I have no doubt that in the inevitable running down of the HS element, you will indeed get volunteers willing to transfer to GS.  The bills will still have to be paid at the end of the month, regardless of how good (or not so) a redundancy package is offered.  However, I do think that recruiting 700 current HS blokes may be optimistic.  As you rightly pointed out, the reason many of us joined the HS element rather than the 1st Batt or the Rangers, were for reasons and personal motivation quite different to you boys serving globally in the GS role.  You never know mind.
What of the P-T element?  Would any N.Ireland T.A. units,specifically, (though not exclusively,) the Rangers welcome ex-P.T. members?  Interested to hear opinions on that one.
What of the P-T element?  Would any N.Ireland T.A. units,specifically, (though not exclusively,) the Rangers welcome ex-P.T. members?  Interested to hear opinions on that one.

In reply to that question, Foggy I would hope and do believe that the Rangers would welcome any ex-home service part-timers provided they understand its a different type of soldiering.  Without making generalisations and please correct me if I'm wrong on this one as I don't have HSPT experience, most part-timers joined to give up their free time to make some kind of difference in the fight against terrorism whatever small level that maybe and should be respected and honoured by all.  I fear though that many of the part-timers may not be willing or motivated by the same things as the TA soldiers in the Rangers who ultimately train to support the First Battalion overseas in their role.

I think the Rangers and the TA in general would welcome the Part-timers and would be happy for them to come in to their units provided there is an  understanding of the very different role in the TA.

I would like to add personally that I have every respect for the Home Service and feel it is real kick in the teeth by the government to all you boys that risk all for simply making a difference the right way.  
There are some from the GS element of the regiment that scoff at the Home Service as being a bunch of Hill-billy amateurs with few soldiering skills.  I disagree with that view and true, HS doesn't go off to glamorous locations with all the media attention and excitiment but  the fact that most of the 197 killed in the UDR and RIR(HS) were killed while off duty going about their every day lives often being murdered in front families speaks for itself in terms of Bravery.  
The latest official line is that news of disbandment and/or scaling down of the HS battalions is merely speculation and not hard facts.  Obviously the process of "normalisation" will occur gradually, however significant reductions are unlikely, in the short term at least.  Quote I personally heard from someone whose opinion I would would tend to respect; "there's a lot of Brits have to be sent home before you lot are going anywhere".  As much as I remain sceptical about such stories, I am as much so when I consider their source.  What would the DUP stand to gain a story such as this?  Would have nothing to do with the forthcoming elections on 29th May would they?  Perish the thought!


personally like i said in another thread , this disbandment is a waste of time and is politically motivated , the RIR home service is ideally based as they have local knowledge and incentive to defend NI. the IRA has given NO concession so far while we have gone more than half way to compromise .  ::) i say this : i think we should scrap the good friday agreement and knuckle down to another 25 years of attrition until the next generation comes up with a better idea , i don't see how the IRA can survive another 25 years as the army has learned a valuble lesson in urban warfare/working with public who now accept the status quo of NI more out of pragmatic reason and there is less discrimination now than there was in the 60/70s the environment which the IRA thrived on is no  longer there and i think they will die a slow death due to lack of recruits maybe 10/20 years from now and having spoken to some people from the republic most of them don't really want Northern Ireland
they don't want the polictical hot potato and the different culture that exist there also they don't want the conflict to spread to the rest of Ireland by way of the protestant UVF/UFF etc which it will surely do as was threatened in 1920 before the partition of the island which was a compromise agreement in the first place. Ireland is a peaceful country and so should the North , if there comes a day when the majority of the people want to join the republic then that wish must be respected in a vote, NO OTHER WAY killing and maiming will not make a united ireland only the people themselves must choose not a small band of IRA bullies.
until then we must always keep the pressure on the IRA and NEVER let up .

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