Sculpture set to mark courage of UDR

Discussion in 'Northern Ireland (Op BANNER)' started by badal, Jan 15, 2011.

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  1. BELFAST NEWSLETTER Published Date: 14 January 2011

    Sculpture set to mark courage of UDR

    The UDR, whose successor the RIR was presented with the Conspicuous Gallantry Cross by the Queen in 2006, is to be honoured with a new sculpture in Lisburn

    A SCULPTURE dedicated to the memory of all those who served with the Ulster Defence Regiment is being erected in the Co Antrim town where the regiment was formed.
    Described as "heroic" in stature, the 19ft monument features a pair of bronze figures on a Mourne granite plinth and is due to be unveiled in Lisburn city centre in the spring.

    The two bronzes capture the image of a male UDR soldier and a female 'Greenfinch' on operational duty.

    Whiteabbey-based sculptor John Sherlock was commissioned by the UDR Memorial Trust to work on the project and recently travelled to Edinburgh to oversee the final casting process.

    The internationally-renowned artist's other recent public works include life-size bronzes of Professor Frank Pantridge, Harry Ferguson, and a large scale bronze relief tribute to the RUC at FBI headquarters in Washington.

    "Everyone involved in the Lisburn sculpture has put their heart and soul into it and I couldn't have had a better group to work for," Mr Sherlock said.

    "I don't think I could have got a better commission for a more justifiable project — I hope it strengthens the resolve of all those who served."

    It has been almost two years since the original concept was devised, with Lisburn chosen due to its close association with the UDR.

    The regiment was formed there in 1970. Lt Colonel Wesley Duncan is one of those behind the initiative to erect the 19ft bronze monument.

    The UDR Memorial Trust chairman of trustees said work on the project is "in the finishing stages".

    "The plinth has already been constructed and is on site in Lisburn in Market Square. Of the two figures, the Greenfinch is complete at the foundry in Edinburgh and the soldier is almost complete."

    Lt Col Duncan said the memorial was dedicated to all who served with the regiment.

    "The memorial is to recognise the service of over 50,000 people over the years — not just those who died or were injured.

    "This initiative came from ex-members to have a memorial erected... and the primary driving force has been the members of the regimental association.

    "We believe it will be a ?tting tribute to their dedication to duty, courage and the stress which it brought to their families."

    The chair of trustees added: "The regiment was formed in Lisburn, and it is appropriate therefore that the memorial is being erected there. The trustees are delighted and grateful that Lisburn City Council have granted permission for the memorial to be erected on a prominent site in Market Square."

    Lagan Valley MP Jeffrey Donaldson said he was delighted the city had been chosen due to its "strong connection" with the regiment.

    A former UDR member, Mr Donaldson said: "The people of Lisburn will be very proud of this statue which is being erected to commemorate the enormous sacrifice and the invaluable contribution made by the men and women of the UDR in bringing peace to Northern Ireland."

    Basil McCrea, of the Ulster Unionists, also paid tribute to the UDR and said it was fitting that a city with "such a strong military tradition" should honour the regiment.

    The Lagan Valley MLA added: "It's only right and proper that those who have served the community so well get their due recognition."

    In September 2007 the city erected a separate tribute to eight UDR soldiers from the Lisburn area who made the ultimate sacrifice.

    Sitting in the shadow of the main war memorial in Castle Street, the Ulster Defence Regiment memorial stone includes the name of Maynard Crawford — a part-time UDR sergeant murdered by the IRA in 1972 as he sat in a van on a Newtownabbey building site. Sgt Crawford was the brother of local Ulster Unionist councillor Ronnie Crawford and was the first Lisburn member of the regiment to be killed.
  2. The cynic in me says it won't be recieved well by many of those who still feel they have an axe to grind.
  3. Do we give a toss?
    Take a look at how many memorials have been erected to those "with an axe to grind",do they care?Do they eck as like!
    Over the last few years a consistent attempt has been taking place to re-write history,how bad and evil all the security forces were,perhaps this will go some way to counteract that and allow the truth to start to emerge from behind the adverse propaganda.
  4. Yup we do give a toss. They deserve every memorial available.
  5. It is these same axe grinders that seem to want to re-write history. It seems that if you say something long enough.. people believe it.

    They thoroughly deserve this memorial, as do all the fallen (and ex serving/serving) within our Armed Forces.
  6. Iwas refering to "those with an axe to grind"when I made my post,sorry I failed to make that plainer,I didnot mean to cause any offence.
    I hope to be able to attend that event,and will be looking forward to meeting some old comrades once more,especially later in the bar!
    It would also be nice to see some old regulars at that event,I know they would be welcome.
  7. Does anyone know yet of the itinerary for this?
  8. Lisburn is the best place for it,Belfast has went Green!
  9. Yes,Lisburn is the best place for it,it was after all,R.H.Q.,and what makes you think that a large part of Lisburn hasn't gone quietly green?
  10. and the UDR was presented its colours by HM Queen in Lisburn. Thieval barracks (it was their Regimental HQ before the almalgamation with the Rangers) and there are still a lot of ex UDR who moved to Lisburn.

    so that sounds good.
  11. LISBURN also covers Lenadoon and the Blacks road in west belfast. These are republican areas with sinn fein counicllers sitting on Lisburn ciry council
  12. A great idea!

    I saw the plinth this morning, i'll say one thing though, i wouldn't want to own a shop on the square now.

    Nothing the shinners like more than blowing up a statue - ever wondered why there are no statues of people on horseback in Dublin?
  13. skid2

    skid2 LE Book Reviewer

    They sold them for scrap?
    They ate them during the famine?
    Tell us
  14. Nope, wrong on both points.

    Melted them down to make small souvenir shamrock badges. Which were to be sold in the temple bar area to all the plastic paddy visitors from all over the world.

    Anything else you want to know?
  15. No doubt it'll make a useful piss-stop for left footed students at the weekend.