Royal Irish Regiment
The Royal Irish Regiment consists of two Battalions;
- 1st Bn The Royal Irish Regiment (Regular) Abbreviated as 1 R IRISH
- 2nd Bn The Royal Irish Regiment (TA) Abbreviated as 2 R IRISH
Air Assault DZ Flash
Faugh-A-Ballagh (Clear the Way)
The Royal Irish Regiment, the one of the largest Infantry regiments in the British Army, was formed in Northern Ireland on 1st July 1992. This new regiment evolved from an amalgamation of The Royal Irish Rangers 27th (Inniskilling) 83rd & 87th and The Ulster Defence Regiment and is part of the Regular Army. The collapse of the Warsaw Pact led to a major re-shaping of the British Army which resulted in the amalgamation of many famous regiments. The decision to form this new regiment was part of that process.
The Royal Irish Regiment originally had two General Service battalions earmarked for world-wide duties, including taking their turn on operations in Northern Ireland. These were merged into one General Service battalion in 1993. In addition, there were six Home Service battalions, Commonly known as R IRISH (HS), who were disbanded due to the new found peace in Northern Ireland. The Home Service Battalions were awarded the Conspicuous Gallantry Cross by Her Majesty, Queen Elizebeth II for their efforts as part of 38 years of civil unrest in the Province.
The battalion has a standard strength of about 650 all ranks. The role of the new regiment is exactly the same as that for other regiments and battalions within the Regular Army, namely to keep the peace wherever it serves.
The name The Royal Irish Regiment is the oldest of the Irish regiments; the original Regiment to bear the name traced its history back to 1684 and the raising of a body of troops by the Earl of Granard to fight for King William. The Regiment fought at the battles of the Boyne and Aughrim and went on to fight in many famous battles and campaigns such as Blenheim, Ramillies, The Crimean War, The Boer War, Flanders in 1914 and Gallipoli in 1915. The Royal Irish Regiment was disbanded in 1922.
The new Regiment is not the reformation of the original Royal Irish Regiment (18th Foot), but rather an amalgamation of the Royal Irish Rangers 27th (Inniskilling) 83rd & 87th and the Ulster Defence Regiment which has led to the re-use of an old name.
1 R IRISH are within 16 Air Assault Brigade, the UK's vanguard warfighting Brigade, along side The Parachute Regiment. They are part of the Quick Response Force that can be deployed anywhere in the world at short notice. Since 2003, 1 and 2 R IRISH have seen fully fledged warfare in Iraq, and most recently, Helmand Province in Afghanistan.
2 R IRISH is 1 R IRISH's reserve in their Air Assault role. 2 R IRISH as a reserve Battalion has a wealth of experience within it's ranks, combining the trades and counter terrorism skills learnt from 38 years of civil unrest in Northern Ireland from the ex-R IRISH(HS), and the RANGERS troops who have large experience of worldwide deployments and warfare, including Northern Ireland, Kosovo, Sierra Leonne, Iraq and Afghanistan.
Both Battalions of The Royal Irish Regiment continue to serve with distinction, carrying on the tradition of the Fighting Irish, and showing why Irish soldiers serving with the British Army are regarded some of the toughest and most feared in the world.