Royal Irish Regiment Receive New Colours From Duke Of York

Thousands have watched the Royal Irish Regiment receive their new military colours in Northern Ireland.

Two battalions of the Royal Irish Regiment have been presented with new colours by His Royal Highness The Duke of York.

The presentation was made to the First and Second Battalions in Belfast - the first time such an event has happened in public in the city.

Colours are presented to regiments every 25 years – representing both their history and their future.

Around 7,000 people were in attendance to see the presentation of the new colours and the last trooping of the old colours.

One person said: "It's very important and it's great to see them here together, celebrating this very important day."

The new colours were consecrated by the Chaplain General to Her Majesty's Land Forces, The Reverend David Coulter, before being presented and paraded through the ranks in Belfast during the ceremony. 

The Reverend David Coulter said he asked for "God's blessings on the colours". 

Royal Irish Regiment parade.
Royal Irish Regiment parade.

Brigadier Mike Murdoch, parade commander and Deputy Colonel of the Royal Irish Regiment, said the event was a "tremendous honour".

"I think it is just fantastic that the home of the Titanic is where the home of this regiment come together, and today we are standing beside this slipway receiving our colours, in our home, the home of the Titanic, what a fantastic event," he said.

"The colours represent the history of the regiment, the battles we have fought in and our predecessors fought in, but also they represent the future of the regiment and going forwards.

"For us to receive our new colours in Northern Ireland as an Irish infantry regiment is a tremendous honour."

How the Royal Irish Regiment prepared for the receiving of their colours.

The new colours have taken the last four months to make and have been updated to recognise the Regiment’s role in Iraq, and their Conspicuous Gallantry Cross – awarded by Her Majesty the Queen in 2006 in recognition of the sacrifices of the home service battalion.

Sergeant Brian Collins said: “This is something the guys have been looking forward to, particularly the guys from Northern Ireland, it's the first time they get the opportunity to have a parade here in Northern Ireland."

His Royal Highness The Duke of York was in attendance on behalf of Her Majesty the Queen. He has been Colonel in Chief of the Royal Irish Regiment since they were formed in 1992 - his longest standing military affiliation.