Royal Irish Reservists Return From Cyprus Peacekeeping Mission

They were part of the largest deployment of British Army reservists in decades.

About 70 Royal Irish reservists have returned to Northern Ireland following a United Nations peacekeeping mission in Cyprus.

The men and women from 2 Royal Irish were part of the 6 Rifles battlegroup, the largest deployment of British Army reservists in decades.

The soldiers spent the last six months based in the United Nations Protected Area on the outskirts of the city of Nicosia, where they were at constant readiness to respond to challenges across the island.

A 180km buffer zone separating the northern half of the island from the south has been in place since the Cyprus Emergency in 1974.

The UK's contribution to the UN's peacekeeping mission in Cyprus is known as Operation Tosca.

The soldiers patrolled the buffer zone in Nicosia, the world's last divided capital (Picture: MOD).

Commanding Officer of 2 Royal Irish, Lieutenant Colonel Simon Baxter, said it had been a "hugely successful tour".

"I am both incredibly proud and delighted to see Ranger Company return home after a hugely successful tour in Cyprus," he said.

"The experience gained in Cyprus by Ranger Company will be instrumental in our Future Soldier training focus over the coming months."

Cover image: 2 Royal Irish return to Northern Ireland (Picture: MOD).