‘Freedom’ for Royal Irish Regiment

FREEDOM OF MARKET DRAYTON WITH WORDS. Members of 1st Battalion, the Royal Irish Regiment marching through the streets of Market Drayton as they recieve the freedom of the town. PIC BY ALEX TAYLOR
FREEDOM OF MARKET DRAYTON WITH WORDS. Members of 1st Battalion, the Royal Irish Regiment marching through the streets of Market Drayton as they recieve the freedom of the town. PIC BY ALEX TAYLOR

A MAJOR military event is planned for Ballymoney.this Saturday.

The ‘Freedom of the Borough’ will be conferred on the Royal Irish Regiment.

Soldiers from both the 1st Battalion The Royal Irish Regiment (based at Clive Barracks, Tern Hill, Shropshire) and soldiers of the 2nd Battalion The Royal Irish Regiment along with Veterans Associations will receive the honour following a Special Council Meeting.

After the presentation and inspection by the Mayor of Ballymoney, Cllr Ian Stevenson, the soldiers, with Regimental Colours and Mascot along with Band will exercise this freedom with a parade through the the town.

A large number of people are expected to gather in the streets of Ballymoney.

The title ‘Honorary Freeman’ is the highest award that a council can grant to an organisation or individual to record its appreciation of outstanding achievement.

Ballymoney Borough Council has conferred the title only six times since 1973 which in itself demonstrates the importance of the title. The conferral ceremony is formal in nature to reflect the dignity of the title.

Recipients have included:

• The Royal Ulster Constabulary and The Royal Ulster Constabulary Reserve

• Mrs Mary J (Mollie) Holmes OBE JP

• Mr Joey Dunlop OBE

• The Royal British Legion Northern Ireland

• Dr Ian R K Paisley MP MEP MLA

• The Northern Ireland Fire Brigade

• Dr Robert Dunlop.