Hundreds attend Ballymena UDR memorial ceremony

Former UDR members were among those who attended the unveiling of the monument in Ballymenas Memorial Gardens

Former UDR members were among those who attended the unveiling of the monument in Ballymenas Memorial Gardens

Hundreds of people have attended the unveiling of a new memorial to those who served in the Ulster Defence Regiment in Ballymena.

Former members of the UDR travelled from all over the Province for the ceremony in the town’s Memorial Gardens.

TUV leader Jim Allister (second right) with party councillors and deputy mayor of Mid & East Antrim Borough Council, Councillor Timothy Gaston (right)

TUV leader Jim Allister (second right) with party councillors and deputy mayor of Mid & East Antrim Borough Council, Councillor Timothy Gaston (right)

Before the official unveiling a parade was led by the Pipes and Drums of the Royal Irish.

Secretary of the Ballymena branch, UDR Association, Robert McClean said the new memorial was a “fitting tribute to all who served in the regiment”.

TUV leader Jim Allister, who attended the unveiling ceremony, said: “It was a privilege to attend the dedication of the long-awaited UDR memorial in the Ballymena Memorial Park on Sunday afternoon.

“The UDR Association deserve the highest praise for their persistent work to secure this fitting tribute to the remarkable bravery and sacrifice of the UDR.

“The selfless service of the UDR stood through many dangerous years between the community and the terrorism of the IRA and others.

“We all owe them a debt of gratitude. While some would try to besmirch the proud name of the UDR I have nothing but admiration and thanks for their great work in facing down terrorism.”

Deputy mayor of Mid & East Antrim Borough Council, Councillor Timothy Gaston, added: “This memorial is a fitting and lasting tribute and reminder to us all of the debt of gratitude we owe to the brave soldiers of the UDR.”