Royal Irish lay their old regimental colours to rest in Fermanagh

Two Royal Irish have laid their old Regimental Colours to rest in Co Fermanagh where the regiment was originally raised in 1689.

The colours were laid at the Inniskillings Museum in Enniskillen Castle on Sunday evening
The colours were laid at the Inniskillings Museum in Enniskillen Castle on Sunday evening

The Colours were laid during a ceremony at the Inniskillings Museum in the grounds of Enniskillen Castle on Sunday evening.

They were officially marched off parade for the final time as 2 Royal Irish received their new colours at Titanic Slipway in Belfast in September 2018.

The gap between the two events was caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

Two Royal Irish Regiment receiving their new colours on the Titanic Slipways in Belfast. The regiment have finally laid their old Regimental Colours to rest in Co Fermanagh where the regiment was originally raised in 1689, after a gap between the two events caused by the coronavirus pandemic. Photo: Rebecca Black/PA Wire

Regimental Sergeant Major Christopher Rushton said the battalion was delighted to have the opportunity to lay up their Queen’s and Regimental Colours at the birthplace of the regiment.

“The pandemic has thwarted and delayed our plans over the last two years, but we are now in a position, to say farewell to them in an appropriate and fitting manner; and in keeping with the highest traditions of the Royal Irish Regiment,” he said.

The tradition of carrying Colours dates back to ancient times when armies carried an identifying emblem into battle.

The motto of the Royal Irish Regiment, Faugh a Ballagh or ‘Clear the way’, is emblazoned on the Regimental Colour.

Lieutenant Colonel Simon Baxter, Commanding Officer of 2 Royal Irish, described laying the colours to rest as a “reflective and emotional ceremony for all of us”.

“They are the spirit which binds us together and an enduring memorial of sacrifices made, not just by the soldiers, but also the friends and families of service personnel and those veterans that have similarly served under them,” he said.

“I feel a deep sense of privilege and honour as we lay them up at the same place the regiment was raised by Colonel Zachariah Tiffin over 330 years ago.”

Officer Commanding (OC) ‘C’ Company, Major Darren Anthony said a lot of hard work and preparation went into the parade.

“All the soldiers on parade have gone the extra mile in getting ready for this; and they fully understand the magnitude and meaning a moment in time like this has. It truly is a once in a generation opportunity to be involved in,” he said.

The Colours will be available for viewing by the general public at the museum.