Regiment honoured during ceremony in Carrickfergus

Members of the regiment parading through Carrickfergus today.
Members of the regiment parading through Carrickfergus today.

The heroes of the B (North Irish Horse) Squadron today received the freedom of one of Northern Ireland’s top councils.

It is the first time in its history that the Mid and East Antrim Borough Council has conferred the honour on any group.

Ready for the service in Carrickfergus

Ready for the service in Carrickfergus

The event in Carrickfergus included civic celebrations and a special parade and march-past by members of the regiment through the seaside town.

The Mayor, Councillor Billy Ashe, took part in the ceremony along with councillors.

Previously, Mr Ashe had paid tribute to the Squadron’s service: “It is a matter of great pride for me that the first Freedom of the Borough of Mid and East Antrim will be officially given to B (North Irish Horse) Squadron, The Scottish and North Irish Yeomanry. This is the highest accolade and honour any Council can bestow on any group or individual.

“The Mid and East Antrim towns of Ballymena, Carrickfergus and Larne have a proud military tradition, with close links between the military services and the people.

The regimental march took place in freezing temperatures.

The regimental march took place in freezing temperatures.

“By conferring the freedom of the borough on North Irish Horse we are honouring the service and dedication of the present regiment and those that have served in the past.”

Speaking in advance of the ceremony, Col. Dr. Melfort Regimental Honorary Colonel The Scottish and North Irish Yeomanry commented: “We are deeply honoured to have been recognised by the Mid and East Antrim Borough Council and recognise and appreciate the significance of being the first recipients of the Freedom of the Borough.

“The North Irish Horse has a distinguished record of service that continues today as part of The Scottish and North Irish Yeomanry. This public recognition from the Borough Council affords us an opportunity to reflect on the sacrifices made by our forebearers and serves as an acknowledgement of the continued support from the public that is critical to the success of both the Regiment and the Army Reserve as a whole.”

See report and more pictures in Monday’s News Letter.

The ceremony took place in Carrickfergus.

The ceremony took place in Carrickfergus.