RIR presentation of colours: ‘Soldiers will never forget this’

Rev Dr David Coulter, Chaplain General to HM Land Forces, with Ranger Jamie Lennon (left) and Ranger Gareth Lismore (right).
Rev Dr David Coulter, Chaplain General to HM Land Forces, with Ranger Jamie Lennon (left) and Ranger Gareth Lismore (right).

The Chaplain General to Her Majesty’s Land Forces said today’s Royal Irish Regiment presentation of colours parade is an event the soldiers who participated in it will never forget.

Hundreds of soldiers from 1 Royal Irish and 2 Royal Irish took part in the event at Titanic Slipways in Belfast, during which the regiment received new colours from HRH The Duke of York.

The new colours have been updated with details of battle honours awarded to the regiment in recent actions.

Rev Dr David Coulter said it was “a great honour” to have the Duke of York present the new colours to the Royal Irish Regiment in Belfast.

Major General Coulter, from Belfast, is due to retire after 30 years as an army chaplain. He consecrated the regiment’s new colours during the event.

“Being in the Titanic Quarter, a place of great history, for the soldiers they will never forget being part of an event like this.

“I have the privilege of consecrating the colours, so I do this three or four times a year, but every single one of them is very different and very special,” he said.

Ranger Gareth Lismore, from Belfast, has served with 1 Royal Irish for four years.

The 24-year-old was on parade with the rank and file of C Company.

“It has taken a lot of effort. We spent two weeks rehearsing and sometimes we were rehearsing the parade up to four times a day.

“It is a big honour for the regiment that the battle honours will be added to the colours,” he said.

Ranger Jamie Lennon from Leinster was part of A Company, who escorted the colours around the parade ground.

“It’s a brilliant honour for the regiment. We have been practicing for the last couple of weeks – rehearsal after rehearsal after rehearsal – so it is a really big day for us,” he commented.

Recommending the army as a career, Ranger Lennon added: “I have a couple of family members who served in the past in the British Army and it’s something that kind of appealed to me. It’s a great career and I enjoy it.”