Dodds support for troops
North Belfast DUP MP Nigel Dodds has expressed his full support for local troops who are being deployed to Afghanistan for a six month tour of duty with the Royal Irish Regiment and the Irish Guards, joining the battle to secure peace and defeat the Taliban.
Mr Dodds said: “More than 1,000 soldiers from the Irish Guards and the Royal Irish Regiment are in the process of being deployed to Helmand province for a six month tour of duty.
“ We know full well that this is one of the most dangerous places in the world, where our British forces are in the forefront of the operation to defeat the Taliban and the threat of terrorism that it poses.
“Our prayers and best wishes go with these brave men and women, many of whom come from Northern Ireland, and our thoughts are also with their families. Local soldiers have served in Iraq and Afghanistan over recent years and the people of Belfast showed appreciation of their bravery by the large and enthusiastic attendance at the homecoming parade in Belfast in November 2008.
“I welcome that the Church of Ireland will be holding regular prayer services for the soldiers’ safe return in St Anne’s Cathedral, Belfast. These will take place every other Friday, commencing September 17, at 11am and lasting 30 to 40 minutes.
“This is the massive deployment of soldiers from the Royal Irish and Irish Guards, who will be working alongside the Afghan national security forces. Engagement with the enemy is expected and the level of danger will be high. Throughout this deployment they can be confident of our whole-hearted support and we will be praying for their safe return home as heroes.”