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Early handout of shamrocks for the Royal Irish Regiment

By Victoria Leonard

Lisburn's Thiepval Barracks reverberated to the sound of pipes yesterday as soldiers from the 2nd Battalion the Royal Irish Regiment celebrated an early St Patrick's Day.

The celebration, which saw over 250 reservists assemble at the Army HQ, was brought forward so that it did not conflict with the 1st Battalion the Royal Irish Regiment's St Patrick's Day parade in Kabul, Afghanistan.

A large crowd assembled to watch the proceedings on the parade ground as Her Majesty's Lord Lieutenant for County Antrim, Mrs Joan Christie OBE, inspected the soldiers and assisted with the formal presentation of the shamrocks.

Also present at the event was the Royal Irish Regiment's mascot, Irish wolfhound Brian Boru, who sported a sprig of shamrock on his official green parade uniform.

He was accompanied by his handler, Wolfhound Major Moore.

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