Homecoming parade to honour Irish Guards
Castlereagh Borough Council will host a homecoming parade and civic reception on Sunday, October 9, to publically recognise the service of the Irish Guards during Operation Herrick 13 in Afghanistan.
Over 200 soldiers will be on parade in the streets of Castlereagh, providing the people of the Borough the opportunity to pay tribute to the Regiment in a poignant and fitting manner.
The parade will be led by the Drums and Pipes of the Irish Guards and their Regimental Mascot – Conmeal, the Irish Wolfhound who carries today’s mantle first given to Brian Boru in 1910.
Speaking prior to the ceremony, the Mayor of Castlereagh, Councillor Jim White said: “It is a great privilege for the Council to acknowledge
the professionalism and dedication of the Irish Guards following their tour of duty in Afghanistan.
“The Regiment’s ability to conduct operations around the world is very much respected and the event on Sunday 9th October will be an opportunity to give thanks for their safe return while also remembering those who sadly lost their lives in the line of duty.
“I hope members of the public will come along and support the homecoming parade and join the Council in recognising the valour and service of these brave servicemen.”
The Ministry of Defence added: “It means a great deal for a soldier to know he has the love of a family, the support of his friends and the understanding of his community.
“Castlereagh is giving witness to this support to the Irish Guards. Every man on parade will have an incredible story to tell following a second tough deployment to a dangerous and harsh part of the world where they focused on mentoring and developing the Afghan National Army.
“Through the dedication, skill and focus of the Irish Guards those local soldiers are now able to plan and effect their own complicated military operations against a vicious enemy.”
At the end of the ceremony, the Regiment will parade onto Upper Galwally, where Council representatives and dignitaries will receive the compliment of salute on behalf of the people of Castlereagh. The parade will then proceed onto the Saintfield Road and Upper Knockbreda Road before returning to Upper Galwally to depart for a private civic reception.