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Setting record straight on RIR

Published 09/05/2011

In your edition of April 27, you stated that the Royal Ulster Rifles were 'formed out of the Royal Irish Rifles when the Irish Free State was established in 1921'. This is wrong on three counts.

The first is that the Royal Irish Rifles were simply renamed Royal Ulster Rifles on January 1, 1921.

Secondly, the renaming was due to a 1921 decision to have each Irish province represented in the Army List by its own regiment.

Thirdly, the Irish Free State was not formed until 1922, while the treaty that led to its birth was not agreed until December 1921.

A pattern could also be set by ceasing to refer to the modern Royal Irish as the RIR, this abbreviation belongs only to the Rifles.

RICHARD DOHERTY

Prehen, Co Londonderry

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