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Portadown soldier promoted to lead top British Army Division


Stepping up: Colin Weir

Stepping up: Colin Weir

Stepping up: Colin Weir

Congratulations have been offered to a Co Armagh man who has been promoted to the rank of Major General of one of the Army's Divisions.

Portadown native Colin Weir, formerly a Brigadier, has been appointed as General Officer Commanding 1 (UK) Division.

Mr Weir was awarded the Distinguished Service Order (DSO) in 2011 for courage and leadership over the course of six months in an area of intense insurgent activity in Afghanistan's Helmand Province.

Upper Bann UUP MLA and Military Cross recipient Doug Beattie, who served under Mr Weir as a member of 1st Battalion Royal Irish Regiment in Afghanistan, said news of the appointment had brought him a "real sense of pleasure." He added: "I served alongside Colin, a fellow Portadown man, in 1 R Irish and under his command in Nad-e-Ali District of southern Afghanistan in 2010-11, for which Colin was awarded the DSO.

"Not only does Colin have a proud military background, but his father Herbert Weir was also a well-respected teacher at Clounagh Junior High School, and in fact taught me as a young student at that school.

"I wish Colin all the best of luck in what will be a challenging position, leading one of the UK's premier Divisions, just as he led their premier 16 Air Assault Brigade.

"I am in no doubt as a Major General he will continue to shine and am very proud that we are seeing a Portadown man reach one of the highest positions in the British Army."

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DUP Upper Bann MLA Jonathan Buckley also offered his congratulations.

He said: "Portadown has a proud military history, we are all rightly proud of Colin, and all who serve in our Armed Forces."

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