The overwhelming feeling amongst victims and members both past and present, who have served with both UDR and RIR, is one of sadness and disappointment. For many the first that they heard of today’s event was through the media. We as a group feel that the organisers have neglected many families and past members who gave so much to the regiments.
For many, the years of service represented the best years of their lives and today they live with injury trauma and deep feelings that they were left. An event like today should have included those who served and sacrificed most, rather than civilians and others who did little to help the man.
It is truly a sad day for our province as we see once more a British Government betray the people of Ulster. Just as we have seen the double of English politicians and the scrawl of their pen destroy the B Specials and UDR so we witness once more their craven act of appeasement. No ceremony today will disguise what has been done. For the first time in Northern Ireland we have been left without a defence Force. It is telling that the rabble raising republican Peter Hain who campaigned for troops out, has ended up as Secretary of State enacting at Republican request.
What is perhaps more pathetic is the sight of the great and the good being wheeled out to comment on the demise of this great Regiment. However it will be groups like FAIR that will have to deal with aftermath of such moves. This includes the many past members who live with trauma, disability and unemployment. We would appeal to the UDR/RIR Benevolent Fund to set its house in order at this time. There are a large number of issues they need to address such as the disparity in contributions made to the fund by UDR and RIR and the different circumstances.
In short it is a cruel irony that the government have dominated and destroyed three forces that fought valiantly to defend this province from the terrorism of the PIRA. Yet they continue to turn a blind eye to the existence of terrorist forces in our country. Until we see the government taking such transparent resolute and irrevocable action to disband the PIRA we will have no confidence in their actions.
HELP US TELL THE TRUTH