TA soldiers given freedom of Castlereagh

Published Saturday, 25 May 2013
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Territorial Army soldiers, who support troops in Afghanistan, have been awarded the freedom of Castlereagh.

TA soldiers given freedom of Castlereagh
Members of the Territorial Army marched in Castlereagh. (© UTV)

In a ceremony on Saturday, the council conferred the honour on 152 (Ulster) Transport Regiment Royal Logistic Corps and 152 Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers Workshops.

Some of the members who marched through the streets of Castlereagh at the weekend have returned from service in Afghanistan.

The 152 regiment has strong links with Castlereagh, and Lieutenant Colonel Burgess said they were delighted to receive the freedom.

He explained: "It's not something that happens very often, it's a fairly unique experience and our guys and girls, as volunteer reservists in the Territorial Army, join the Territorial Army to serve their country where they can.

He added: "Many of the people on parade have recently returned from operations in Afghanistan and this is one way that their really delighted to say the community recognising that commitment that the armed forces has to society here."

We are clearly very much part of the community and it's really humbling that one of the boroughs here has felt able to bestow a really great honour on us.

Lieutenant Colonel Burgess

First Minister Peter Robinson was among those at the ceremony paying tribute to the work done by the troops. He said it was especially poignant following the death of Drummer Lee Rigby, who was murdered in London on Wednesday.

"I've been out in Afghanistan, I've seen the job that these people do and they do deserve much more than the recognition that we can give them.

He added: "These men are heroes and they stand in our place in theatres of war, and when they come back they might expect to have some peace and stability and enjoy life.

"Yet they face ever present threat and the dreadful events of the last week in London draw to our attention the fact that these men are always on duty and always serving."

The regiment was presented with a certificate formally acknowledging their status as Freeman of the Borough, and given specially commissioned medallions.

Mayor of Castlereagh, Alderman Michael Henderson MBE, said they were delighted to publicly recognise the regiment's achievements of supporting the regular army.

"These are people who work during the day in normal jobs, give that up and then go out and help defend our country and also support our security forces.

He explained: "This is something they give up their time to do and their family time as well. They can be away for six months at a time."

© UTV News
Comments Comments
truth seeker in were the truth lies wrote (612 days ago):
tommy it looks as if you can't c past paramilitaries in northern Ireland.why you keep bringing it up I don't know.these troop s are been called heroes for what they did in Afghanistan.then I'm sorry what the NATO troops do out there under US command doesn't create heroes.quite the opposite.empire building by the US and why British troops die so that the UK can grasp onto uncle Sam s tail or a one way special relationship is beyond me.
Belfast in Belfast wrote (613 days ago):
Well done lads ...... Well deserved
Tommy Atkins in London, England wrote (613 days ago):
Truth seeked Casual and simplistic to go back 70 or 100 years . Remember that this freedom of Castlereagh is a "one of" So is it also casual and simplistic to parade, "Every Year" in rememberance of those who were in a battle of the Boyne in 1690 and those who were in the Eater rising 1916. Perhaps these latter two are N Irelands preferred true heros
truth seeker in were the truth lies wrote (613 days ago):
tommy I think your been very casual or simplistic when you start going back 70 or almost 100 years or so.I didn't in original comment.as for northern Ireland never mentioned that ether.but today's armed campaign s are nothing like the men who stood up to tyranny in ww1 and 2.them it was fight occupation today it's occupying Sovereign states.but your comment tommy was exactly what I wanted people to think about. misinformed and useless information from the propaganda machine to justify saying who s heroes and who s not just to influence public opinion.R I P that poor young service man tho.
Belfast in Belfast wrote (614 days ago):
Well said Tommy.
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