UDR memorial unveiled in Lisburn

Published Sunday, 12 June 2011
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A bronze memorial dedicated to the 50,000 men and women who served in the Ulster Defence Regiment has been unveiled in Lisburn.

The sculpture of a UDR soldier and a Greenfinch, created by John Sherlock and located in Market Square, was dedicated by former Church of Ireland Primate Lord Robin Eames.

"I think for most of us memory is the key," Lord Eames told UTV. "Memories of faces and courage and great integrity. And also, of course, the tragic loss of so many lives and their families."

There was an enthusiastic welcome for the former UDR soldiers who marched to the ceremony on Sunday afternoon.

The UDR Memorial Trust says the sculpture - which has been completely financed from UDR funds donated by the public - is intended as a lasting tribute to the courage and dedication to duty of those who served with the regiment.

"I would like to think that people would remember the UDR for helping to keep the peace at a very troubled time in our history and to look back on it and reflect and think about it in those terms," the chairman of the Trust, Wesley Duncan, said.

But recognising that not everyone would see it in those terms, he added: "It was unfortunate that there were members who did bad things and we're not trying to hide that.

"But what we would say is that there's almost 50,000 people who didn't do bad things - who did good things, who were ordinary decent people who wanted to do the best they could for their country."

The UDR was formed in Lisburn in April 1970. During the Troubles, 260 serving and former members were murdered and over 400 wounded.

© UTV News
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59 Comments
michael gerard condon in clearwater beach florida wrote (544 days ago):
everyone needs to grow up and stop acting like your twelve year olds. who the heck cares protestant ,catholic or aliens!lisburn is a lovely town.move on from the past for god sake. irish -american
Jules in Belfast wrote (1,150 days ago):
I was thrilled to see the footage of the memorial. Well done to all the fundraisers, and well done to Lisburn. Whether we like it or not history is just that, but people need to remember.
seamas in belfast wrote (1,223 days ago):
Mark O. That’s a much better example but I still don’t agree with you for the following reasons. The city has to be called something. It can’t not have a name whether it’s Londonderry or Derry. Lisburn doesn’t have to have a statue. The council didn’t have to erect a statue. Having decided they wanted to they could have chosen something neutral and all embracing and acceptable to everyone. Instead they chose something they knew would be unacceptable to Catholics. The name Derry has not been used officially for a very many years and therefore has no immediate historical baggage associated with it. The UDR however does have a very immediate and recent history for catholic people. Personally I’m not fussed what the city is called. I’m not familiar with Derry but I work with people from there and from what they tell me everyone, protestant or catholic calls the place Derry. That’s its everyday working title. There are examples around the world of cities with dual names. Why not compromise? Keep Londonderry as the official title but accept Derry as the commonly used de facto name on official documents applications etc. Btw take a look at the comment from Peter. He still can’t accept that as a catholic man I can discuss my security forces on equal terms with him. He still has the old mindset that reserves state matters including the Royal Family the police army etc to Protestants. They’re none of my business because I’m a Catholic. All I’m allowed to discuss is crime and terrorism because that’s what Catholics do. My politics are republican because I believe in a single unified republic on the island of Ireland. But I’m not in Sinn Fein or the IRA and am not hostage to their actions. My right to criticise the army or police is informed by my UK citizenship and cannot be diminished because a provo shot a soldier or blew up a shopping centre..
Mark O in Londonderry wrote (1,223 days ago):
seamas, but I'm on the right track. Derry City Council, as an offical boby, have an ongoing legal battle trying to get the London removed from Londonderry. Its been going on now for over 25 years. 1st they used the powers they have and changed the name of the Councill. Since then DCC have wasted tens of thousands of pounds on a failed bid to have the Cities name offically changed. Surely the Nationalist Councillors know full well that having London dropped from the Cities name will greatly offend and alienate the few thousand Protestants still living in the city? Yet they continue. I guess the Nationalist majority on Derry City Council just want the city to be known as an Irish Catholic City, Unionists not Welcome! My views on Derry City Council are similar to your views on Lisburn City Council. The simple solution would be, as the Mayor of Limavady has said, do away with councills and get private companies to oversee the Rates, Bins and Lights.
seamas in belfast wrote (1,224 days ago):
Mark O. You’re trying to parallel our experiences but you’re not comparing like with like. Lisburn Council is an official body which has a duty of service and care to all its ratepayers and their visitors. The people who erect republican signs have no official standing and no duty of care towards you. The unionist councillors in Lisburn know very well that erecting that statue labels Lisburn as a protestant town. No catholic is going to feel welcome looking at that and those councillors know that.
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