A local Royal Irish Reservist said he was shocked and privileged to receive his Shamrock ahead of the 2nd Battalion RIR annual ‘Presentation of Shamrock’ on Saturday at Thiepval Barracks.
Sgt Ricky Young from Ballymena was amongst a trio of soldiers who will be unable to attend due to work commitments.
Sergeant Young, who has served in Afghanistan and is part of B ‘Rifles’ Company in Abbottscroft and Lowfield Camp, Ballymena, said; “It was a great privilege to receive my Shamrock in front of the battalion at the weekend. I was not expecting it and it really was a surprise.
“I had mentioned to my OC that this would be the first parade I will have missed in over 10 years and when the Regimental Sergeant Major called me to step forward so the Commanding Officer could present me with my shamrock; it was a shock.”
“The battalion is one big family and it’s great when you mention something in passing it can be picked up by the Commanding Officer and acted on. That’s why we are always looking for the right people from all across the community who want to be part of something big”
Captain Paul McFarland MC the Battalion Adjutant added; “St Patrick’s Day is a very special day in our history and one we ensure tradition is followed as it stems a message received by Queen Victoria in March 1900 where soldiers from our antecedent Regiment the Royal Irish Fusiliers saw active service in the Boer War (1899–1902) and fought with valor.”
Capt McFarland continued; “We are always looking for young people who are generally fit and keen to succeed. We will do the rest including training, mentoring and development, and with the new remuneration packages on offer a part time reserve career is offering more than just an exciting and dynamic role.”
Anyone seeking more information can telephone or text INFO to 07920 232380; or for more information search “Army Reserve” and go to Army Reserve at www.army.mod.uk