The last parade at St. Patrick’s Barracks

Marching on to 'the square' for the last time at Ballymena's St. Patrick's Barracks which is soon to be transformed.
Marching on to 'the square' for the last time at Ballymena's St. Patrick's Barracks which is soon to be transformed.

The last parade has been staged on the old parade ground at the former St. Patrick’s Barracks in Ballymena in advance of demolition teams moving in to transform the site.

On Saturday, former members of the Royal Irish Rangers, Ulster Defence Regiment, The Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers, The Royal Ulster Rifles and The Royal Irish Fusilers marched on to the drill square for the very last time in a poignant ceremony..

The barracks site was originally requisitioned by the War Office and put into use as the depot of the Royal Ulster Rifles, who had relocated from Victoria Barracks, as soon as they opened in 1937.

The barracks were also used by the United States Army during the Second World War.

St.Patrick’s then reverted to use as depot of the Royal Ulster Rifles after the War and became the regional centre for infantry training as the North Irish Brigade Depot in 1964.

Ballymena went on to be the home of the Royal Irish Rangers when it was formed in 1968 and of the Royal Irish Regiment when it was formed in 1992.

Poignant moment for ex-servicemen as they take part in the farewell parade at St. Patrick's Barracks.

Poignant moment for ex-servicemen as they take part in the farewell parade at St. Patrick's Barracks.

Following an improvement in the security situation, the barracks were closed in 2008 and the Imjin River Memorial, which had been located at the barracks, was moved to Belfast City Hall. The memorial commemorates Irish troops lost in the Battle of Chaegunghyon in January 1951 during the Korean War.

Back to nature - the entrance of what was the officers' mess at St. Patrick's Barracks.

Back to nature - the entrance of what was the officers' mess at St. Patrick's Barracks.

Memories - three ex-servicemen look out over the barracks after the 'farewell parade.'

Memories - three ex-servicemen look out over the barracks after the 'farewell parade.'

The final 'last post' at St. Patrick's Barracks.

The final 'last post' at St. Patrick's Barracks.

On the parade ground for the last time at St. Patrick's Barracks.

On the parade ground for the last time at St. Patrick's Barracks.