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Farewell to the UDR:1970-1992

From July 1 1992 the Ulster Defence Regiment will have ceased to exist. The UDR will have been amalgamated with the Royal Irish Rangers which will also disband to form the new Royal Irish Regiment. Oddly enough, a similar step was advocated by Ulster Nation in our document. Alternative Ulster. In our case, we didn't want any kind or 'Irish regiment' - royal or otherwise - but an Ulster citizens' army.

In May a stained glass window was unveiled in Belfast City Hall to the memory of the numerous UDR members who died at the hands of the IRA since the regiment's formation in 1970. It is truly a beautiful and fitting memorial to their bravery in the face of the IRA's war of attrition. However, our regard for the sacrifice and bravery of the UDR's fallen ought not to blind us to the regiment's shortcomings.  The sad fact is that the UDR served no useful purpose in the defence of Ulster. This is no reflection on its members who were unable to take any real steps to defeat the IRA. In fact they became a readily available source of soft targets for Provo death squads.

Regular British soldiers could generally only be attacked while on duty and heavily armed. In contrast. UDR members lived and worked in the community and were almost always attacked when at home or at work and unarmed. From the viewpoint of the cynical Anglo-British State, the lives of UDR 'Irishmen' were much more expendable than those of British soldiers serving in Ulster. Few people in Great Britain would give a damn about them. The killing of a UDR man would scarcely rate a mention on News at Ten or two lines on an inside page of a newspaper. The UDR was thus useful to both the Bnts and the IRA for the same reason

It is our view that there is no argument for maintaining the Ulster Defence Regiment. Do we really want to keep up a regiment of professional targets? However, we are not convinced that the new Royal Irish Regiment will fare any better. This will become clear in the nevi regiment's first twelve months. Our view that a genuine Ulster citizens' army. backed up by a citizens' militia, is necessary has not changed.

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