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  • Writer's pictureLove Ballymena

Countdown is on to the historic Laying up of Colours ceremony and parade in Ballymena

Soldiers of the Royal Irish Regiment on parade

With just one week to go to the historic Laying up of Colours ceremony and parade in Ballymena, Mid and East Antrim Borough Council is encouraging residents from across the Borough and beyond to join what promises to be a momentous day marking the town’s historic links to The Royal Irish Regiment.


Taking place on Saturday 2 September from 10am onwards, the event marks the formal Laying up of old Colours from the 1st Battalion The Royal Irish Regiment and will be the ceremonial showpiece, marking the Regiment’s strong ties with the area for more than 60 years, prior to the closure of St Patrick’s Barracks.



At 11am, there will be a parade through the town centre featuring 300 current service personnel, veterans and cadets.


The Band of The Royal Irish Regiment, the Bugles, Pipes and Drums of both battalions, Campbell College Pipes and Drums and the Regimental Mascot will be on parade, which will also feature the Old and New Colours of the Regiments’ 1st Battalion, currently stationed in Shropshire.



Guards will be formed from the 1st and 2nd Battalions, the regimental associations and affiliated cadet battalions and detachments.


Guards from Regiment’s 1st and 2nd Battalions, as well as Cadets and Regimental Association veterans, will march with the colours on parade.


An Irish Wolfhound, Mascot of The Royal Irish Regiment.

An Irish Wolfhound, Mascot of The Royal Irish Regiment.


Previously, the Regiment was bestowed the Freedom of the Borough, and several thousand spectators are expected to be in attendance for the parade in its honour.


Following the parade there will be a civic service at St Patrick’s Church where the Colours will be laid up.


There will also be a range of free children’s entertainment on the day including acoustic singers, petting farm, face painters & glitter tattoo artists, arts & crafts, roaming performers and balloon modellers.



Town centre car parks are operating as normal apart from Church Street 2 which is closed to the public.


Please note, there will be no on-street parking on Wellington Street, Church Street or Mill Street.

The best place to view the parade is on Wellington Street and Church Street between 11am and 12noon.



More details can be found at:


 

Infantry colours are among the most sacred symbols of the British Army. These flags embody the honour, spirit and heritage of the Regiment.

 

British infantry regiments usually have two colours, collectively called a stand. The King's or Queen’s Colour is typically a Union flag with the regiment's unique insignia in the centre. It reminds all ranks of their loyalty and duty to their sovereign. The Regimental Colour is a flag of a single colour. Both Colours are adorned with ancient devices and battle honours awarded to the Regiment and its antecedents.

 

The regimental motto on the Regimental Colour is Faugh a Ballagh’, a transliteration of the Irish (Gaeilge) battle cry, - Fág a’Bealach, meaning –

Clear the Way!

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