Troopers ‘proud’ of Freedom honour

B (North Irish Horse) Squadron The Scottish and North Irish Yeomanry on parade in Carrickfergus. INCT 05-008-PSB
B (North Irish Horse) Squadron The Scottish and North Irish Yeomanry on parade in Carrickfergus. INCT 05-008-PSB

Mid and East Antrim Borough Council has conferred its first ever Freedom of the Borough on B (North Irish Horse) Squadron, The Scottish and North Irish Yeomanry.

During today’s ceremony, council members witnessed the historic reading of the Resolution and the presentation of the Certificate of Election and Admission as Honorary Burgesses to the squadron.

The Mayor of Mid and East Antrim Borough Council, Councillor Billy Ashe presents the certificate of the Freedom of the Borough to Colonel Dr Melfort, OBE, Regimental Honorary Colonel The Scottish and North Irish Yeomanry, included are Anne Donaghy, chief executive MEA, Gordon Lyons MLA and the Deputy Mayor, Councillor Timothy Gaston. INCT 05-010-PSB

The Mayor of Mid and East Antrim Borough Council, Councillor Billy Ashe presents the certificate of the Freedom of the Borough to Colonel Dr Melfort, OBE, Regimental Honorary Colonel The Scottish and North Irish Yeomanry, included are Anne Donaghy, chief executive MEA, Gordon Lyons MLA and the Deputy Mayor, Councillor Timothy Gaston. INCT 05-010-PSB

Local soldiers then paraded alongside their comrades from across the Central Belt of Scotland.

Guest of honour was the Lord Lieutenant for Country Antrim, Joan Christie OBE, who took the salute at the parade and march-past following the official ceremony.

The parade formed in Antrim Street and proceeded along Marine Highway to Quay Road, Albert Road and Lancasterian Street before returning to Carrickfergus Civic Centre for a reception and civic dinner.

Members of the public were able to view the parade along Marine Highway and at other points in Carrickfergus.

Major Mark Gannon, Officer Commanding B (North Irish Horse) Squadron The Scottish and North Irish Yeomanry said the troopers are all proud of the honour.

“The history and contribution of the North Irish Horse throughout two wars and in the present age has been extraordinary,” he added.

“As a statement of commitment in recent years, there have been no less than 55 individual deployments since 2001 to roles in the Balkans, Iraq and Afghanistan. This is from a Squadron that numbered no more than seventy personnel.

“Presently, the Squadron is expanding in both Belfast and Coleraine with an increased manning of over one hundred and growing further still. This is a symptom of the new Light Cavalry role and being part of the ever distinctive Scottish and North Irish Yeomanry Regiment.”