Royal Irish Regiment withdrawn from duty in North

As of today, there are no soldiers from the Royal Irish Regiment patrolling streets in the North.

As of today, there are no soldiers from the Royal Irish Regiment patrolling streets in the North.

It is part of a move to phase out the regiment's "home battalions" by next year.

For unionists, the RIR, formerly known as the Ulster Defence Regiment, was a powerful bulwark and defence against the IRA.

For nationalists, they were the descendents of the Black and Tans and B-Specials, known as the UDR by day and the UVF by night.

Recruited almost exclusively from the Protestant community, the regiment was fiercely resisted by both the SDLP and Sinn Féin.

Some unionists claim it has served its purpose with honour, and others are furious that its members are being laid off.

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