Where will the ‘home’ battalions end up?

THE decision of the British government to stand down what are referred to as ‘home’ battalions as part of a normalisation process in the Six Counties will only serve to swell the ranks of the loyalist paramilitaries.

This latest political move is only part of a grotesque dance between the shamed Provos and the British government as they both adjusted to the IRA decision to call off their campaign and surrender.

People seem to forget that the ‘home’ battalions of the Royal Irish Regiment are in fact the disgraced Ulster Defence Regiment (UDR) which was merged with the Royal Irish Regiment in 1992.

People also seem to forget that the UDR was nothing more than a mere front for former B Specials and the regiment has close links with the loyalist paramilitaries.

In a week that saw a moving ceremony marking the 30th anniversary of the massacre of the Miami Showband by some elements of the UDR, this is an insult to the Catholic and nationalist people of the Six Counties.

Where will these 3,000 part-time soldiers go? They have been trained by crown forces and the only organisations to gain will be loyalist paramilitaries.

Who will protect the Catholic and nationalist people from the still-armed loyalist gangs. The history of the Six Counties is littered with the bloody episodes of loyalist and security force links and criminal collusion. The leopard does not change its spots.

Joe Lynch

16 Beechgrove Ave

Ballinacurra Weston

Limerick

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