Irish Guards march through city.
It was cold, wet and blustery on Saturday 2nd February 2008. However the weather had somewhat brightened up for the main event of the day.
Following a tour of Duty in Iraq; More than 200 Irish Guardsmen marched through the City Centre. Members and friends from the RSA Liverpool Branch had joined hundreds of well wishers and supporters. The traffic was halted as spectators applauded the marching troops to show their support and to offer a “Scouse” welcome.
On April 1 2000, on the centenary of the regiment, the city of Liverpool honoured the Irish Guards in bestowing the Freedom of Liverpool. Lieutenant Colonel Michael O’Dwyer, commanding Officer of the 1st Battalion Irish Guards, said: “It is a great honour for the Irish Guards to exercise our Freedom of Liverpool in this historic and memorable year for Liverpool. “It is made all the more special because of the tremendous support given to the battalion from the people of Liverpool during our tour in Iraq. This is an ideal way for us to say thank you.”
Following a Service at the Anglican Cathedral before parading along Lime Street with an “eyes left” at St George’s Hall. The Irish Guards, wearing the Queen’s and Regimental colours were joined by MP for Halton and veterans minister Derek Twigg Also on parade were Cadets of the affiliated Army Cadets and members of the Irish Guards Association. Among the parade were three brothers from Netherley, Liverpool, Mick Hogan, 37, James, 32 and Peter, 26.
On arrival at St John’s Memorial Gardens, Major General Sir Sebastian Roberts, of the Irish Guards, unveiled a new tablet stone memorial for fallen comrades before a civic reception was then held at St George’s Hall. Liverpool’s Lord Mayor, Councillor Paul Clark, said: “I’m delighted the Irish Guards marched past St George’s Hall and that they are now able to honour all those who have lost their lives at the new memorial stone. The Irish Guards have very close links to Liverpool and I’m proud to welcome the men who have represented this country in Iraq to try and help create a safer and more just world. They have a very tough but essential role. I think I speak on behalf of everyone in the city in thanking them for their brave and selfless work.”
On April 1 1900, under Queen Victoria’s direction, Army Order 77 came into effect, raising the Irish Guards. The Irish Guards, known affectionately as “The Micks”. Many of the original recruits came from the Irish community living in Liverpool.
Following the parade; it was only right and proper for friends and members of the RSA to join members of the Irish Guards Association in Dr Duncan’s for a well earned dram or two.
Yet again another good time was had by all.