Operation BANNER, Northern Ireland

Thursday, 14 August, 1969 - Tuesday, 31 July, 2007

Operation BANNER was the United Kingdom's military operation in Northern Ireland that began on 14 August 1969 and ended on 31 July 2007. The first deployment was in response to a request from the government of Northern Ireland. Following the widespread public disorder earlier in 1969, the deployment was to support the Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC)*. The 1970s saw the number deployed peak at some 21,000 with units undertaking what were known as emergency roulement tours from bases in Great Britain and the Federal Republic of (West) Germany. Following the Hunt Report, the new Ulster Defence Regiment (UDR) was raised and became the Home Service battalions of The Royal Irish Regiment when it merged with The Royal Irish Rangers to form The Royal Irish Regiment on 1 July 1992.

Political negotiations eventually led to the operation being gradually scaled down until eventually all roulement units were withdrawn and Op BANNER ceased in 2007.

On 12 April 2000, the RUC was awarded the George Cross by HM The Queen and, thereafter, it’s title includes the post-nominal GC.