1 R IRISH on Op BANNER

Event
Wednesday, September 21, 1988 - Tuesday, February 28, 1989

On 21 September 1988, the 1st Battalion The Royal Irish Rangers became the first Irish infantry battalion to be deployed on Operation BANNER in Northern Ireland.

The Battalion deployed from Osnabruck, West Germany, where it was a mechanised infantry battalion, to 19 different locations in Armagh, South Tyrone and Fermanagh.

The Battalion’s tactical headquarters was based in Lisnaskea with B and D (based on Support Company) Companies and two part time UDR (Ulster Defence Regiment) companies under command. B Company headquarters and its 5 Platoon were also based in Lisnaskea with 6 and 7 Platoons deployed out to Newtownbutler and Rosslea. D Company was located in Clogher.

B and D Companies were responsible for manning seven PCVPs (Permanent Vehicle Check Points). The 1 R IRISH Echelon provided logistic support from St Angelo Camp near Enniskillen in County Fermanagh.

Two companies were detached; A Company to Middletown, under command of the 3rd Battalion The Queens Regiment, with its 3 Platoon deployed to Keady and C Company, under command 4 UDR, rotating through Belleek, Kinawley, Belcoo, Garrison and Derrylin and manning PVCPs at Gortmullen, Mullan Bridge and Rosscor Bridge.

Major incidents included:

23 Sep: Mortar attack on D Company’s 6 Platoon in RUC Newtownbutler.
10 Oct: Find of timer device in wood during routine clearance.
18 Oct: Find of 1,000 lbs of homemade explosives on 18/19.
29 Oct: Mortar attack on RUC Rosslea.
4 Nov: Find of 1,600lbs of homemade explosives.
2 Dec: C Company’s 11 Platoon patrol in Belleek engaged by two terrorists who fired 46 rounds.
3 Dec: Attempted mortar attack on D Company at Clogher.