In the full version of The Parachute Regimental Association letter (attached) to the Northern Ireland Office (NIO) is a key paragraph (see below) which puts into context the contribution of The Parachute Regiment during the Northern Ireland operations.
‘The Parachute Regiment was first deployed to Northern Ireland in October 1969, when 1 PARA conducted its initial tour in the Shankill Road and Falls Road, Belfast. The Regiment was to complete 41 operational tours between 1969 and 2004, five of which were two-year residential tours. During this period, the Regiment lost a total of 52 men killed, 16 in one attack by the Provisional Irish Republican Army (PIRA) in 1979 at Warrenpoint, near Newry. In addition, during those 35 years, many members of the Regiment were wounded and suffered life-changing injuries; some veterans still bear the physical and psychological scars from their service in the Province. In all, the three regular Battalions of the Parachute Regiment spent almost 25 years in the Province, deploying some 26,650 soldiers. Members of the Regiment were awarded 40 gallantry medals, 180 other honours and commendations and 60 Mentions in Despatches (MID).
The three battalions of The Parachute Regiment conducted seven tours in the key period between August 1969 and Operation MOTORMAN in November 1972, more than any other regiment. During this period, 1 PARA served 28 of these 39 months on operational duty in the Province.”
Lt Col (Retd) Paul Rodgers, has been appointed, full time in the specially established new post of RHQ PARA NI Legacy Officer. His details are below and he is available to be contacted at any time about NI matters. If you or, indeed a comrade are involved in the NI legacy issues and have not yet registered the fact with Paul, please do so ASAP.
PD Rodgers Civ: 01206817070