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Royal Irish Regiment

Volume 404: debated on Wednesday 7 May 2003

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To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will make a statement on the future role of the Royal Irish Regiment. [110906]

The Royal Irish Regiment comprises three Home Service Battalions, the General Service Battalion which has been serving in Iraq, and a TA Battalion.Until there is agreement on security normalisation in Northern Ireland, it would be premature to come to any conclusions on the final composition of the Northern Ireland garrison. Current planning is only addressing the implications of security normalisation for the Home Service battalions. The role of the Home Service element is Military Aid to the Civil Power; as the security environment improves we expect the need for this role will decline.