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The Ulster Defence Regiment - Britain's murder Regiment

British soldiers at the site of the Miami Showband massacre, July 31, 1975

The Ulster Defence Regiment, the loyalist militia that determined British military policy in Northern Ireland

Northern Ireland is not mentioned in the British parliament, there are no British Labour, British Conservative of Liberal Democrat political parties in Northern Ireland.

This writer met some British army officers at a road race in Northern Ireland and explained exasperatingly how an individual could be from the north of Ireland – Letterkenny, Co Donegal - yet not be from Northern Ireland in the original nine county Ulster. The invisible border rankled and caused confusion. British soldiers, quite often from Presbyterian Scotland did not serve in Northern Ireland impartially. A female Northern Ireland Secretary did not know Catholics voted for Nationalist political parties Sinn Fein, SDLP, Alliance and Protestant voters voted for Unionist parties this reflects both the dire and poor education in British second level schools. Northern Ireland is a political slum. No one cares about Northern Ireland which costs the British government £11 billion annually. People 'exist' in Northern Ireland. 40% of the population declare no religion and are potential Alliance voters. The Unionist parties are on ‘self destruct’ with a 'Poots' a day long First Minister and refusing to take their seats.

The UDR, at one time the largest infantry regiment in the British army, was praised by British prime ministers and praised by royalty. The UDR formed April 1, 1970, from the discredited sectarian B Specials was doomed from its inception. The UDR, allied to the protestant community, was integrated into the British Army yet was separated from it organically and geographically. A classic militia regiment it was a force used by the British empire used as local troops for the suppression of ‘the colonies’.

A nationalist encountering a UDR roadblock ended as hostile, brutal and quite often fatal. The Miami Showband were stopped by members of the Glennane gang, serving but off duty UDR, and members of the Ulster Volunteer Force – UVF who murdered 3 band members and seriously wounding 2. The British government knew about and encouraged extensive collusion with loyalist paramilitaries. Weapon losses were commonplace and again known to the British government and to the British Under Secretary of State.

In 1970 infiltration by far-right groups of the police and army in England and the US and further afield was commonplace. The UDR was the single best source of weapons for loyalist gangs, in particular modern weapons. Files from the Northern Ireland Office (NIO) 1974confirmed it was in direct contact with loyalist gangs on the future direction or otherwise of the UDR. In 2021 the NIO was meeting loyalist extremist groups to discuss the UKEXIT, glaring, alarming collusion.

The Belfast UVF included the Shankill Butchers one of whom was serving in the UDR with at least 120 former or serving UDR members in prison for serious crimes including 17 for murder.

The regiment was disbanded 30 years ago with the British Dirty War including the role of the UDR which is now being revealed from British National Archives.

The Dirty War by Martin Dillon Arrow Books 1991 describes the whole sorry murderous mess.


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