Freedom of the Borough - The Irish Guards
The Freedom of the Borough is the highest honour that a Council can bestow and is an expression of the high esteem in which recipients are held by the Council and the people of the area.
The Council is delighted and proud that this year the Freedom of the Borough will be awarded to The Irish Guards. This award is in recognition of their exceptional service, dedication and courage. It reflects the high appreciation of the long, honourable and close association existing between Ards and North Down and the regiment.
The Irish Guards is one of the Foot Guards regiments of the British Army and is part of the Guards Division. On this Platinum Jubilee year their Colonel, His Royal Highness the Duke of Cambridge, will present them with new colours which will be paraded for the first time at the Trooping the Colour ceremony in early June 2022.
To mark this auspicious occasion, the Council will host a Conferment Ceremony, which is to take place on Friday 24 June . This will be followed on Saturday 25 June, by a Parade and Service open to the public, which will take place in Newtownards. In addition, the Regimental Band of the Irish Guards will be performing a static musical display at the McKee Clock in Bangor on Friday 24 June from 1800hrs – 1845hrs. The Regimental Band will play an array of music, something for all ages to enjoy.
The parade on Saturday will be led by the Irish Guards’ Mascot, Turlough Mór, who is known as Seamus to his colleagues. It will consist of the Regimental Band of the Irish Guards as well as the Drums and Pipes of the 1st Battalion Irish Guards, with approximately 130 personnel in total, including 76 band members. They will march from Castle Street to Conway Square** at 11am on Saturday. A drumhead service will take place in Conway Square before the Irish Guards’ return parade to Castle Street.
The Parade route has now been confirmed for Saturday:
Parade Route (11am): Castle Street - High Street – Conway Square
Parade Route ((After Drumhead Service): Conway Square – High Street – Mill Street – Gibson's Lane – Regent Street – Frances Street – Castle Place – High Street – South Street – Court Street – Old Cross Street – Castle Street
This is only the second time the Freedom of the Borough has been awarded since Ards and North Down Borough Council was established in 2015, and only the 35th occasion since the first conferral in the area, 92 years ago in 1930.
We look forward to you joining us for this wonderful celebration in honour of The Irish Guards.
** Please note, the weekly Newtownards Market will not take place on Saturday 25 June due to the Drumhead Service taking place in Conway Square.