Looking back... Ulster Defence Regiment base set to close in Ballyclare

editorial image

Plans were announced for the closure of Ballyclare UDR base in April 1980.

Battalion headquarters in Antrim confirmed that the base in Ballyclare was no longer economical to keep open and every member of the regiment serving in Ballyclare was to be offered an alternative post either in Carrick or Antrim.

The decision was set to be fought by local councillors.

An emergency meeting was held by local DUP representatives and a petition was due to be circulated.

Cllr George Herron said: “All shops in the area will be circulated with the petition and we hope to set up a caravan in Ballyclare to try and get 100 per cent support.

“If the UDR base in Ballyclare closes there will be a number of resignations. Officers are only fooling themselves if they think the local UDR members will take posts elsewhere.”

Cllr George Jones said the reasons to close the Ballyclare base were eyewash and he added that it would be a disaster if the company is disbanded.

The Ballyclare company was established in 1972 and was part of 9 UDR, under the command of Lt/Col Anthony Cornick.