This morning Saturday 8th October, I spent an hour or so in my hometown of Newtownards.
The 1st Battalion of the Irish Guards were given a civic reception by the Mayor of Ards and his fellow Councillors. Huge crowds turned out for Parade and Church Service - The Service was held at St. Marks Church of Ireland, then followed the parade and march pass by the flute, pipes and drums of the Battalion Band and Officers and Men of the Irish Guards. The Mayor of Ards and the Lord Lieutenant of Co. Down took the salute.
It is wonderful to live in a democracy where - what the majority of the community wants happens, where all the citizens of the Borough of Ards can pay respect to 'Our Troops' as they return from active service serving Her Majesty's Armed Forces.