Public Memorial in Lisburn to the Ulster Defence Regiment
The Ulster Defence Regiment was formed on 1st April 1970, and over the years, more than 50,000 men and women from all walks of life served in its ranks. In all, 260 serving and former members were killed, and over 400 wounded, many of them off-duty, at their homes or workplaces.
The trustees of the UDR Memorial Trust felt it appropriate that a suitable memorial be erected in memory of all those men, and women, who served in the Regiment in both a part- time and a full-time capacity.
This significant and impressive piece of public art is intended to be a ﬁtting tribute to their courage and dedication to duty, as well as a recognition of the sacrifice and stress which their service brought to their families.
Since 2005, the Trustees of the UDR Benevolent Fund, and all other parties in the project, have approached this important historical memorial with all due diligence, integrity and sensitivity.
The Regiment was originally formed in Lisburn, and it is therefore most appropriate and historically correct that the Memorial is being erected there. The trustees are very grateful that Lisburn City Council has leased the small piece of land for the Memorial to be erected in Market Square. This proposal to lease the site for a UDR memorial was the subject of an equality impact assessment by the Council, and received overwhelming approval.
The sculpture is designed in the classic tradition of public military memorials, as already seen elsewhere in Lisburn, throughout Northern Ireland, the British Isles and the western world.
In terms of artistic creativity and impact, we feel it ranks among the best of its genre. As regards quality and technical production it is of the highest order.
It features a UDR Soldier and Greenﬁnch, depicted operating a normal vehicle checkpoint… one of the most mundane and “everyday” duties of UDR soldiers during the troubles.
The purpose of the vehicle “check-point” or “road-block” was for the reassurance and protection of the general public. It was one of the most familiar sights on our roads for over 30 years…and became almost a part of the daily landscape.
The sculptor took this everyday scene and presents it as an achieved artistic icon which happily is now a part of our history.
The Memorial Trustees deliberately chose this familiar scene from our troubled past to ensure that the memorial was not only appropriate, but non-threatening in any way.
The actual bronze sculpture of the UDR soldier and Greenfinch will be one and a half times life-size…about 9ft high. They will be positioned on a 10ft high plinth, so that, when viewed from the ground, they will appear smaller… approximately life-size. The overall sculpture and plinth are in carefully considered proportion to the general dimensions of the site and the context of Market Square.
The entire project has made no demand whatsoever on the public purse. The complete cost and maintenance of the memorial will be sourced from UDR charity funds, supplemented by public appeal. The UDR Memorial Trust is now seeking that support from the public and from former serving soldiers in raising funds towards the Memorial.
The target date for the unveiling and dedication of the Memorial is Summer 2011, and more information will be made available in due course.
Please send an email with your postal address for a copy of the brochure cf our fund-raising effort
For further details contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Some reports and cropped/ edited photos have given readers the wholly incorrect impression that the memorial will somehow be over-powering, threatening or offensive.
Any suggestion that this piece of sculpture could be interpreted as, or is designed to be threatening or intimidating is completely absurd.
As for the suggestion that a memorial would be fine if it were behind closed doors, or in a barracks, the 50,000 men and women who served in the UDR were on public duty, on the public roads, and on the public payroll, so it is entirely appropriate that their memorial is public.