The Royal Irish Regiment celebrated St Patrick’s Day in Kabul with parades, shamrock, and plenty of craic.
Shamrock from County Armagh was flown out to Afghanistan for the occasion.
The unit held three separate events with a busy programme of activities - including early morning soda farls and tea piped around the accommodation (the usual top up of whisky couldn’t be added this time), the traditional ‘chariot race’ held this year in New Kabul Compound (the Sergeants’ Mess coming out on top due to the disqualification of everyone else), and the presentation of shamrock to all
officers, soldiers, and guests in theatre.
Having enjoyed the craic and traditions of our Regimental family, it was then back to work, continuing with an ongoing contribution to the NATO support mission in Afghanistan.
The Royal Irish Regiment – St Patricks Day
The Shamrock Presentation parade is a highlight of The Royal Irish Regiment’s year and originates back to the turn of the 20th century when Queen Victoria instructed all ranks of her Irish Regiments to wear, as a distinction, a sprig of shamrock in their head dress, to commemorate the gallantry of her Irish soldiers during the Boer War in South Africa.
On 5 March 1900, after news of the particularly bloody Boer War battle, Queen Victoria telegraphed the following message to her victorious troops, “I have heard with the deepest concern of the heavy losses sustained by my brave Irish soldiers.”
On 14 March 1900 Queen Victoria issued the following instruction: “Her Majesty the Queen is pleased to order that in future, upon Saint Patrick’s Day, all ranks of her Irish Regiments shall wear, as a distinction, a sprig of shamrock in their head dress, to commemorate the gallantry of her Irish soldiers during the recent battles in South Africa.”