The 54th anniversary of the Royal Military Police (RMP) in Lisburn has been marked by Lisburn City Council.
The Mayor of Lisburn, Councillor Margaret Tolerton, made a presentation to Captain Boyd, second in Command of local RMP group, 174 Provost Comp, as a token of the Council’s support for the Royal Military Police, during a reception.
The reception was attended by serving officers of the Royal Military Police (RMP), Royal Military Police Association members, elected members and the Station Commander of Thiepval Barracks Lieutenant Colonel Nic Ilic.
It is believed the RMP first arrived in Northern Ireland prior to the First World War with 1959 being the first recorded instance of it being based in Lisburn.
Councillor Tolerton said: “At the height of ‘The Troubles’ over 750 RMP personnel were deployed to support the freedom of movement and personal liberty of the people of Northern Ireland.
“The invaluable support of these personnel to the RUC and the Army helped to secure convictions for murder, possession of illegal weapons and ammunition, hijackings and kidnappings.”
She continued: “In today’s new era I am thankful that we are currently in a time of peace and that there is a reduced need for the Army and the RMP to support our civilian police service, the PSNI. The continued presence of both organisations in Lisburn is welcomed as the relationship between the Council and Thiepval Barracks is strong and long may this continue in our garrison city.”
Over the years the name of the Company has changed but its role has remained constant – military and civilian investigations, arrests, searches and response to 999 emergency calls.
Councillor Pat Catney, Chairman of the Council’s Corporate Services Committee, added: “It is an honour to be able to mark the dedicated service of the RMP to the citizens of Lisburn and Northern Ireland. During their service many of the RMP Officers were accompanied by their families and they each contributed to the local community, which demonstrates the commitment of Lisburn people to live in a peaceful society.”
Twenty-nine years ago, the Royal Military Police Association was established in Thiepval Barracks and has over 70 ex members of the RMP who can maintain their links with serving members and socialise with old acquaintances.