A good question with a sadly familiar answer!

Statue of UDR Soldier and ‘Greenfinch’ in Lisburn city centre.

A call has been made for all local councils in Northern Ireland to ‘honour’ the 50th anniversary of the female UDR soldiers, or Greenfinches, but Sinn Fein/IRA has vetoed the call.

DUP leader Sir Jeffrey Donaldson, who is also President of the Ulster Defence Regiment Association, has challenged Sinn Fein to justify how it can veto a public honour for them at Armagh Craigavon and Craigavon (ABC) Borough Council when republicans “glorify and eulogise those who set out to murder women”.

197 members of the regiment were killed both on and off duty, including four women (Greenfinches), as well as over 60 killed after leaving the Regiment. Over 400 were seriously wounded and many still continue to suffer both psychologically and physically as a result of their service.

In 2006, when Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II, came to Belfast to present the Conspicuous Gallantry Cross to The Ulster Defence Regiment, she said that the contribution of the Regiment to peace and stability within Northern Ireland had been unique and had required ‘uncommon courage and conviction’.

The cap badge of the regiment

Her Majesty reflected that no challenge faced by The Ulster Defence Regiment went unmet, whatever the personal cost.

The Victoria Cross is the only higher combat gallantry award presented by the United Kingdom

Sir Jeffrey was speaking after Sinn Fein blocked a motion from UUP Alderman Glenn Barr to honour the female UDR soldiers at the local authority last month.

The formation of the female UDR soldiers, or Greenfinches, in 1973 was the first case of complete integration of men and women in a British military unit and it proved to be a very successful model. The initial recruitment drive attracted over 530 applications from women.

Once again the unremitting and relentless hatred of all things British is seen on the part of Sinn Fein/IRA. Its members glory in the cowardly deeds of those who waited in ambush to shoot down and murder those dedicated to offering protection to civilians.

The Conspicuous Gallantry Cross (CGC) is a second level military decoration of the British Armed Forces.

Not content with that, these republican ‘heroes’ slaughtered men and women and children during to their bombing campaign and yet Sinn Fein/IRA leaders, Mary Lou McDonald and her co-celebrant, Michelle O’Neill, who wish the world to see them as entirely decent, upright, morally high-minded politicians, seeking only the welfare of one and all, are at the forefront of those ‘hero-worshipping’ the degenerate rabble that was the IRA!

I have often consider the implacable spirit of the Irish republican movement to be the same that was manifested in the Philistines of old and in the modern Palestinian, with whom the IRA terrorists had close links.

Two Scriptures illustrate what I mean.

“And Samuel took a sucking lamb, and offered it for a burnt offering wholly unto the LORD: and Samuel cried unto the LORD for Israel; and the LORD heard him. And as Samuel was offering up the burnt offering, the Philistines drew near to battle against Israel: but the LORD thundered with a great thunder on that day upon the Philistines, and discomfited them; and they were smitten before Israel,” 1 Samuel 7:9-10.

But when the Philistines heard that they had anointed David king over Israel, all the Philistines came up to seek David; and David heard of it, and went down to the hold. The Philistines also came and spread themselves in the valley of Rephaim. And David enquired of the LORD, saying, Shall I go up to the Philistines? wilt thou deliver them into mine hand? And the LORD said unto David, Go up: for I will doubtless deliver the Philistines into thine hand. And David came to Baalperazim, and David smote them there, and said, The LORD hath broken forth upon mine enemies before me, as the breach of waters. Therefore he called the name of that place Baalperazim. And there they left their images, and David and his men burned them.

And the Philistines came up yet again, and spread themselves in the valley of Rephaim. And when David enquired of the LORD, he said, Thou shalt not go up; but fetch a compass behind them, and come upon them over against the mulberry trees. And let it be, when thou hearest the sound of a going in the tops of the mulberry trees, that then thou shalt bestir thyself: for then shall the LORD go out before thee, to smite the host of the Philistines. And David did so, as the LORD had commanded him; and smote the Philistines from Geba until thou come to Gazer,” 2 Samuel 5:17-25.

Note what stirred the Philistines to attack – 1. the offering of the lamb, 2. the crowning of David as king.

Those two things symbolise that which has ever motivated the enemies of God to attack any who have links with the truth of God. Protestant Ulster may have drifted away from its former allegiance to God and His truth but there is still something of the old loyalty to the gospel here and it is that adherence to the message of salvation by the blood of the Lamb and the sovereign rights of King Jesus, great David’s greater son, for the kindred spirit of hatred, born in hell and manifested amongst the enemies of Israel in ancient times and evident still today in the Middle East, to be stirred up to ruthlessness here in this island over the centuries.

Sadly, it is to be noted that while the leader of the DUP can obviously see the hypocritical depravity of Sinn Fein/IRA, he is happy to maintain in a coalition with this terrorist-supporting party!


Rev Ivan Foster (Rtd)

17th February, 2023