03/03/2010

Clonaver Troops Guard Pope In Cyprus

Part-time signallers from east Belfast are expected to be a temporary 'Swiss Guard' later this year.

TA Soldiers from Northern Ireland's 40 (Ulster) Signals Regiment are to provide security for the Pope during an official visit to Cyprus later this year.

A unit made up of regular and reserve troops are due to deploy to the Mediterranean island as part of the United Nations Peacekeeping Force next month.

They will be based in the capital city of Nicosia and are expected to play a major role in the two-day tour of the island by Pope Benedict XVI.

It will mark the first time soldiers from Northern Ireland have guarded a Pope.

The soldiers, who are normally based at Clonaver Park off the Holywood Road, are being sent to Cyprus as part of Operation Tosca to patrol a buffer zone known as the 'Green Line' which runs through Nicosia following the Turkish invasion in 1974.

They are there to prevent a resurgence of fighting between Greeks and Turks.

Other sections of the Green Line are currently patrolled by Argentinian and Eastern European soldiers.

Colonel Stuart McConnell, the CO, said his soldiers were culturally and politically very highly trained and would be approaching the deployment with a very professional outlook.

See: Hot Posting For TA Signals

Related Northern Ireland News Stories
Click here for the latest headlines.

21 February 2024
Irish Govt Commits To Invest €800m In Northern Ireland
The announcement of an €800 million (£685m) investment in Northern Ireland by the Irish Government has been welcomed as a "significant contribution" by Finance Minister, Dr Caoimhe Archibald MLA.
08 February 2024
Online Business Ideas Gaining Traction In Northern Ireland
Are you looking for a new business venture that can be operated from the comfort of your own home? The rise of the internet has provided countless opportunities to start an online business and reach customers from all over the world.
06 February 2024
Naomi Long Re-Elected As Justice Minister For Northern Ireland
Alliance Party leader Naomi Long has been re-elected as Justice Minister for Northern Ireland, following a cross community vote in the Assembly. Minister Long previously held the Justice portfolio from January 2020 to October 2022.
29 January 2024
The Ultimate Guide To Bingo Halls In Northern Ireland
Bingo, a game that has been a staple in Northern Ireland's entertainment scene for decades, continues to capture the hearts of enthusiasts across the region. In recent years, there has been a notable rise in bingo hall attendances, and some attribute this surge to the growing popularity and accessibility of bingo sites.
17 June 2024
Northern Ireland's Role Inside The Fintech Landscape
As of 2024, Northern Ireland as a nation holds the prestigious place of being in the top three areas for the future of fintech, only behind giants like London and Singapore. In many areas, it outperforms many major American and European cities, and investment is only increasing.