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Council hosts Beating Retreat in Honour of HMS Hibernia

May 16, 2017

Last week Lisburn & Castlereagh City Council hosted a Beating Retreat in support of HMS Hibernia.

HMS Hibernia, the Royal Navy Reserve Unit in Northern Ireland, has been located in Thiepval Barracks, Lisburn since coming ashore from HMS Caroline in 2009.

The Beating Retreat, a spectacular evening pageant of music and military precision drill, was held in Castle Gardens and performed by the Band of Her Majesty’s Royal Marines Scotland. The event was attended by the Lord Lieutenant, Mrs Joan Christie OBE, High Sheriff for County Antrim, Miranda Tisdale, Dame Mary Peters CH DBE, Freeman of the City and Honorary Royal Navy Reserve Captain, Lisburn & Castlereagh City Council Mayor, Councillor Brian Bloomfield MBE and Mayoress Rosalind Bloomfield, HMS Hibernia's Commander Officer, Commander Neil Downing, and Royal Navy Commander John Gray, alongside local business representatives and Elected Members.

Speaking at the Concert, Mayor, Councillor Brian Bloomfield MBE said, “As a Council we are extremely proud of our close links with the Armed Forces and are delighted to extend this to HMS Hibernia. Thievpal Barracks has become the headquarters of the Royal Naval Reserve in Northern Ireland, where regional activities are managed and on behalf of Lisburn & Castlereagh City Council I would like to recognise the vital work of Commander Neill Downing and all his Officers within HMS Hibernia. I am confident that our association will be a long and mutually rewarding one.

“I would also like to thank the Band of the Royal Marines (Scotland) for putting on such an excellent military musical display; it is a privilege to have them perform at this event.”

Commander Neill Downing, RD, RNR said, “I would like to thank the Mayor, Councillor Brian Bloomfield and Lisburn & Castlereagh City Council for its support and for hosting this most generous and warm reception. Since relocating to the City, the people of Lisburn have truly embraced us and we feel very much at home.  It is not only a privilege to have an event like this thrown in our honour but it is also an excellent way of highlighting the work that we do which in turn supports our recruitment efforts and provides backing from the wider community.”