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Last Updated: Friday, 2 December 2005, 12:58 GMT
RIR staff 'may switch department'
RIR troops on parade
The three NI-based battalions of the RIR are being disbanded
Civil servants working for the Royal Irish Regiment who face compulsory redundancy may be able to move jobs.

NIO minister Angela Smith made the announcement in the Commons in reply to a question from DUP MP David Simpson.

She said the Civil Service had agreed in principle to allow staff from UK departments based in NI to apply.

The NI-based battalions of the regiment are to be disbanded on 1 August 2007, the same day as the Army ends its support role to the police.

More than 3,000 soldiers serve in the three battalions, many part-time.

Troop levels in the province are to fall from 10,500 to 5,000 in two years time.

The Royal Irish Regiment was formed in 1992, with the merger of the Royal Irish Rangers and the Ulster Defence Regiment.

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