• In Memory Of

  • NIVA Upcoming Events

    NIVA Service of Remembrance

    On Sat Sep 8th 2018

  • About NIVA

    Welcome to the website of the Northern Ireland Veterans Association (NIVA).

    NIVA is an internet based association (registered with COBSEO) with forum users and members all over the UK and abroad. Primarily for veterans of the Op Banner campaign from 1969 to 2007, be they ex or serving members of the UK armed forces, PSNI, NI fire/ambulance or prison services, we also particularly welcome relatives of the fallen.

    To register on the site as a forum user only, please **Click Here**. NB - for security reasons all applications are vetted and once admitted, permitted access to the open parts of the website/forum only. This is absolutely free to use.

    To join as a full or associate member of NIVA once registered on the forums, please follow the link in the downloads section of the site to download a membership application form which should be returned to the address shown together with payment and proof of service etc. All monies raised go towards the upkeep of the website and the organisation of NIVA's annual service of remembrance at the NMA in Alrewas. Full/associate members also gain admittance to the private areas of the website/forum where comrades can be assured of their personal security and enjoy all the banter and support you came to expect whilst serving the Crown. Additionally full members are invited to march with NIVA for Remembrance Sunday at the Cenotaph in London.

    If you have any queries please contact us at:

    The Northern Ireland Veterans Association
    PO Box 584
    South Yorkshire
    S63 3FW

  • Helping Britain's army marks end of 'social workers with guns' era.

    KEVIN MYERS - Irish Independent.

    FINALLY, finally, some sense has prevailed in the Army's relationship with the British army. The deployment of a handful of Army soldiers on a training mission in Mali with soldiers of the Royal Irish Regiment, a full 90 years after the two armies went their separate ways, is a long overdue recognition of political, cultural and geographical realities. Perhaps it is no coincidence that the Minister responsible is Jewish, and is therefore less beholden to the traditions of querulous deference to "republican" sensitivities, which has gravely undermined the willingness of our political classes to engage in any closer military co-operation with the British.
    And of course, the other problem was the army with which the Army should most logically be co-operating with was British: a common language, a common land-border, a common military culture, even common staff college at Camberley all conspired to ensure the minimum of commonality between the two. The Fourth Green Field was one reason for this, for our sulky neutrality was in large part underwritten by Partition. Even at the height of the Cold War, the Republic so the De Valeran argument went could never be part of a NATO alliance involving a country that had so unnaturally divided the island of Ireland.

    Through a quarter of a century's cross-Border terrorism, the two armies were never able to speak to one another directly, unlike the IRA units they were opposing. Thus was Irish sovereignty tetchily affirmed. The two countries joined the EU at the same time, yet when the EU battle groups were formed, we appended ourselves to the Nordic countries.

    At least this way, Irish dignity was preserved. We remained, in Olivia O'Leary's trenchant phrase, "Britain's official non-friend".

    If this was retribution for past sins, it was more than a little eccentric. After all, Poland was put in charge of a battle-group that included units from Slovakia, Lithuania and Latvia, all of whom had, relatively recently, been invaded and laid waste by the fifth country in the group, Germany.

    Of course, what our political classes think and do is quite different from the behaviour of those they rule. Hundreds of young Irish who have unable to join their own Army, or who seek the serious war-fighting that is not possible with the Defence Forces, have been joining the Irish Guards, and the Royal Irish Regiment. The latter, as part of the 16th Air Assault Brigade, is now one of the most respected and decorated infantry units in the British army. The small number of Army soldiers contributing to the Mali mission should have no reason to feel inferior to the Royal Irish: firstly, though they have no war-fighting experience, for the most part, they joined for the most noble of reasons: patriotism.

    THEY are soldiers of the Republic; it is quite impossible to describe what wonders that does for their morale. Secondly and barely of less importance their kit is now extremely good: their armoured personnel carriers, their rifles, their backpacks and their field-dress are actually superior to the British equivalents.

    But be in no doubt. The Mali training mission has nothing to do with traditional "peacekeeping": the days of social workers with guns are over, the era of peace-enforcing, by violent means, is upon us.

    From Nigeria to Somalia, throughout the Arab world, and on either side of the Hindu Kush, armed Islamism is resurgent. Ireland is now taking its place in the line in the great war of values, which was formally declared on 9/11. NATO chief Anders Fogh Rasmussen says he would welcome Irish membership of NATO. So would I.

    An informal US base already exists in Shannon, and the US is our largest foreign investor. It's time to affirm that relationship with a binding treaty, which finally recognises that Ireland is on the eastern flank of America's eastern ocean, and which, most of all, declares that that flank is in friendly hands.