Originally, the new regiment was composed of two regular battalions and two territorial battalions, all retained from the Royal Irish Rangers, plus seven home service battalions formed from members of the UDR.
In 1993, the two regular battalions were reduced to one. At the same time, the number of home service battalions fell to six, and then to three in 2001. When the Army’s deployment to Northern Ireland came to an end in 2007, the remaining home service battalions were disbanded along with one of the territorial battalions.
Today, the regiment consists of one regular battalion (1st Battalion) and one Army Reserve battalion (2nd Battalion). Both serve in a light infantry role.
In 2000, several of its soldiers engaged in training local forces in Sierra Leone were captured by the West Side Boys militia. The hostages were later rescued by Special Forces.
The regiment deployed to Afghanistan again in 2008 and 2010-11, helping mentor local forces as well as fighting the Taliban.
In recent years, its soldiers have deployed on training exercises, peacekeeping and mentoring missions in several countries, including Germany (2015), Kenya (2018), Bulgaria and Romania (2022) and Mali (2022).
The National Army Museum works with a network of Regimental and Corps Museums across the UK to help preserve and share the history and traditions of the Army and its soldiers.
Discover more about The Royal Irish Regiment by visiting the Inniskillings Museum at Enniskillen Castle, the Royal Irish Fusiliers Museum in Armagh and the Royal Ulster Rifles Museum in Belfast.