Dear Colleagues, I posted this short message on 7th June 2020 – the first Sunday of this month - when we had planned to hold our ANNUAL RUC GC DAY MEMORIAL SERVICE. This year it was to be in Ballymena but due to the dreadful pandemic affecting us all, the RUC GC Foundation reluctantly had to postpone the event. As Chairman of that Foundation – a FOUNDATION that was created to MARK THE SACRIFICES AND HONOUR THE ACHIEVEMENTS of the RUC - I regret this very much. Trustees and volunteers had already put much work into the preparations. So, if it is at all possible, later this year we will hold some form of memorial service to remember the RUC and all its sacrifices and achievements.

Sadly due to the virus the RUC GC Memorial Garden has also been closed for some time and any future visits will be very much restricted. However, we felt it important to recognise RUC GC DAY – always a special day within the lives of the RUC Family.

In remembering the service of all those who served since June 1922; I will simply quote what our Patron, His Royal Highness the Prince of Wales said on 2nd September 2003 when he officially opened the Memorial Garden.

His Royal Highness said, “This Garden is an appropriate tribute to the individual dedication, determination, resilience, courage and stamina of the thousands of RUC Officers who defied real and constant danger, on and off duty, and continued the struggle to defeat terrorism”.

There is no doubt that we held the thin green line between law and order and anarchy. However this was often at great sacrifice – for our colleagues and our families. 302 officers were murdered in the recent conflict and 12 in the years before that. And, we must never forget the 21 officers murdered after they left the Force. I feel very privileged to have served alongside you and today am extremely privileged to be the Chairman of the RUC GC Foundation. On this day, Royal Ulster Constabulary Day, I will leave you with the words of Her Majesty The Queen when she bestowed the award of the George Cross to us all.

Her Majesty's citation reads: "For the past 30 years the Royal Ulster Constabulary has been both the bulwark against, and the main target of, a sustained and brutal terrorist campaign.

"The force has suffered heavily in protecting both sides of the community from danger - 302 officers have been killed in the line of duty and thousands more injured, many seriously.

Many officers have been ostracised by their own community and others have been forced to leave their homes in the face of threat to them or their families”.

“ . . . . . this award is made to recognise the collective courage and dedication to duty of all those who have served in the Royal Ulster Constabulary and who have accepted the danger and stress this has brought to them and to their families."

It was very appropriate that Her Majesty included our families when awarding us the highest civilian gallantry medal. On this day we remember them and all our colleagues as we mark this special day.

We held the line!