HC Deb 14 January 1998 vol 304 cc211-2W
Mr. Maginnis

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what delays there have been in issuing those qualifying ex-members of the Ulster Defence Regiment with their Accumulated Service Medal; how many qualify for this medal; how many have been issued to date; and what has been the situation in respect of other UDR members who transferred to the Royal Irish Regiment. [22799]

Mr. Spellar

The delay in issuing the Accumulated Service Medal (ACSM) to former members of the Ulster Defence Regiment (UDR) has been caused by the large number of applications received from all sections of the Army since the medal's introduction, and the decision to afford priority of assessment and issue to serving members of the Armed Forces. In addition, the absence of detailed records of operational duties for part-time ex-UDR/Royal Irish Regiment members has presented some difficulties in establishing entitlement. There has, however, been little delay in issuing medals once an individual's entitlement has been confirmed.

A total of 12,500 successful applications for the ACSM have been processed by the Army Medals Office since the commencement of Issues in January 1995, of which 4,779 ACSM's have been made to former members of the UDR, serving and ex-members of the Royal Irish Regiment. The entitlement to the medal of some 600 former UDR and Royal Irish Regiment members has still to be established, but is being reviewed expeditiously.