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Reserve Forces & Cadets Association
Northern Ireland


The Royal Naval Reserve’s (RNR) connection to Northern Ireland is a long and distinguished one, dating back to the formation of the Ulster Division of the Royal Volunteer Reserve in Belfast in 1924. Having been based for 85 years on board HMS Caroline, a light cruiser built in 1914, which later saw action at the Battle of Jutland in 1916, the unit moved ashore to its new headquarters in Thiepval Barracks, Lisburn in 2009 and commissioned as HMS Hibernia, a name historically connected with the island of Ireland.

Home to nearly 100 Reservists drawn from across the community, HMS Hibernia is the focus for much of the Royal Navy's regional activity in Northern Ireland. Although many of the Reservists serving on HMS Hibernia come from the Greater Belfast area, some regularly travel from as far afield as Newry, Dungannon and Londonderry.

Despite being one of the smallest RNR units, HMS Hibernia maintains a busy training programme throughout the year for new entry training and is an important administrative centre for the many Reservists who regularly travel to Great Britain for specialist training and exercises. In recent years, many of its maritime reservists have also served abroad on operations in Iraq and Afghanistan.

HMS Hibernia is located within Thiepval Barracks, Lisburn, approximately 10 miles from Belfast city centre and is easily accessible by road, train and bus networks.

Training night: Thursday 1915 – 2130

HMS Hibernia continues to provide trained Reserve personnel thereby allowing the Royal Navy to draw on additional manpower as required for exercises and operations.   In recent times personnel from HMS Hibernia have contributed to the UK Maritime Component Command Bahrain, the Royal Navy base of operations in the Gulf region, Exercises Helios Encounter in Cyprus and Joint Warrior in Scotland as well as supporting on an individual or small numbers basis to on-going tasks alongside their full time comrades.  Alongside its operational and support role  and in the field of sports HMS Hibernia has built a strong reputation having won the Royal Navy Reserve 2017 football competition, and finished in a commendable third place in the ‘Dragon’ rowing competition.   HMS Hibernia continues to go from strength to strength and retains a well-deserved reputation in representing the Royal Navy in Northern Ireland.


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Royal Navy Website


Thiepval Barracks
County Antrim
BT28 3NP

Tel: 028 92 266973