Queen gives Irish soldier medal for acts of bravery
A YOUNG Irish soldier who joined the British army has been honoured by Queen Elizabeth for multiple acts of bravery in Afghanistan.
Lance Corporal James White (28) from Cappawhite, Co Tipperary, was presented with the Military Cross by the queen for his heroic acts.
A member of the Parachute Regiment, James joined the army in 2005 after leaving his home in Tipperary.
His father Pat White said his son always wanted to be a soldier.
"He tried to join the Irish army, but failed on the medical because he had asthma as a child, but he quickly grew out of that. He worked here for a bit before moving to England and joined the army." Mr White said. During his service, he took part in two seven-month tours of Afghanistan as part of a 'Special Forces Support Group'. He won his award following three incidents on his last tour.
On one occasion, two platoons were pinned down by enemy fire and he ran across 200 metres of open ground to assist his comrades. With automatic gunfire and RPGs firing all around him, James cleared out enemy positions to alleviate the two platoons.
Another time, he took out an insurgent machine gunner and on a third occasion, he helped the evacuation of soldiers -- who were taking casualties -- by attacking a compound.
James was one of 136 members of the British Armed Forces to make the honours list and received his award from the queen last November.
"His girlfriend, Jean O'Brien, is an officer in the Irish army and she was with him with his mother when he got it," Mr White said.