Thursday 21 September 2017

Local man served in the Falklands 30 years ago

IT WAS 30 years ago, that a local man left the Falkland Islands.

He had spent a relatively short time there, but in those weeks that ran into months, saw the true horror of war, the bravery and compassion of comrades, and the thanks of an island people, suddenly cast into the spotlight of world fame and divided opinion.

I got chatting to the retired Falklands veteran, who settled near Drogheda, and acted as a chaplain to the Royal Marines at that time.

The past is always constant in many minds, so he wishes to remain anonymous, but content to reveal what life was like on the frontline.

'I'm Co. Wexford by birth and at one stage in my life decided to give God a go and was ordained, working in Carlow in my early days.'

But he wanted something different and when a friend suggested a life in the British military he thought about it. 'I had to earn the Green berret which they value highly and did all the same training and tests that they go through to become a marine and managed it,' he stated.

When 1982 came around he found himself on the former cruise liner, The Canbarra, steaming for the Falklands.

He survived and went on to see action in the first Iraq war, dealing a lot with helping the Kurds.

He moved to Drogheda some years ago and loves the area. ' The years flew by,' he admits, ' but I still wouldn't have made a parish priest!'