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Great day for parents as band of brothers do Navy proud

Three young brothers are making waves in the Naval Service.

The youngest of three seafaring brothers was yesterday deemed to have 'the right stuff' when he received his commission from his elder siblings who are also Naval officers.

Conor O'Brien (24), from Ardnacrusha, Co Clare, was given his markings as sub-lieutenant by his older brothers, Rory (29) and Paul (31), under the watchful eye of their parents, Sean and Caroline, at Haulbowline Naval Base in Cork Harbour.

Conor was one of only eight cadets who made it through the two-year training course from over 300 initial applicants for the commissions.

"I'm sure my mother was in tears," said Sub Lt O'Brien after he was invested by his brothers.

"She's seen all of us go through this now and come out the other side as officers.

"My brother Rory was one of my teachers for part of my training and he didn't take it easy on me. It feels like a long two years, it's hard to put into words what I feel now at the end of it."

Conor's mother Caroline said: "It's a very proud moment for me and Sean. That's the last of them now, I've no more sons left to offer the Navy."

The eight cadets join the ranks of more than 1,000 men and women serving in the Navy.

There to welcome the new officers were their families, politicians and Commodore Mark Mellet, Flag Officer Commanding Naval Service.

Government Chief Whip and Minister of State at the Department of Defence, Paul Kehoe, said it was "a celebration of real achievement and marks the passing of a great milestone in the lives of these new officers".

He added: "There are not too many people who receive a scroll with both the Taoiseach and the President's signatures on it."

Irish Independent