LATE LAST year, Ranger Brendan O’Mahony from Millstreet, Co Cork had work as a carpenter on the few building sites still operating in west Cork. Next month, he will be in Nad-e-Ali in Afghanistan facing the Taliban.
Twenty-four-year-old O’Mahony, who signed up last November, is just one of 80-odd men born in the Republic and hundreds more from Northern Ireland who are now serving with the British army’s Royal Irish Regiment.
“The fall of the Celtic Tiger didn’t affect me. I was still working. That wasn’t why I joined. It was something I always wanted to do. My father did 22 years in the Irish Army. I thought the British army would be more of a challenge,” O’Mahony says.
“It’s challenging,” says O’Mahony. “My younger brother is jealous and my sister thinks it’s a bit mental.”
The above is an extract from an article in today’s Irish Times