Portrush-born British soldier in Curragh training first

Discussion in 'Ireland (ie. Irish Defence Force)' started by Irish_Army01, Dec 23, 2009.

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  1. A Portrush-born soldier has become the first British officer to instruct at the Curragh camp since 1922 when Ireland became a Free State.

    Lt Col Mark McKinney, 44, spent eight days helping teach human rights and humanitarian law at the Irish Defence Forces' UN training centre.

    Lt Col McKinney, who now lives near Perth in Scotland, is a member of the Dundee detachment of the Royal Marines Reserve Scotland. He is in charge of civil and military co-operation.

    "I am immensely proud and humbled that a reservist was offered such a positive ground-breaking opportunity," he said.

    "I am personally delighted that we have strengthened our already good relationship with the Defence Forces and I am looking forward to a regular exchange of students and instructors on all our courses, which will continue to foster good relations with our NATO and EU allies."

    The course also taught negotiation and mediation techniques, working with non-governmental organisations.

    Lt Col McKinney spent 17 years as a regular in the Royal Marines and completed five tours there.

    He has worked in planning for the UN mission in Liberia where he worked closely with the Defence Forces.

    And he maintains that without the efforts of the 90th Infantry Battalion and the Special Operations Task Group provided by the Defence Forces, the mission would almost certainly have failed.

    The mission, however, went on to be a complete success and Liberia now has the first ever female president in Africa and enjoys a peace and stability uncommon in the region.

    It was the close relationship built up over his seven months in West Africa that later enabled a link to be developed for joint civil/military co-operation training.

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  2. Good job.

    Played hurley with some IDF guys in Bisley 2 years in a row and never any drama's and i was R Irish (HS) at the time!

    loads of craic.
  3. Given what is coming out of the current enquiries I think we might not be best placed to lecture others on these subjects.
  4. Those that can, do.

    Those that can't, teach.
  5. Having guest speakers at courses in the Curragh isn't a new thing (and that includes serving members of foreign countries armed forces).

    There are other courses that UNTSI (UN Training School Ireland) runs that have been attended by Brits (as students).
  6. To be honest I think the fact that the UK sent a reservist (not a dig at the Reserves BTW) for a mere eight days reflects the respect the UK forces have for the joke that is the Irish "Army". Big-timing it by setting up a "UN Training School" to teach the arts of running checkpoints in the Lebanon and boasting that the they are playing with the big boys across the border dosent do much for me. As an Irish tax payer I'm not too happy that we are cutting back on teachers and nurses while the PR machine of the Defence Forces allows them to continue their feather-bedded existence unscathed.
    • Bullshit Bullshit x 2
    • Show again braincell Show again braincell x 2
  7. Are you lonely under your Bridge?
  8. A lot of the British Army's CIMIC unit is reserves!

    The course is 8 days long, thats why he was in Ireland for that time.

    The Irish Army is an international respected course, their have been British students on courses in Ireland (and vice versa).

    The Irish Defence Forces are international respected for their contribution to peacekeeping worldwide.

    UNTSI is one of a large number of similar institutions around the world, it has been going for at least 15 years now at the stage and has taught students from all over the world (including British officers).

    This story didn't appear in the Irish media as far as I know, it was in the British media.
  9. without wantin to disrespect the irish army, in wat area could they possibly have the expertise in to teach british soldiers? they are an extremely professional force compared to some other UN peace keeping nations but surely the finest soldiers in the world have little to learn from an army that has done little but peace keep for 60 odd years
  10. I have to agree with kyle6327 here and in fact I (rather bluntly) raised a similar point some months ago in relation to the Irish Army apparently being touted as experts in EOD because of all their experience in Ireland 8O 8O
    I pointed out that not only were the vast majority of explosive devices over the past 40 years defused in NI by the British Army, but that most of the Irish Army's EOD specialists are trained by the British Army and virtually all of the equipment is made by us!! Fair play to them though, they've managed to convince the UN they have something unique to offer.

  11. Unless I read it wrong was the British soldier(marine) not teaching the Irish.
  12. I’m firmly in the cynics corner here – the Irish Defence Forces excel at one thing and that is self – publicity. It served a useful purpose in the 1970s and 80s as a sort of Southern based UDR – basic cordons and checkpoints during the troubles, but since then has struggled for relevance. All the overseas missions are carefully chosen for maximum impact with minimum effort and the credulous Irish public, so quick to criticise the other parts of our bloated public service, accept this nonsense.
  13. Maybe learn how to keep the peace?

    British officers have gone to staff college and done UN focused courses here (I'm sure there are others too) in Ireland.

    Ireland is the lead nation within the EDA for counter-IED technology.

    The Irish Ordnance Corps conducts the vast majority of it's own training, but I'm sure a small number have undertaken courses in the UK (and elsewhere).

    There were A LOT of arms and bomb finds in the south during the troubles due to the fact that the PIRA stored a very high percentage of their stuff south of the border.

    They have also "convinced" a number of countries (including Israel, Canada, Denmark, Sweden, Finland and Russia) that have been trained by us.

    They have had 23 years experience of EOD / IEDD in southern Lebanon were the current bombmakers in Afghanistan would have started the development process of the devices currently in use.

    They are still being called upon on a daily basis at home to deal with criminals (who have the experise of PIRA bombmakers).

    Brit made equipment (a lot of it is designed by themselves)???:
    Bomb Suit - Canadian
    Main Robot - Made & designed by an Irish company (since bought by a Canadian company), there are 2 others in use that are made in the UK
    Vehicles - bespoken to Irish requirements
    EOD database - bespoke to Irish requirements
    Cable Detector - Canadian
    Mine Frails - UK & Croatia

    Funny the opposite is true, the DF have actually been extremely poor at PR in the past. Things have greatly improved in the past 10 years or so. The DF has been able to put a lot more into conventional training since the Good Friday Agreement.

    Funny some of those missions that are carefully choosn are where there are also Brits - ISAF, KFOR, EUFOR Bosnia, Cyprus. Others are where most European / Western countries failed to commit troops - Chad, Lebanon, Liberia.

    The DF is also the ONLY part of the Irish Civil Service that has cut numbers between 1998 and 2008, over 4,000 jobs (33% of the regular army).
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  14. i was talking about what irlsgt was sayin ref british soldier's attending courses in ireland as students.