Irish Army Officers Injuried in Training Accident

Crusader74

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Lieutenant Kenneth Sheehan (29) from Cork City was the officer injured last night in a training accident at Kilworth, Co Cork. He has undergone surgery this morning at Cork University Hospital. He has injuries to his right arm, chest and face. His condition is described as critical. He is expected to undergo further surgery.

Lt. Sheehan is engaged to be married. His parents and fiancée are with him at Cork University Hospital. The Defence Forces wishes Ken and his family well with his recovery and the thoughts of the entire military family are with them all.

Lt. Sheehan joined the Defence Forces in 2002. He is a Communications officer, but is attached to the local Brigade Training Centre as an instructor with a training course of 38 students and 14 instructors. He has served overseas in Liberia in November 2005 (94 Infantry Battalion, UNMIL) and last year in Chad in March 2008 (97 Infantry Battalion, EUFOR). He is based in Collins Barracks, Cork with 1 Field Communications and Information Services Company.

The military investigation into this incident is ongoing. The Bofors AT-4 is a small, shoulder launched rocket that has been in service with the army since 1998. This weapon has been fired in training thousands of times to date, and was fired last night from a set position to a fixed target. All firing of this weapon has ceased with immediate effect pending the outcome of this investigation.

The Defence Forces fires weapons and rehearses military skills regularly by day and night so that soldiers are proficient in all conditions, at home and overseas. Such training exercises are subject to strict supervision and safety procedures. The investigation will examine these procedures.

There has been one previous incident in a live fire, movement exercise (in October 2008) where a safety umpire received injuries that required hospitalisation, but not with serious injury to the soldier concerned.



Lt. Kenneth Sheehan
 
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