In recent years there has been record numbers joining the British armed forces from the Republic of Ireland. The Royal Irish Regiment, one of the historic Irish regiments of the British army, has been a natural home for soldiers from the south of Ireland.
The footage in this documentary was recorded by Irishmen serving in the British Army whilst in Afghanistan including a number of extensive battle scenes.
In September 2010, the regiment was deployed on a six month tour to Helmand Province, Afghanistan. The documentary speaks with a number of soldiers who were all born and raised in the Republic of Ireland. Their rank ranges from Ranger to Lance Corporal, and are from various counties such as Dublin, Kildare, Cork and Limerick.
This documentary by Fergal McCarthy asks why these men joined the British army; does the regiment still have an Irish feel today and is it a welcoming place for those from the south; what is it like to say goodbye to family and friends when leaving for battle; what is daily life like in Afghanistan; some of their experiences of close combat with the Taliban; their reflections on their six month deployment; their sense of identity and Irish heritage; and what plans do they have for their leave when they return.
'The Royal Irish' was made by Fergal McCarthy.
Production supervision by Ciaran Cassidy.
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