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Irish recruitment into British Army doubles

Published 12/06/2008

Latest figures just released in the North show that the number of people from the Republic applying to join the British Army doubled over the past year.

Figures released by the British Army Recruitment in Northern Ireland reveal that 10.5% of all enlistments there came from south of the border.

In the year 2005/2006, just 3% of those who came through the doors of British Army recruitment offices in the North were from the Republic.

The following year that increased to 4.5% and this year it has jumped to a total of 10.5%.

Lieutenant Colonel Dick Rafferty, the head of British Army Recruitment in the North said the numbers had been in decline.

The growth could be down to less of a stigma amongst friends and family, he said, while soldiers could be seen on TV every night serving abroad.

Quoting Lieutenant Paddy Bury from Wicklow now serving in Afghanistan with The Royal Irish Regiment, he said, Irish men join for a challenge, adventure, travel and camaraderie.

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