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Recruitment for British Army soars in Republic of Ireland

By Ralph Riegel

Rapid promotion and the opportunity for adventure on global deployments have led to an ongoing recruitment boom in the Republic for the British Army.

Britain is now signing up a new recruit in the Republic on average every four and a half days, with evidence indicating a significant hike in recruitment over the past two years.

New intake has also been boosted by the fact that several Irish soldiers have been honoured for their bravery while serving with British forces — one receiving the Military Cross from the Queen.

Other Irish recruits were accepted for training or deployment at the prestigious military academy, Sandhurst.

The latest intake figures for the Army, Royal Air Force and Royal Navy showed dissident republican threats have failed to stem the numbers of Irish people seeking a military career in the UK.

Ministry of Defence figures showed more than 230 Irish citizens joined British defence units between 2013 and 2015.

That represents a stabilisation of recruitment which had

suffered a blip in 2012 after almost a decade of continued increase.

Anecdotal evidence has indicated a further rise in 2016 — with a noticeable increase in recruits over the first six months of the year.

Irish-born soldiers boast one of the highest rates of NCO promotions within British forces.

In 2011, Irish and Commonwealth nationals accounted for  5% of Britain’s overall recruitment figures.

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