Belfast Telegraph

St Patrick's Day on hold for troops

Soldiers serving in Afghanistan have been forced to put St Patrick's Day on hold - but say they will be celebrating in style as soon as possible.

And while they still plan to mark the national Irish day of celebration, there will be one obvious omission: a pint of Guinness.

Captain Justin Kennedy-Lunde, 29, from Waterford, Ireland, said: "St Patrick's Day is something I always look forward to at home.

"I would normally spend my day at the local parade and having a good time with friends and family.

"I would also like to be watching Ireland beat England in the rugby and be having a few pints of Guinness and maybe a whiskey. We will still celebrate as soon as possible with a shamrock presentation and a pot of Irish stew."

The Queen's Royal Hussars, who wear green jumpers and berets to reflect their historic links to Ireland, are currently based in Helmand province operating armoured vehicles as part of the coalition effort.

Ordinarily they would celebrate on Sunday with a street parade, sports contests and a party for all ranks. But while in Afghanistan the celebrations will be more low key - particularly as no alcohol is allowed for troops on tour.

They have also postponed celebrations until next week because of duties on the frontline.

Major Alexander Forsyth, 36, from Weasenham in Norfolk, said that the regiment, currently based in Germany, took pride in its Irish heritage.

He added: "It is part of our identity as a regiment and we always mark it with a parade. Being out in Afghanistan, it is important we keep up the tradition. It is something we can all take pride in but also a chance to have some fun."


From Belfast Telegraph