High-flier Tadhg is top of his class in the Air Corps

By Maria Pepper

Published 13/08/2016 | 00:00

Tadhg Firman of Foulksmills being congratulated by Minister of State with Responsibility for Defence Paul Kehoe with General Officer Commanding of the Air Corps Brigadier General Paul Fry and Chief of Staff of the Defence Forces Vice Admiral Mark Mellett. Tadgh won the Cadet Jevens Memorial trophy, in memory of David Jevens (pictured inset, right).
Tadhg Firman of Foulksmills being congratulated by Minister of State with Responsibility for Defence Paul Kehoe with General Officer Commanding of the Air Corps Brigadier General Paul Fry and Chief of Staff of the Defence Forces Vice Admiral Mark Mellett. Tadgh won the Cadet Jevens Memorial trophy, in memory of David Jevens (pictured inset, right).
Tadhg Firman of Foulksmills being congratulated by Minister of State with Responsibility for Defence Paul Kehoe with General Officer Commanding of the Air Corps Brigadier General Paul Fry and Chief of Staff of the Defence Forces Vice Admiral Mark Mellett. Tadgh won the Cadet Jevens Memorial trophy, in memory of David Jevens (pictured inset, right).

Wexfordman Tadhg Firman was the best overall student in the 32nd Air Corps cadet class, achieving the highest marks in his ground school and flight training exams to win three graduation awards, including one named in honour of the late David Jevens.

Two trophies are presented each year to Air Corps graduates - the Commandant DK Johnston Cup for the highest standard in flying and the Cadet Jevens Memorial Tropy for the highest standard in ground school- and 29-year old Tadhg from Longraigue, Foulksmills won both of them along with the Arco Sword for best all-round student.

He joined the Air Corps as a cadet in September 2013, starting off in the 90th Army Cadet class in The Curragh where he completed basic military and leadership training. After he finished this module, he moved with his class to Casement Aerodrome in Baldonnel for pilot training.

His ground school pilot programme included subjects ranging from Principles of Flight to Human Performance and Limitations while the flight training involved advanced aerobatics, aerial tactics and close formation flying.

The newly-commissioned Air Corps officer worked as an agricultural mechanic with Twomey Engineering of Foulksmills after completing an apprenticeship in metal fabrication and welding in 2010, winning a national welding skills award along the way.

His interest in airplanes started in his early twenties when his mother Ingrid bought him a flying lesson for Christmas. He flew with the Aero Club in Waterford and obtained a private pilot's licence shortly before joining the Air Corps after coming first out of 2,800 candidates in the application process. Eight cadets were accepted in 2013.

Tadhg who was educated in St. Leonard's national school and Ramsgrange Community School is the son of Patrick Firman and Ingrid Frost and the eldest of four brothers and three sisters.

A large group of family members attended his commissioning ceremony in Baldonnel including his parents, his siblings, his grandmother Marie Frost, his uncles and friends. They watched with beaming pride as Tadgh was presented with all three awards for the class of 2016.

'Oh my god, it was unbelievable. I had heard from someone else that he was due to get awards but I didn't know what they were because when I asked him, he said, you'll just have to wait and see. He is really modest about everything,' said Ingrid.

'It was the most amazing day of my life. I'm very proud of him. He is in the job of his dreams', she said.

Tadhg whose hobbies include vintage vehicles, railways, running and rowing with St. Kearns Club , will be based in Baldonnel where he will fly Cessna planes for the Air Corps.

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