Search is on for part-time soldiers in County Wexford
the newly-appointed commandant of the army reserve in Wexford is hoping to significantly boost the numbers of part-time troops under his command when a new recruiting campaign opens early next month.
'I'm looking for as many recruits as I can get, the sky's the limit,' said Commandant Enda McDonald who, when he's not in uniform, has a civilian job as managing director of Peter J McDonald Engineering, at Tellarought, New Ross.
'I got the job in the last three months, I'm only newly promoted. What I'm trying to do is to get the unit back up to strength, to get it into a healthy state,' Commandant McDonald told this newspaper of his new military duties.
As part of the recruiting plan, Wexford Barracks is to hold an open day from 11.30 a.m. to 5.30 p.m. on Sunday, September 20, which will give would-be recruits to the reserve the opportunity to see some of the weapons they handling, from mortars to machine guns, as part of the reserve.
'Wexford Barracks wouldn't have been opened like this before,' said the commandant, the Officer Commanding E Company 3rd Infantry Battalion.
Recruiting to the Army Reserve is due to open on Monday, September 7, on military.ie where people will be able to log on and express an interest in joining.
Commandant McDonald said he was looking for recruits from throughout the county.
He said those under his command would be involved in tactics and force protection and had a main role supplementing the permanent defence force.
'At the moment we have 12 recruits in full-time training who are passing out this week,' he said.
For the past two weeks the 12 recruits have been engaged in learning how to use various types of infantry weapons, including the Steyr AUG assault rifle, tactics and basic foot drill at Kilworth camp in Cork.
The Army Reserve is the land component of the Reserve Defence Forces and is the second line reserve of the Army. 1 Brigade includes Munster and Counties Kilkenny, Wexford, Carlow and Laois, Offaly, Galway, Limerick, Waterford, Cork, Tipperary, Kerry and Clare.