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21 September 2006 Edition

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Fifth Column

British soldiers in Afghanistan risk their lives for less than the minimum wage.

It's no wonder they need Irish recruits to fill the ranks young Englishmen are too canny to join.

Hurry up, Harry

One British soldier being kept safely tucked up at home is Prince Harry (there are definite perks to Mummy being the boss).

'Cornet Harry Wales' celebrated his 22nd birthday last week and he's been given 11 soldiers and four Scimitar tanks to play with as he amuses himself with the Household Cavalry at Warminster in Wiltshire while 'common' soldiers in his regiment face the real flak.

Harry has been telling anyone who'll listen that he's set on seeing action in Iraq or Afghanistan by the end of the year. He is, though, third in line to the throne, and two Household Cavalry troopers were killed by the Taliban during a reconnaissance patrol - Prince Harry's job if he ever makes it to the front line.

Will the birthday boy ge

Dublin's recruiting sergeant

Dublin's Evening Herald newspaper (proprietor: Bean Baron Sir Anthony O'Reilly) is unashamedly acting as a recruiting sergeant for Irish citizens to join the British Army because young Britons refuse to sign up for wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

An undisguised appeal by the British Army for more Irish recruits was carried in a news story last week about the death of a Royal Irish Regiment soldier, Lance-Corporal Luke McCulloch, killed by the Taliban.

The RIR was formed by merging the Royal Irish Rangers with discredited unionist militia the Ulster Defence Regiment, which had to be officially stood down although the RIR maintains the UDR's traditions and dubious honours.

But the Herald has no problems with the RIR and soldiering for the British queen.

Using background evidently supplied by the British Army itself (and which couldn't have been written better by a recruiting officer), Herald ht his wish or, as I suspect, is there more chance of the Taliban buying Playboy TV?

Soldier, rioter

A former soldier in the British Army has received a two-year prison sentence for taking part in loyalist riots after last September's rerouted Orange Order Whiterock parade in Belfast.

Darren Stewart Cahoon (37), from West Circular Road, was convicted of attacking police lines as unionists fired a barrage of bricks, bottles and petrol bombs at the PSNI.

Judge Patrick Lynch QC said Cahoon "should know better".

MI5 dame disses Sunday Times

Dame Stella Rimington, the former head of MI5 (1992-1996) and now a novelist and business mentor, gave the Sunday Times a less than glowing review in a recent interview with the journalists' trade paper, The Press Gazette:

"I get the Sunday Times but I do find it very annoying. It is very interested in security topics and very frequently its reports have been ack Michael Lavery reported all the career options available to RIR recruits. Then he added that, in the ranks of the RIR, "a large number of soldiers come from the Irish Republic", including a company commander from Dublin and three company sergeant majors from the 26 Counties.

What the Herald didn't say, though, is that the British Army is frantically trawling all over the world - from Ireland to Fiji - because young Brits haven't been suckered by the glossy 'Action Man' ads and army bull about a great life soldiering.

The Army Recruitment Group commander, Brigadier Andrew Jackson, has admitted that he faces a crisis, with the army intake having fallen by a third between 2002 and 2005 - casualties and service in Afghanistan and Iraq being obvious major factors.

And if anyone being wooed in Dublin, Galway or Cork is thinking of taking 'the Queen's Shilling', it isn't worth what it once was.

Last week, it was revealed that what I would regard as exaggerated and usually I think, 'Urgh, I don't credit that very much.'

"They have good sources, but not necessarily always reliable sources."

Milksop Mark Thatcher

Mark Thatcher, the gormless playboy son of Margaret Thatcher sentenced for bankrolling a failed African coup plot, has upset his mother's round-the-clock guard at her London home in plush Belgravia.

A Diplomatic Protection Squad officer was ever-alert for al-Qaeda suicide squads and complete in flak jacket and armed with a pistol and a Heckler & Koch sub-machine gun. He sprung to the ready when the front door opened behind him and the boy Mark (53) popped his head out and told him to pop down the shops for a pint of milk for his Crunchy Nut Corn Flakes!

The copper said he couldn't because he had to protect 80-year-old Mother Margaret, the woman who axed free school milk in 1970 and earned herself early notoriety as 'ThatcherBritish soldiers in Afghanistan risk their lives for less than the minimum wage.

It's no wonder they need Irish recruits to fill the ranks young Englishmen are too canny to join.

Hurry up, Harry

One British soldier being kept safely tucked up at home is Prince Harry (there are definite perks to Mummy being the boss).

'Cornet Harry Wales' celebrated his 22nd birthday last week and he's been given 11 soldiers and four Scimitar tanks to play with as he amuses himself with the Household Cavalry at Warminster in Wiltshire while 'common' soldiers in his regiment face the real flak.

Harry has been telling anyone who'll listen that he's set on seeing action in Iraq or Afghanistan by the end of the year. He is, though, third in line to the throne, and two Household Cavalry troopers were killed by the Taliban during a reconnaissance patrol - Prince Harry's job if he ever makes it to the front line.

Will the birthday boy ge the Milk Snatcher'.

t his wish or, as I suspect, is there more chance of the Taliban buying Playboy TV?

Soldier, rioter

A former soldier in the British Army has received a two-year prison sentence for taking part in loyalist riots after last September's rerouted Orange Order Whiterock parade in Belfast.

Darren Stewart Cahoon (37), from West Circular Road, was convicted of attacking police lines as unionists fired a barrage of bricks, bottles and petrol bombs at the PSNI.

Judge Patrick Lynch QC said Cahoon "should know better".

MI5 dame disses Sunday Times

Dame Stella Rimington, the former head of MI5 (1992-1996) and now a novelist and business mentor, gave the Sunday Times a less than glowing review in a recent interview with the journalists' trade paper, The Press Gazette:

"I get the Sunday Times but I do find it very annoying. It is very interested in security topics and very frequently its reports have been

An Phoblacht Magazine

AN PHOBLACHT MAGAZINE:

  • The first edition of this new magazine will feature a 10 page special on the life and legacy of our leader Martin McGuinness to mark the first anniversary of his untimely passing.
  • It will include a personal reminiscence by Gerry Adams and contributions from the McGuinness family.
  • There will also be an exclusive interview with our new Uachtar├ín Mary Lou McDonald.

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