Local Reservists are scaling new heights in the Mournes

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Around 30 Reservist from HQ Company, 2 Royal Irish in Lisburn attended an adventure training weekend in Co Down completing a challenging abseiling event in the Mournes and kayaking in Strangford Lough which was a change from training Ugandan soldiers in Africa or carrying out an exercise with Spanish troops in Spain.

After an immensely challenging year of deployments to over 13 countries on training and mentoring exercises this weekend allowed soldiers relax and enjoy a pace of life less hectic but none the less critical to their role.

Although most had done some abseiling of 30ft walls, this provided a real mental challenge by abseiling down Lower Cove in the Mournes; a 400 metre sheer face ideal for taking abseiling to a new level in an ideal environment.

Lisburn Reservist John Connolly, who enjoyed the variety of activities over the weekend, said: “The tempo over the weekend and the variety of activities was very good.

“I was able to build on my current skills and also learn new skills from the instructors who were extremely professional.

“If I was to do this by myself it would have cost me hundreds of pounds but in the Army Reserve this is all part of the training we get – Abseiling down Lower Cove was an tremendous experience and I’ll have memories for quite some time.”

Adventure training takes many forms in the Army from a challenging mountain climb in the Alps of over four weeks to a two day challenge of just overcoming the fear of heights or water with a group of friends in the platoon.

For the soldiers of 2 Royal Irish the abseiling part ties in well with their role as members of 16 Air Assault Brigade where they could be expected to abseil from helicopters into an enemy stronghold or having to canoe across water to assault an enemy position.

If you are interested in finding out more about the Army Reserve Infantry and the 2nd Battalion The Royal Irish Regiment then telephone 028 9226 2145, or text INFO to 07920 232380.

Alternatively come along to the 2 ROYAL IRISH stand at the Job and Trade Fair at the Kings Hall on August 29 to 31.