Irishman fighting in Ukraine speaks of shock at death of Rory Mason

Brian Maher, who was speaking from an ambulance en route to Lviv after he was injured in the Kharkiv offensive, told RTÉ Radio’s Morning Ireland that he was surprised that the two had not met at any stage.
Irishman fighting in Ukraine speaks of shock at death of Rory Mason

Vivienne Clarke

Irish man Brian Maher, who has been fighting in Ukraine since the end of May, has told of his shock when he learned of the death of Rory Mason.

Mr Maher, who was speaking from an ambulance en route to Lviv after he was injured in the Kharkiv offensive, told RTÉ Radio’s Morning Ireland that he was surprised that the two had not met at any stage. Both were from Meath. “He's from Dunboyne and I'm from Ratoath.”

Mr Maher said it had been quite scary to be under artillery fire. It had been a very bloody campaign, “I don't know the casualty rates, I saw injuries in the hospital, it was pretty horrific”

When asked why he had gone to fight in Ukraine, Mr Maher responded that his family would be relatively financially stable should anything happen to him as he had life insurance. His children would be safe. “In my head, I felt justified in going. There's kids here that are not safe. I suppose that's the reason why I came over here.”

His only regret is that he was injured. He was shot in his right forearm and has shrapnel in his heart and spine. “Whoever shot me was aiming for my chest. Because I had my thumbs tucked into my plate carrier it struck my forearm, hit the bone and ricocheted back out. I should be dead three or four times over.”

Mr Maher said he did not know what the plans were for his repatriation or if he would be returning with Rory Mason’s remains.

“I haven't told my family that I'm coming home as things change very quickly in Ukraine. I will wait until I get to Poland.

“I feel guilty that I'm leaving. When I was first injured I thought ‘get me out of here’, but now that I'm getting stronger I feel kind of guilty that I'm not out there with the guys in my unit. I'm looking forward to coming home as well.”

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