'I have the upper hand in a major event' - Meet one of Ireland's 80 survivalists

'I have the upper hand in a major event' - Meet one of Ireland's 80 survivalists
Survivalist Frank Deegan.

Meet the survivalist who is preparing for life after an apocalypse.

Frank Deegan is well armed, has military boxes of dried food which will last for decades, a generator for electricity when the mains system collapses, security cameras all over his home outside Kilkenny and a dog.

Also, when he goes out hunting he dresses in full camouflage gear.

TV viewers will be able to see him in action on Monday night in an RTÉ One programme which follows people working on the front line of public safety, from gardaí and air traffic controllers to hospital cleaners and M50 emergency crews.

Frank and colleagues can be seen hunting in the woods, shooting, skinning and cooking a rabbit on an open fire before settling down for the night in a hammock.

The documentary claims there are up to 80 survivalists in this country who regularly meet to swap skills and techniques and discuss what will happen if civilisation breaks down.

“I think I have the upper hand in a major event. I will be able to look after my friends and family by relying on the old school methods of food, water, shelter, fire and heat,” said Frank.

“Because we are living out in the countryside water is at risk and so is electricity.

Nobody is going to come in and help you. The army, the fire brigade, the civil servants won’t come and hand you food for at least a couple of weeks as they are going to be running around like headless chickens themselves.

“I know I am going to be able to survive because I have the key skills to get me out of that hole.”

We see Frank hunting with a high-powered rifle with telescopic sights, one of 180,000 legally held guns in this country.

“They say you will be 72 hours away from anarchy. You won’t die of hunger in three days but you will get bloody hungry and hunger pains will drive anybody.

“The word survivalist means you can basically be stark naked in the woods and be able to survive the next couple of days. You have to be self-sufficient if things do go south. It does help to be able to shoot and kill your own prey, eat it, gut it and cook it.

“Part of the training we have is to be able to identify flora and fauna that is edible and non-poisonous like mushrooms.

“It is sad in a way that generations will never see what we are doing or taste this [rabbit] or see the way we are doing it. It’s a pity it’s only a small few like ourselves who are bringing our kids out – and hopefully their kids will come and their kids.”

Survivalist Frank Deegan.
Survivalist Frank Deegan.

One survivalist colleague said: “I was putting something away every week and should anything happen I have a way of cooking, heating and I have food put away for emergencies.

“You will get people scoffing but I will be standing proud.” Frank agreed: “So will I.”

He said: “I was never taught this as a child. Without a doubt we are keeping the old school skill set alive.

“If we can pass this on to the next generation and make sure they add to it I think we will keep the whole thing going.

“These are core skills that everyone should have.”

*One Day: Keeping Ireland Safe is on RTÉ One Monday night at 9.35pm.

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