Defence Forces tell North Cork residents late-night shells training is ‘essential’

The Defence Forces has said that late-night exercises involving the firing of shells in North Cork leading led to complaints about noise are “an essential part of military training”.

People in areas surrounding Kilworth Barracks — including Fermoy and Mitchelstown — reported loud booming noises and flashes of light in the sky late on Thursday.

While used to manoeuvres in and around Kilworth, the noise level surprised locals, some of whom contacted the Irish Examiner and took to social media to complain.

The Defence Forces said it is “conscious to minimise any inconvenience to local residents” when conducting exercises and that on Thursday night, students of the Infantry Light Support Weapons Instructors Course completed a 60mm mortar night shoot as per the course syllabus, completing all firing by midnight.

“Night shoots are an essential part of military training in keeping with international best practice and are conducted in a safe and secure manner,” the Defence Forces said.

Asked if it should have pre-warned residents so they could keep pets indoors during the shooting exercise, the Defence Forces said that it “issues notices when demolitions are conducted due to the decibel levels involved”.

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