Brothers Trevor and Brian McGahern, and their dad, Sgt Liam McGahern, will be leaving their native Fermoy in Cork on Wednesday for a six-month tour together. They haven’t lived under the same roof for years and it’s the first time all three will be on the same mission.
“We usually pass one another on trips to the Lebanon,” said 47-year-old father Liam. “I’ve been on nine trips to the Lebanon in the past. Trevor and Brian have their own homes so it’ll be strange being on a mission together.
“We have a great relationship though and we’re looking forward to spending time together. When they were babies I worried about them. And though we’re heading into a potentially dangerous area, I’ve no fears for them. Trevor is bringing his hurley and Brian has his darts and his guitar so we’ll have some great get-togethers,” he said.
The fact that the three will be together is a great relief to those left behind, including Liam’s wife, Joan, and their youngest daughter, 20-year-old Stacey.
“The current situation has calmed down a lot,” said Brian. “We’re well trained and well prepared for whatever we meet. I’ve been in the Lebanon three times before,” said the 25-year-old. “I went there first as an 18-year-old. I went over a boy and came back a man. The family support this time will be great over there.”
It does get lonely on tour after a while, admitted 26-year-old Trevor. He leaves behind his partner, Margaret, and their 16-month-old daughter, Holly.
“We’ll have good auld craic. Brian and myself will be in the one camp and the auld fella will be about a half-hour down the road,” said Trevor.
“Maybe we’re better off that way. It does get very lonely there after a few months and it will be particularly tough this time round with a daughter and partner at home.”
Their McGaherns are among the 196-strong infantry group bound for service with Kosovo Force (KFOR) on Wednesday. Defence Minister, Michael Smith, and the Chief of Staff of the Defence Forces, Lt General James Sreenan, reviewed the 28th Infantry Group bound for service with Kosovo Force (KFOR) at a parade in Kilkenny Castle yesterday.