Irish soldier hurt in Afghanistan 'recovering well'

An Irish soldier injured in a bomb blast in Afghanistan is recovering well, his father said today.

An Irish soldier injured in a bomb blast in Afghanistan is recovering well, his father said today.

Royal Irish Ranger Martin Delaney, of Lusk, Co Dublin, was travelling in an army Land Rover that struck a roadside explosive planted by Taliban insurgents.

The 23-year-old suffered shrapnel wounds to his face and legs and had to be treated with others, including Ranger David Pepper, 22, from Derry, at the Camp Bastion field hospital.

Patrick Delaney, the Dublin soldier's father, said Martin telephoned him on Sunday to let them know he was recovering after Friday night's attack in the Sangin area of Helmand Province.

"He was a bit shook, but in good form. That's the kind of lad he is, he's always in good form," he said.

Mr Delaney said his family have been glued to the news since his son was shipped out for his first tour of Afghanistan five months ago.

With nightly reports of the war, including the death of another British soldier in a gun attack last night in Helmand Province, they were relieved to hear Martin's injuries were not worse.

"It was mostly fragments of the bomb he was hit with, mostly in the leg," said Mr Delaney.

"It's just one of those things that happen when you're out there. What can you do.

"It was always his dream. That's what he always wanted to do, since he was about 15-years-old."

Martin, who joined the Royal Irish Regiment about three years ago, telephones his family around once a week to let them know he is well, his father said.

Ranger Pepper suffered a shrapnel wound to his left arm and an injury to his back, while a third Royal Irish soldier caught up in the blast had to be flown back to a UK military base for treatment.

Earlier last week, a Ranger from Belfast lost his leg in a similar bomb attack in Helmand Province.

There are around 500 soldiers from the Royal Irish Regiment First Battalion, usually stationed in Ternhill, Shropshire, fighting in Afghanistan.

They are joined by about 100 troops of the Second Battalion from the Territorial Army, based at Portadown, Co Armagh.

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