Kinahan recalls 'disappointment' at not leading men into Falklands war

NORTHERN Ireland Veterans’ Commissioner Danny Kinahan has revealed that the decision not to send him and his men into war on the Falklands four decades ago was a ‘huge disappointment’.

Writing exclusively for the Antrim Guardian this week, the former South Antrim MP recalled life on the island in the aftermath of the conflict when he spent six months as officer in charge of the island’s headquarters.

The local man recently took part in the commemorations of the 255 British troops who died during the war at the National Arboretum - and he admits he was deeply touched by stories of heroism on the battlefield.

“When the task force was put together our troops were previously training with the Parachute Regiment and each were learning how light tanks and infantry could best work together,” he recalled.

“The Blues and Royals were to provide light armoured reconnaissance support and I was told my squadron was to get ready to go.

“My troop had just won troop tests and suddenly here was a chance to do what we had been training for.”

But at the 11th hour there was a change of heart.

“The powers that be decided half way though the training that our light reconnaissance tanks were not needed and were not to go as part of the main invasion force, but to be ready if called,” he said.

“We were still to be first reserve [but] I have to admit our disappointment was huge.”

* Full report on page 4.

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