Irishman injured in Ukraine to return home

An Irishman who fought in the war in Ukraine said he ‘should have died three or four times’ after being wounded on the front line in Kharkiv.

Brian Meagher, who traveled to Ukraine in May, is fighting on the front lines in the east of the country.

The Co Meath man said he was fighting with the International Legion in defense of Ukraine when he was injured.

Mr Meagher said while he did not know Rory Mason, a 23-year-old from Dunboyne, they were both based in the same area in Ukraine.

Mr Mason was killed in action with the International Legion in the Kharkiv region near the Russian border last week. His death was announced yesterday.

Speaking on RTÉ’s Morning Ireland, Mr Meagher said Kharkiv was calm until the start of the current offensive.

“The offensive that’s happened now is probably one of the biggest offensives in the world since World War II, and they’ve captured over 6,000 square kilometers, so it’s pretty big and successful.”

Brian Meagher doesn’t regret joining the fight

The former prison guard said it was pretty scary to come under Russian artillery fire and it was “a pretty bloody campaign”.

He said: “I don’t know the casualty rate, but judging by what I see in the hospital, it’s appalling.”

Describing his injuries, he said he was shot in the arm, his fingers were also injured and he has shrapnel in his heart and spine. He also has leg injuries.

He said if his hands had been by his side when he was hit, he probably would have been killed.

“I should have died three or four times.”

He has numerous injuries after being hit on the front line

The former prison guard said he was being transferred from the hospital he was in in Lviv and then being sent home to Ireland.

He said he spoke to his wife and two children but he had not yet told them when he would return home, “because in Ukraine things change a lot, quite quickly”.

“So I’m waiting to get to Poland and I’ll be on a flight before giving a text to confirm I’m coming back.”

Initially, he said, he was keen to return to Ireland after being injured “but the stronger I get now, I’m starting to feel a bit guilty for not being there”.

Mr Meagher said he went to fight because of his children. “In my head, it’s kind of justified where I’ve had life insurance since I was 17.

“The Legion has life insurance covered here. My kids are safe, so if anything happened to me… that’s how I justified it in my head. Like they’d be relatively stable financially. There are kids here who aren’t safe. And I thought that’s part of the reason why I came here.”

A school destroyed by Russian troops in the Kharkiv region

He said he was “looking forward” to returning home, but he feels guilty about leaving Ukraine.

Mr Meagher said he has no regrets about going to fight. “My only regret is getting hit,” he said, wishing he could do more.

Read more: Why this former Irish soldier is fighting in Ukraine

Previous BECU Visa: Washington Residents Can Avoid Credit Card Interest
Next GAA's new media rights deal likely freezes community and online radio