Wednesday, 23 July 2008

'we're the boys who fear no noise'

Ex-soldier Victor Murtagh was awarded over €300,000 in the High Court this week to compensate for his experiences in Lebanon. With a name like Victor it's probably not surprising that he apparently 'always wanted to be a soldier', presumably attracted by the cut and thrust of battle and the adrenalin rush of taking it to the enemy. So here's the story.

He joins the Irish Army and gets trained in the skills of combat. Gets posted to Lebanon in due course. But then things start to go wrong. He heard a 'loud explosion' down the road which frightened the shit out of him, and then when he heard that two other soldiers were killed (imagine that, soldiers killed!) he became very upset. Very upset indeed.

So decided to sue the army. And he gets awarded €300k.

That all makes sense I suppose, and there's plenty of precedent. Historical records reveal that both Hitler and Stalin were driven demented during the Battle of Stalingrad with compensation claims from soldiers complaining of the noise. 'Mein Gott, can't they fight more quietly?' fumed Hitler, 'these claims are bankrupting the Reichsbank'.

It's sad that the army's proud claim of 'we're the boys who fear no noise' is now somewhat diminished. Still, looking at the bright side, in these days of growing unemployment, a whole new compensation industry is opening up, catering for every soldier who was ever upset by a loud bang.


Anonymous said...

It's like Weimar Republic decadence - except I don't think that anything like that actually happened during the Weimar Republic.

Long before the Welfare State was dreamed of, the two basic functions of any state were internal policing and defence against external aggression - with the latter being the most vital to the State's existence. Now we have a Welfare State but we are losing the more important abilities.

Why didn't we have this problem in the age of De Valera and McQuaid?

Anonymous said...

Yeah, right, anonymous. Things were great when McQuaid and Dev were in charge!

tvoh said...

Just how does one get to the recruiting office? My bank account is low.

Could I do a pre-enlistment scam. Pay me 200 now and I'll save us all trouble.

SAVANT said...

Good idea TVOH. It seems that anything at all now qualifies for compensation

rob said...

What if there was a war and nobody claimed?

SAVANT said...

a war? you must be kidding. the army doesnt do wars. any time we go on 'peace-keeping' duties it's on the condition that we can get out as soon as it gets dangerous.