DUP man set to embark on Afghan tour of duty

Former Mayor of Antrim and Newtownabbey, Cllr Thomas Hogg MBE, pictured wearing his Royal Irish Regiment tie.
Former Mayor of Antrim and Newtownabbey, Cllr Thomas Hogg MBE, pictured wearing his Royal Irish Regiment tie.

Former Mayor of Antrim and Newtownabbey, Cllr Thomas Hogg MBE, will be exchanging the council chamber for the battlefield as he prepares to travel to Afghanistan with the Royal Irish Reserves.

The DUP representative will be heading on a four-month tour of duty with his colleagues in the Royal Irish Regiment in the coming days.

The Times understands the members of the British Army will be supporting the Afghan Army and the Afghan Police as part of their continued presence in the region as part of Operation Toral.

Cllr Hogg will be taking a period of four months unpaid leave from his council duties, safe in the knowledge that his responsibilities will be attended to by his party colleagues.

Wishing Cllr Hogg well ahead of his departure, Antrim and Newtownabbey DUP group leader, Cllr Phillip Brett said: “The DUP and the council as a whole will miss Thomas’s expertise and passion for his local community.

“We are united in our admiration and praise for the amazing sacrifice Thomas is undertaking and wish him God’s richest blessings in the time ahead.

“We look forward to welcoming him back, safe in the knowledge he has served his country well.”

The Times contacted Cllr Hogg ahead of his departure, but he was unable to comment on the operation at this time.