A RATHCOOLE soldier who was badly injured while serving in Afghanistan was given a hero’s welcome at a fundraising event in the Eastway Social Club last week.
Irish Guardsman Lance Corporal Bryan Phillips was wounded earlier this year when an Improvised Explosive Device (IED) detonated during a patrol.
Bryan, who has served in the Army for seven years and completed tours in Iraq and Afghanistan, lost both his legs and needed skin grafting to his hand. The 26-year-old also still has a bullet lodged in his body.
During Friday night’s event everyone in the Eastway paid tribute to the local hero.
At the function, an address was given on behalf of his friends in Rathcoole, Rathfern and Eastway Social Club by Community Development Worker Tommy Kirkham.
“Bryan is a well-known and liked individual and we wanted to do something for him to recognise his contribution and the sacrifice he has made,” he commented.
“Thanks also should be made to Trevor Greer from the club who organised the event and everyone involved would wish Bryan makes a good recovery.”
David McCrea from Cloughfern Young Conquerors Flute Band, who were involved with Friday night’s event, said plans are already being drawn up for a bigger fundraising event in the Eastway Club later this year after Lance Corporal Phillips has undergone further treatment and rehabilitation at a military hospital in England.
“He’s one of our own, a local lad who is part of our community and he has sustained some terrible injuries while serving his country. The whole community wishes him the very best for his recovery,” Mr McCrea said.