Castlemartin soldier inquest due to begin
12:20pm Monday 25th February 2013 in News
An inquest into the death of soldier who died during a training exercise at the Castlemartin Range in May is due to start today (Monday).
Ranger Michael ‘Mike’ Maguire, originally from County Cork in Ireland, was shot in the forehead as he waited in an administrative area designated as a safe area. Solicitors representing his family said that he had removed both his helmet and body armour.
The 21-year-old was transferred to the emergency unit at the University Hospital of Wales. However, the shot proved fatal and Ranger Maguire could not be resuscitated.
The inquest could run for up to three weeks and will be heard by HM Coroner for Cardiff and the Vale of Glamorgan sitting with a jury.
It will hear from a number of witnesses including fellow soldiers from the 1st Battalion, The Royal Irish Regiment into the circumstances of the training exercise which took place on one of a series of ranges in use by a number of Army units.
Ranger Maguire, who joined The Royal Irish Regiment in 2010, had been on a tour of Afghanistan and was preparing for a further tour in spring 2013. The training exercise at Castlemartin Range was one of a number of training events scheduled to prepare the company for their deployment.
Kevin Hart of the Independent Inquest Advice Service, The Royal British Legion said: “The Royal British Legion’s Independent Inquest Advice service, which provides independent advice and assistance to bereaved Service families, is meeting a very real and sad need.
“We are helping the Maguire family to understand, and feel better equipped to deal with, the whole investigation into Mike’s death. The Legion will be with them every step of the way through this inquest.
Alison Millar from law firm Leigh Day, who is representing the Maguire family, added: “This is a tragic incident and the family have a lot of questions which need answers not only for their benefit, to understand how a loved son and brother could have died in a training exercise, but also to ensure nothing like this can happen again.”