Castlemartin training tragedy soldier was killed by shot to the head, inquest told
1:18pm Tuesday 26th February 2013 in News
A 6ft 7in tall soldier was killed when he was hit in the head by friendly fire on a training exercise in Pembrokeshire, an inquest heard yesterday (Monday).
Ranger Michael Maguire, 21, died when he was shot by a machine gun after returning safely from Afghanistan.
Cardiff Coroner's Court heard Ranger Maguire, who was not wearing a helmet, was waiting in a field a kilometre away from the action zone when he was hit.
Ranger Maguire had survived a tour of duty in Afghanistan but died following the accident at Castlemartin range in Pembrokeshire.
Army medic Michael Gleeson said: "I was sat in the battlefield ambulance when we received a call to say someone had been hurt.
"As we arrived the people around him started grabbing kit and throwing it out of the way.
"They were making a work space for us - which made it clear we where dealing with a serious casualty.
"I ran over to him, they had applied an emergency bandage to Michael Maguire's wound, to the left side of his temple.
"I applied CPR to him for 15 to 20 minutes until an air ambulance arrived - the whole time I was with him he was unconscious."
The inquest heard how Ranger Maguire was on army training exercise with the 1st battalion of The Royal Irish Regiment when he died.
The soldiers were taking part in a training exercise firing machine guns and rifles at a series of static and pop-up targets when the accident happened.
Ranger Maguire was stood in an administration area where soldiers eat their lunch and pack their gear when he was struck in the head.
He was rushed by helicopter to the University Hospital in Wales suffering from head injuries but doctors were unable to save him.
His dad Michael Snr told the hearing: "I loved Michael dearly and will miss him terribly.
"He was a sporting, fit lad and very lovable and he was always very happy with army life."
Ranger Maguire was from Bantry, in County Cork, Ireland and went to school at nearby St Goban's College.
After school he joined the 1st Battalion, The Royal Irish Regiment on 10 May, 2010, and was sent to Afghanistan four months later.
The Castlemartin Army Training Area was established in 1939 and covers 5900 in South Pembrokeshire.
The inquest continues.