A former fight medic within the Irish Defence Forces has returned to Eire after months on the frontline in Ukraine.

Dathan Brennan from Offaly has over twenty years expertise as a discipline paramedic within the Defence Forces, which he left in 2020.

He labored for a non-public medical firm in Donbas for over a 12 months earlier than returning to Eire to develop into a complicated paramedic with the HSE when the Russian invasion started.

“Clearly we noticed what was taking place on TV,” Mr Brennan stated.

“I simply thought by being ex-military and with the medical abilities I’ve, that I could possibly be of profit, that I might really do one thing.

“I used to be looking for what was the most effective avenue to truly be capable of use the abilities to profit individuals and I used to be wanting on-line for various teams.

“I used to be wanting on the overseas legion over there after which I stumbled throughout the Mozart Group on the web.”

The Mozart Group is comprised of ex-western army specialists.

“I contacted them and gave them my CV,” Mr Brennan added.

“We mentioned what position they’d have for me and I went over the primary week of Could.

“I knew it was going to be dangerous. I actually simply felt that I might simply supply one thing.”

Mr Brennan started working with Mozart and used his expertise to supervise medical coaching for Ukrainian troopers, displaying them present medical care to injured troops.

He later grew to become concerned in helping evacuations from frontline zones, changing into head of Mozart’s evacuation crew.

“We did medical coaching for the Ukrainian army after which we needed to arrange the evacuation crew,” Mr Brennan stated.

“So I used to be the crew chief of the evacuation crew and we moved off down and went into east Bahkmut.”

Dathan Brennan tends to a affected person in Ukraine

Nonetheless, the Mozart Group grew to become a goal of the Wagner Group, a pro-Moscow mercenary group, which resulted in a “worth being positioned on our heads”, Mr Brennan defined.

At this level, Mr Brennan’s household again house grew to become very involved.

“My spouse is ex-military as effectively so she understood roughly what the risk stage was however as we began getting a reputation as a bunch who had been efficient for coaching the Ukrainian army and doing evacuations, we had been below risk,” he stated.

“Wagner began placing hits on us and had been attempting to focus on us.”

Learn full protection of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine


On 30 October final, Mr Brennan and his crew had been in Bahkmut, serving to evacuate individuals from town.

Russian forces have been attempting to seize town for months, in what has was one of many bloodiest battles of the year-long warfare.

Amongst these Mr Brennan helped that day had been Sergei and Olga.

They’re too afraid to offer any extra particulars however they’re now secure in one other a part of Ukraine.

“They really did not need us coming again in to get them as a result of they informed us it was too harmful,” Mr Brennan stated.

“They had been attempting to say they might make their very own approach out, which bodily meant that they’d be strolling by means of artillery fireplace, throughout a damaged bridge with all their belongings and two canines and I used to be like, no, we are able to simply come again in.”

After the escape, the couple defined to Mr Brennan that that they had household in Eire and in the present day their relative Maria, who moved to Eire three years in the past, was in a position to thank him in particular person.

“For them, it was their solely hope,” Maria stated.

“They tried to remain however someday they only realised that the subsequent missile assault would not be on the neighbour’s home, it might be on theirs.

“I knew Dathan was nonetheless in Ukraine till just lately and I am so completely satisfied to satisfy him in the present day.

“It is so superb to see all these courageous individuals like Dathan who went to Ukraine to assist.”

Dathan Brennan meets Ukrainian residents

‘Overwhelmed with aid’

Mr Brennan stated lots of the individuals he helped escape had been overwhelmed with aid and happiness.

“It’s extremely rewarding if you bodily take these individuals out of an space,” he stated.

“Typically you are solely 20 minutes down the street, and they’re going to bodily simply break down at the back of the automotive.

“There’s simply that build-up of pressure there. They have been dwelling underground and in concern.

“Once they get out and also you get right into a city and swiftly they see vehicles, retailers open and there is electrical energy and it simply will get too overwhelming.

“Whenever you see individuals are so completely satisfied to get of someplace, that is what you do it for.

“It is nice when he can hear follow-on tales the place you recognize, individuals have made it to security.”

Again house, Mr Brennan stated the fact of what’s taking place in Ukraine is difficult to understand, with out seeing it first hand.

“Whenever you go into these areas, it is rather like Armageddon,” he stated.

“You will note each single constructing fully destroyed, roads destroyed, and villages flattened.

“There’s loss of life and destruction all over the place.

“There are way more dangerous tales and good tales however it’s at all times good to get a very good story like this within the sort of horror that is occurring.”

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