herald

Thursday 19 October 2017

Nikki's not worried as fiance heads for Syria to keep peace

DJ Nikki Hayes has said she is confident that her fiance who is going to Syria with the Defence Forces at the end of the month will not be in danger in the war-torn country.

Frank Black is a mechanical technician fitter with the Defence Forces and is bound for the Middle East within weeks.

Spin 1038 presenter Nikki met him in 2010 and the pair have a baby girl, Farah.

The Irish peacekeepers in the Golan Heights were forced to exchange fire with Syrian rebels as part of a rescue mission after their Filipino colleagues were surrounded by hostile forces.

But Nikki is not worried ahead of Frank's deployment.

She said: "I have every confidence in the chief of staff, Lt Gen Conor O'Boyle.

"He has his staff so well trained. They are the best trained army in the world. I wouldn't be sending my fiance and the father of my child away if I thought he was in danger.

"This is his second trip. He was over in Lebanon before.

"Of course I get nervous, it's natural, but they're so well trained .

"I met Frank four years ago and we have a nine-month-old baby.

buoyed

"We're planning for a 2015 wedding, so he has a lot to come back to."

Nikki, from Bray, is particularly buoyed by the mission last weekend, saying it went so well that it "instils confidence".

The Irish soldiers safely evacuated 35 fellow peacekeepers caught up in a siege, with a Filipino general later describing the operation as "the greatest escape".

jfegan@herald.ie

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