herald

Wednesday 22 November 2017

I'm just a teddy bear at heart -- Operation Transformation's tough-talking Sergeant Mick

Operation Transformation hard nut Sergeant Mick Mulcahy has admitted he's not as tough as he appears on screen.

The dad of four, who drills the five leaders of the show with exhausting exercise regimes, told the Herald: "I'm really a teddy bear at heart."

Mulcahy (49) who has been a member of the defence forces since he was 22, has served in Somalia, Lebanon and Kosovo says his army tactics don't work at home.

"I wouldn't get away with [being so regimental] at home. My wife Cathy and I work as a team.

"If you hear me swearing, it's because of frustration.

"Sometimes, people are trying to hide when you need them to push themselves.

"But they have to understand that there is no easy way, you have to give 100pc.

"I know it's very tough on them as well because our training would be a bit harder than the usual civilian training -- it's tougher because we have to train people to survive in battle. We do bring it down to suit civilians but it's hard to get a happy medium."

Sergeant Mulcahy, who is originally from Clare, will be 50 this year and while he's never had any weight management concerns, he said he knew what the leaders were going through.

"In 2004, I had a collapsed lung and broke some ribs as well, so there was a lot of physio and a lot of hard graft involved to get back into shape.

"I was in hospital for 10 days but then it took me weeks trying to get back to the fitness levels I used to have. I wouldn't have any problems when it comes to food though.

"I would be a firm believer in a good diet. I do watch it, I'd be sensible enough but I'm not calorie shy.

"My wife is very good with the cooking, she makes sure that we eat good food, so I'm lucky."

Mick was 22 when he did a selection course to be part of the defence forces and rose to become ser-

geant.

"I had a lot of trips abroad, I would have gone to Somalia, Lebanon, Kosovo on peacekeeping and peace-making missions or demolition," he recalled.

"I was a team leader on operations but then I was given the opportunity to train other members of the defence forces.

"I just took it as a new challenge, I liked working with them from start to finish."

Read Anna Nolan on behind the scenes at Operation Transformation, Pages 32-33

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