herald

Thursday 14 December 2017

I hear bombs going off when I talk to fiance frank, says nikki

DJ Nikki Hayes has opened up about her fears for her fiance Frank Black, who has just gone to war-torn Syria with the Irish Army as part of a UN convoy.

The Spin 103 broadcaster (36) revealed how she could hear mortar shells exploding during a recent conversation with her army mechanic partner.

Last week he travelled as part of a 130-strong convoy of Irish troops who will be stationed in Israel's Camp Ziouoani, just 100 metres from the Syrian border.

He has now started a gruelling six-month-long tour of duty, which means that he'll miss their little daughter Farah's first Christmas.

"It's weird because people say, 'Are you worried about him?' But I've watched him train for this since last June," Nikki said.

"He was away for weeks on end and doing operations in Glen of Imaal, and because I've seen it first-hand I'm not as worried.

"As he's a mechanic, he normally works on the Presidential escort bikes, but this is a whole new experience for him."

Frank, a Donegal native, has completed previous tours of duty in other countries like Lebanon before coming back to Ireland.

Yet Nikki said the fact that they're parents to 10-month-old Farah has made it harder this time around.

"He has already missed her crawling, and that was the first big milestone. She literally started doing it just a few days after he left - I felt so sorry for him that he missed it," she said.

"But he's doing something that he loves. I have to support him in what he does."

mfinn@herald.ie

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