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Probe into 'hazing' of soldier at Curragh

A MILITARY investigation is underway into claims a serving soldier was subjected to a terrifying 'hazing' incident in which he was electrocuted via barbed wire tied around his toes.

The incident, which occurred at the Curragh Camp in Kildare during a routine training exercise, was initially referred to gardai by the victim but they ruled the matter was under military jurisdiction.

An investigation by miltary police is now underway and could result in a court martial hearing.

Defence Forces sources stressed to the Herald that the matter is being taken "very seriously".

A key element of the probe will be the analysis of camera phone footage of the alleged incident.

It is understood that a number of individuals are partially identifiable from the footage.

The victim, a serving soldier in his 30s, said the incident started out as "a bad joke that got out of hand".

"There were a good few other lads around the place. They were all laughing but I was left quite upset by the whole thing," the soldier said.

The actual 'hazing' incident involved barbed wire being tied around the soldier's big toes and an electric current from a field telephone being run through the wire.

The incident lasted just a few minutes before the wires were removed and the soldier was released to roars of laughter.

The soldier had no ill effects but was left upset by the matter.

The probe into the matter will take some time to complete.

It is understood military authorities want to confirm precisely what happened and interview every person who witnessed or took part in the matter.

A ruling on what action, if any, will follow won't be taken until next year. The ultimate sanction could be a formal court martial hearing.

The soldier involved continues to serve though he is not based in the Curragh.

Military authorities stressed that there is a strict anti-bullying policy in the Defence Forces.

PDFORRA warned bullying that is unacceptable.