I was asked recently if I wrote ‘military thrillers.’ If the definition of a military thriller is one which is set solely or primarily within the military, no I don’t. A great deal of counterterrorism takes place within the civilian world as well. The police and secret services I write about are not, strictly speaking, military—although when it comes to armed response to terrorism, you would be hard pressed to tell the difference. They tend to use similar weapons and tactics—and dress much the same.
That said, all my thrillers to date—including two new titles which are due out shortly—feature military action and include Ireland’s elite special forces unit, the Rangers. Actually, the unit’s real name is the Army Ranger Wing—but let’s not quibble.
The Irish Rangers train with various international units—everyone from the U.S. Rangers to the French GIGN to the Australian SAS—so their standard is extremely high. As for their experience—given that Ireland is neutral you might think it might be minimal—but in fact, thanks to the IRA at home and Ireland’s extensive involvement with the U.N—it is global. In fact the Rangers have served in the Lebanon, Chad, Somalia, East Timor officially—and God alone knows where unofficially.
As with most units of their caliber, the Rangers comprise a relatively small unit—something over a 100 strong—and are based in the Curragh not far from Dublin. And yes, I have visited with them.