South West Wales

Soldier Michael Maguire dies at Castlemartin ranges live firing exercise

Ranger Michael Maguire
Image caption The death of Michael Maguire is being investigated by police and the HSE

A soldier has died during a live firing exercise on ranges in Pembrokeshire.

Dyfed Powys Police, assisted by the Health and Safety Executive, are investigating the death Ranger Michael Maguire at Castlemartin.

The Pembrokeshire coroner has also been informed following the incident on Wednesday.

His company commander at The 1st Battalion, The Royal Irish Regiment, described him as "extremely popular".

Ranger Maguire's next of kin has been informed.

Company commander Major Richard Bell said: "Michael was always going to stand out from the crowd. Not only because he stood a towering 6' 7'' tall, but because of his vastly cheerful outlook on life, natural charisma and irrepressible good humour.

"All of this ensured that he was extremely popular throughout the company and his loss is keenly felt."

The MoD said it would be inappropriate to comment while a police investigation is ongoing.

Ranger Maguire, who is understood to come from the Irish Republic, joined the battalion in May 2010, prior to being deployed to Afghanistan later that September, according to his commanding officer, Lt Col Colin Weir.

"The entire battalion is deeply shocked by this tragic event and all our thoughts and prayers are with Ranger Maguire's family at this difficult time," he said.

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