US soldier who is fluent in Irish subject of TG4 doc - VIDEO
TG4 documentary “Dushlan” due to air next week
A US soldier who is fluent in Gaelic has become the subject of the first ever Irish war zone documentary.
Seamus O’Fianghusa (35), who was born to Irish American and Korean parents and grew up in Brooklyn, was asked to contribute to the TG4 documentary in 2010.
The documentary, “Dushlan”, follows him from New York to Belfast and Donegal, then onto Afghanistan.
"I would like it to be successful because it highlights the Irish language and culture in a way that is not at all traditional," he told the Irish Independent this week in Dublin.
"Irish has an international relevance. Our language is vibrant and capable of change in modern circumstances, as well as having its traditional associations."
The soldier has been back to Ireland eight times since his first trip to Ireland in 2008. A regular visitor to the Gaelic region of Gweedore in Donegal, he took a rare break from combat while serving in Afghanistan to visit the Northwest.
"I was out in the middle of nowhere in Central Asia between life and death and then the next thing I am chilling out with a pint of Guinness in the Gaeltacht," he said.
"I pressed for those dates because I wanted to go home and sing and speak my Irish."
The TG4 documentary explores various characters in extraordinary circumstances and places.
The feature on O Fianghusa was filmed in the Logar province in Afghanistan, where he was on patrol for nine months.
"It's very different from anything else you would see anywhere else in the world," he reflected.
"The brotherhood you have with your fellow soldiers, being in life-threatening situations every day, bonds you more than anything else could.
"We endured many violent encounters -- being shot at, IEDs -- but I never really thought about how dangerous it was until I got home."
'Dushlan' aired on TG4.
Here's the trailer for the documentary:
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