The word “hero” is thrown around easily these days, but Limerick man David Hayes is an absolute Irish hero.
The 39-yr-old was detained by aiport security in London this week as he was boarding a flight to Turkey where he was headed to Assyrian, near Mosul, Iraq to fight the Islamic State (ISIS).
The 39-year-old from Kileely was praised by airport security for his “honourable intentions”, but unforuntately they could not permit him to travel.
“I’ve been observing what Isis are doing in Syria and Iraq and throughout the world,” said the Limerick man who intended to join the Assyrian militia Dwekh Nawsha – a Christian military group created two years ago to fight Isis.
David said he decided to take action after he saw a disturbing photograph of a child who had been killed by Islamic State. “When I saw that, something in my heart just said I have to do something. I felt morally obligated to not just be a casual observer and have an opinion on Facebook about it, but to actually volunteer.”
“So that’s what I said to the Assyrian people, I told them that I want to volunteer and put myself forward. That was two years ago, in 2014.”
A descendant of John Devoy – who took part in the Fenian rising in 1867, the 1916 Rising and the War of Independence – Mr Hayes likens his cause to that of the Irish rebels.
“The most vile organisation ever to spring up in mankind’s history, in my opinion, is Isis. And the Assyrians are fighting for their survival. So I believe that I’m representing Ireland as well.
“I have to commit to four months, you’re asked to commit to three months,” he said before he flew to London. “You can’t just land as a volunteer and after two weeks decide you’re out, that it’s not for you. I’m a little bit scared, yes. I’m a little bit nervous, but I feel duty bound to go ahead and do it.”
Although stopped from travelling this time, David is determined to take up arms against the evil Islamic extremist thugs:
“I haven’t given up in regards to Isis or any grouping that threatens our way of life and who oppress and murder others.”