WHILE Camden Fort Meagher was closed to the public over the summer, it still had some visitors when 18 celebrity recruits took part in a gruelling RTÉ reality show.
The celebrities – including former Ireland and Munster rugby player Peter Stringer, former Cork footballer Valerie Mulcahy and rugby player Anna Caplice – were taking part in ‘Special Forces – Ultimate Hell Week – The Professionals’ which started on RTÉ One this week, and continues on Wednesday nights at 9.35pm.
The series has a strong local theme because Dr Jason van der Velde of West Cork Rapid Response is the on-site doctor again.
In the first episode, the 18 recruits were transported by high speed rib (inflatable boat) to the former military base in Crosshaven, which became the new Hell Week base. Each recruit is also representing a charity of their choice, so the longer they last, the more they will raise for their worthy cause.
Waiting for them at the jetty were course instructors including former Cork army ranger Raymond Goggins, who gave them a short, sharp, blast of what to expect over their five days.
This special forces selection course is designed by former members of Ireland’s elite Special Forces Unit, the Army Ranger Wing, that has failure rates upwards of 90%. The course tests recruits’ physical, emotional and psychological resilience, and is designed to break all but the toughest of individuals.