Northern Ireland news

Ex-army colonel from Belfast accuses Prince Harry of betraying the military

Former Colonel of the Royal Irish Regiment, Tim Collins, has criticised Prince Harry for disclosing that he killed 25 people in Afghanistan. Picture: PA Wire
Allan Preston

A decorated former army colonel from Belfast has accused Prince Harry of betraying the military after disclosing he killed 25 people in Afghanistan.

Tim Collins is widely known for his role in the 2003 Iraq war, where he delivered a famous speech on the eve of battle.

In an interview with Forces News, he said: “Harry has now turned against the other family, the military, that once embraced him having trashed his birth family”.

Prince Harry's controversial new memoir, Spare, has had blanket media coverage this week with claims of past drug abuse and accusations that his older brother, Prince William, physically attacked him.

He also said his second tour of duty in Afghanistan in 2012 to 2013 resulted in “the taking of human lives”, but said he was not proud or ashamed.

Not thinking of them as “people” at the time, he said he had viewed them as “chess pieces” that had been taken off the board.

“So, my number is 25. It's not a number that fills me with satisfaction, but nor does it embarrass me,” he wrote.

Col Collins has now dismissed the memoir as “a tragic money-making scam”.

“Amongst his assertions is a claim that he killed 25 people in Afghanistan,” he said.

“That's not how you behave in the Army; it's not how we think.”

He also questioned Harry's decision to pursue "US identity politics" and cast "slurs or racism around where none exists."

“I wonder whose path he has chosen? In the end I see only disappointment and misery in his pursuit of riches he does not need and his rejection of family and comradely love that he badly needs,” he said.

Also condemning the claims was Anas Haqqani, Taliban leader in Afghanistan, who criticised the duke for calling those he killed as “chess players”, but added that not many who killed

Afghans “have your decency to reveal their conscience and confess to their war crimes”.

Former defence secretary Lord Hutton said Prince's revelations "diminishes him" and is a "very serious mistake".

General Sir Richard Barrons, a former commander of Joint Forces Command, said “you don't talk about these things”.

Lord Darroch, former national security adviser, said he “would have advised against” Harry revealing those details, while former commando Ben McBean advised the prince to “shut up”.

Northern Ireland news