An Irish Legionnaire’s Wars from Bosnia to Iraq

Written by
Padraig O'Keeffe
Ralph Riegel
Hidden Soldier

The amazing bestseller about a young man driven by adrenalin of the most intense kind, who has cheated death on more than one occasion.
'A remarkable story of life and death in the world’s most dangerous war zones' - Irish Independent.

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Pádraig O’Keeffe joined the elite and secretive French Foreign Legion at the age of twenty, seeking a challenge that would absorb his interests and intensity. He served with the Legion in Cambodia and Bosnia, then returned to civilian life, but military habits would not allow him to settle.

His need for intense excitement and extreme danger drove him back to the lifestyle he knew and loved, and using his Legion training, he became a ‘hidden soldier’ by opting for security missions in Iraq and Haiti.

In Iraq he was the sole survivor of an ambush in no man’s land between Abu Ghraib and Fallujah, the most dangerous place on earth.

An intense, exciting and vivid account of extraordinary and sometimes horrific events, Hidden Soldier lifts the veil on the dark and shadowy world of security contractors and what the situation is really like in Iraq as well as other trouble spots.

This bestseller also includes photographs taken by Padraig O’Keeffe while he was a Legionnaire and when he was in Iraq.

PÁDRAIG O'KEEFE is from Cobh, Co Cork. A former Legionnaire, he is now a security expert who works in the most dangerous parts of the world.

Ralph Riegel lives in Cork. He has worked as a journalist for several newspapers including The Cork Examiner, The Evening Echo, The Evening Herald and The Sunday Independent and is the southern correspondent for The Irish Independent. He is also a regular contributor to RTE, BBC and TV3 and to British newspapers including the (London) Independent and The Daily Telegraph.

'He has led an extraordinary life. A great book - a truly incredible story'

Gerry Ryan 2FM

'A remarkable story of life and death in the world’s most dangerous war zones'

Irish Independent

'It is a fascinating story and takes you to many parts of the world - from Bosnia to Iraq,'

Matt Cooper - Today FM

'An incredible life spent in some of the world's most dangerous places - a great read'

Ireland AM, TV3

'A fine book - it tells a stunning tale very, very well. Padraig O’Keeffe has managed to pack more into 37 years than most people would in several lifetimes'

The Avondhu Press

'The book is at once a taut, fascinating insight into one man's quest to be a noble soldier and a shocking expose of how difficult that is to achieve.'

Irish Mail on Sunday
The Irish Mail on Sunday

'A joy to armchair warriors and travellers.'

The Irish Times


Reader Reviews

I have read a lot on the history of war throughout the ages and the world. I have been inspired by the stories of a lot of true warriors and soldiers in the process. I have never read a book quite like Padraig's. You can tell the guy is an honest writer,

Justin on 28th March 2011

I have just finished Pádraig O'Keeffe's book "Hidden Soldier". I can't recommend this book enough. The honesty and pure integrity that I so admire in real soldiers is in Pádraig O'Keeffe in abundance. I have read so many books on modern combat (mostl

Regina on 1st November 2010

I just want to say thanks to Padraig for giving me an insight into his life in the F.F.L and the work he does now.I am in the military and soon I will be doing a private security course. I would love to meet the guy. Thanks again

Adam on 30th August 2010

Hidden Soldier is the best book I have read. It's the kind of book that when you finish reading it you want to start over again.
Padraig has lived and worked in the most dangerous corners of the world, has cheated death on so many occasions, but has almo

Noreen on 12th July 2010

By far the best book I have ever read. Well done Pádraig, I hope you have a second book !!

David on 8th July 2010

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