If it's a 7280 on AT&T originaly, unless he got it unlocked, it's locked. A Vodaphone sim wouldn't work unfortunatly :(.
It doesn't differ really any at all from the 7230, the 7230 is dual-band, 7280 is tri-band. I believe that's the only difference.
Kerry Ireleand eh? I'm going to be in Cork County this summer visiting family