Heartbreak as 23-year-old Irish volunteer soldier Rory Mason dies in Ukraine

Heartbreak as 23-year-old Irish volunteer soldier Rory Mason dies in Ukraine. Image: Visegrad 24/Twitter

TRIBUTES flooded social media on Wednesday, October 5 after it was revealed that 23-year-old Irish volunteer soldier Rory Mason had been killed during battle in Ukraine.

Following the announcement that Irish volunteer soldier Rory Mason had been killed in Ukraine, tributes pour into social media.

Visegrad 24 wrote on Twitter: “23-year-old Irish volunteer soldier has been killed in action, fighting against the Russian Army invading Ukraine. RIP Rory. Ukraine will not forget your sacrifice.”

Sadly, Rory’s death was confirmed by his family.

According to his father, Rory, a native of Dunboyne, Co Meath, joined the International Legion for the Defence of Ukraine as part of the Ukrainian Armed Forces and had been fighting in the Kharkiv region near the Russian border.

He told RTE that he had “a deep sense of right and wrong and an inability to turn the other way in the face of injustice”.

“He was a private young man of drive, purpose and conviction”.

“Though we are deeply saddened at his death, we are enormously proud of his courage and determination and his selflessness in immediately enlisting to support Ukraine,” he said.

“Rory was never political but he had a deep sense of right and wrong and an inability to turn the other way in the face of injustice. He had a long-standing interest in Eastern Europe, in travel and in learning new languages, including Russian.

“Those who fought alongside Rory speak of a truly brave and courageous man who could have left at any time but chose not to. In the words of a colleague who served with him, ‘Rory was a man who from a glance could seem shy however when it came to actions and character he proved again and again he was a man of fortitude, principal and honour’.

“Rory was our son and we will miss him enormously. As our family is still trying to come to terms with Rory’s death, we would appeal for privacy at this difficult time.”

The International Legion for the Defence of Ukraine said: “While conducting operations, the unit came under attack.

“We are in contact with the family and in coordination with them, following their wishes and instructions, the International Legion and the Armed Forces of Ukraine are handling the repatriation process.

“At this time, to protect operational security and the family’s privacy we cannot release more information.”

They added: “Rory’s memory will live on in his unit, in the Legion and the Armed Forces of Ukraine”.

A spokesperson for the family said: “Given Mr Mason was killed on the front line of an active war zone, information on what occurred is limited and the family’s priority at this point is to repatriate Rory’s remains.”

The spokesperson added that he is deeply missed by his “heartbroken” family, his parents Rob and Elizabeth and his younger brother, 22, and sister, 21.

One person on Twitter wrote: “May you rest in peace Rory. You died a noble death fighting on the side of right. Defending Ukraine. You didn’t have to go to 🇺🇦 but you courageously put yourself forward. You died a hero of Ukraine.”

Another wrote: “I’ll be raising a pint in your memory, Rory. Rest in peace, man.”

“Brave man, sad loss 🇺🇦🇮🇪” wrote another.


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Written by

Matthew Roscoe

Originally from the UK, Matthew is based on the Costa Blanca and is a web reporter for The Euro Weekly News covering international and Spanish national news. Got a news story you want to share? Then get in touch at [email protected]

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