Irish soldier with UNIFIL killed protecting Israel-Lebanon borders identified

Irish soldier with UNIFIL killed protecting Israel-Lebanon borders identified. Image: @defenceforces/Twitter

THE 23-year-old Irish soldier killed while serving with the UN peacekeeping mission in Lebanon has been identified, as tributes flood social media.

Twenty-three-year-old Irish soldier, Private Seán Rooney, was allegedly killed by Hezbollah troops in Lebanon while travelling as part of a convoy travelling to Beirut late on Wednesday, December 14.

Defence Forces confirmed the soldier’s identity in a tweet: “Óglaigh na hÉireann can confirm the name of the the soldier killed on active service whilst serving in UNIFIL this morning.

“869674 Private Seán Rooney, a member of the 27 Infantry Battalion and a native of Newtwoncunningham, Co Donegal.

“Ar dheis Dé go raibh a anam.”

Tributes flooded social media following news of his death.

Dublin Fire Brigade wrote: “Ar dheis Dé go raibh a anam dílis.”

Justin McKenna wrote: “Heartbreaking for his family and his colleagues. Rest in peace very young peacekeeper. May we respect and treat his colleagues well in the knowledge that we expect them to put their lives on the line for us.”

“Rest in peace Seán. You wore your uniform with pride,” Mark Young said.

Chief of Staff of Óglaigh na hÉireann Lieutenant General Seán Clancy said: “We in Óglaigh na hÉireann are deeply shocked and saddened by the news of this tragic event and the loss of one of our peacekeepers.

“Our thoughts are with his family, his friends and his fellow peacekeepers from the 121st Infantry Battalion.

“Our thoughts are also with those who were injured last night and their families and friends.

“We have one of our medical officers currently at Raee Hospital and we will ensure that our personnel get the best possible care.

“Our focus now is to ensure the safety and continued support for all our personnel deployed in Lebanon.”

Another soldier was seriously wounded as a result of the incident, which a senior Hezbollah official called an “unintentional incident”.

Despite reports that it was the armed group that shot at the convoy of two armoured vehicles which was carrying eight personnel, Wafiq Safa told Reuters they were not involved in the peacekeeper’s death.

Four of the eight soldiers were taken to Raee Hospital, near Sidon, around 43km from Beirut, as a precaution.

News of the young UN peacekeeper’s death comes after a former international peacemaker with the UN Mediation Support Unit died on December 13.

Northern Ireland mediator Brendan McAllister died suddenly at the age of 66 following a short illness.

McAllister is said to have worked as a peacekeeper in some of the most challenging conflict zones in the world.


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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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