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Members of the Defence Forces carry Sean Rooney's coffin during his funeral in Louth last year. PA Images/Alamy Stock Photo
Defence Forces

Remembrance mass to be held for Irish soldier killed in Lebanon last year

Sean Rooney was killed when his UNIFIL vehicle was attacked in December 2022.

FAMILY, FRIENDS, AND comrades of Private Sean Rooney will gather in Co Donegal tomorrow to remember him one year on from his death.

Sean was killed while on a peacekeeping mission in Lebanon on 14 December 2022.

Private Rooney, who was just 24, was killed when his UN Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) vehicle was attacked. Three others were wounded.

Now almost a year after his death a special wreath-laying ceremony will take place in Newtowncunningham where he is buried.

The commemoration is being organised by the Irish United Nations Veterans Association. His family including his parents, grandparents, siblings, and fiancée are all expected to attend.

He was due to marry the Derry woman last August.

Those attending the event are asked to gather in the carpark of the Church of All Saints at 2:30pm prior to the ceremony which takes place at 3pm.

Sean was born and raised in Co Louth but moved to Donegal when he was 12. He attended St Eunan’s College, Letterkenny and lived in Newtown Cunningham.

Many locals who grew to know Sean and were shocked by his killing are expected to attend the ceremony also.

Five men, believed to be members of the militant group Hezbollah, have been charged with his murder.

At the time of his funeral his fiancée Holly wrote a tribute, which was read out by Parish Priest Fr Derek Ryan.

“I am absolutely heartbroken that our life together has been cut short, but I feel extremely lucky to have experienced that person and love,” she said.

“Some people don’t ever have an opportunity to love and be loved in the way that Sean and I did.”

Stephen Maguire