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Shane Kearney
Defence Forces

Trooper Shane Kearney no longer in critical condition after Lebanon attack

Trooper Kearney suffered a head injury in the shooting that killed fellow soldier Private Sean Rooney on 14 December.

THE DEFENCE FORCES have announced that Trooper Shane Kearney is now in a stable condition as he continues his recovery in Beaumont Hospital, following an attack on UN Peacekeepers by Hezbollah in Lebanon last month.

He is responding very well to treatment and medical staff are satisfied with his continued and steady progress, a spokesperson for the Defence Forces said.

The Defence Forces and Tpr Shane Kearney’s family issued a statement of gratitude for all the support that they continue to receive. 

The 22-year-old trooper, from Killeagh in Co Cork, suffered a head injury in the attack in the village of Al-Aqbiya. 

The incident happened when a convoy of two Armoured Utility Vehicles (AUVs) carrying eight personnel from the 121st Infantry Battalion was travelling to the Lebanese capital of Beirut.

Private Seán Rooney (23) was killed in the incident, while two other soldiers received minor injuries but were discharged from hospital.  

The 121st Infantry Battalion is comprised of 333 Irish troops deployed in November to south Lebanon as part of the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (Unifil).

Last month seven men were charged with the shooting, which took place in a stronghold region of the Islamist militant group Hezbollah.

Only one of the seven charged, Mohammad Ayyad, is in custody, having been handed over to the army by Hezbollah, news agency AFP has reported.

Ayyad was charged “with killing the Irish soldier and attempting to kill his three comrades by shooting them with a machine gun”, an official told AFP.

The judge also charged six fugitives “for uttering threats with an illegal weapon, destroying the Unifil vehicle and intimidating its passengers”.

Judicial sources found that seven bullets pierced the vehicle, with one striking Private Rooney.

Hezbollah has distanced itself from the attack, hastening to offer its condolences to the Unifil forces.

A security official has previously said that Hezbollah was cooperating with the investigation, which is led by Lebanon’s military intelligence service.

With reporting from AFP

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