Seán Rooney was a “high quality instance of one of the best” who won’t ever be forgotten, his camp commander mentioned this morning.

His voice and arms trembled as he learn from the assertion.

Talking on the Irish Defence Forces’ Unifil Camp Shamrock in southern Lebanon, Lieutenant Colonel Damien Murphy mentioned: “I simply need to say that Non-public Seán Rooney is a high quality instance of one of the best traditions and values of the Defence Forces.

“Previous to the incident, Seán was finishing up his duties to a superb normal, a high quality soldier on the second tour of responsibility right here in Lebanon.” 

“In the course of the incident as nicely, he carried out his duties to one of the best of his capability. We’re very happy with Seán and his sacrifice won’t ever be forgotten.” 

The 24-year-old Dundalk native and his colleagues have been simply 4 minutes from the principle freeway into Beirut when their automobile was fired on.

They’d acquired separated from colleagues in one other automobile with which they’d been travelling to Beirut on the evening of December 14.

Whereas the opposite automobile took the best flip at a significant junction off the previous coast highway onto Route 51, it’s understood that Non-public Rooney’s automobile carried on straight on the Adloun part of the highway.

A 31-year-old blacksmith, who was handed over to the Lebanese Armed Forces (LAF) days in the past, is alleged to have shot at Pte Rooney’s automobile with a Kalashnikov.

He’s additionally alleged to have admitted he was “the primary to chase the UNIFIL automobile from Sarafand to Al-Aqibiya”.

Video of the incident exhibits the Unifil automobile swerving previous a bunch of individuals close to a junction of two roads main out of the city of Sarafand at round midnight in direction of al-Aqibiya.

After the white Unifil-marked armoured jeep seems to collide with a parked automobile, it then drives up the principle avenue out of the village on the Baissariye highway in direction of Route 51.

Because it leaves, a volley of pictures may be heard being fired at and into the automobile from behind.

It’s understood two gunmen fired an estimated 50 bullets on the automobile.

Moments later, it collided with a pylon, turned over and crashed into a store.

It has since emerged that there was the same roadblocking incident two weeks beforehand nevertheless it didn’t end in any casualties.

Al-Aqibiya, the southern Lebanon village the place Pte Rooney was shot, is thought to be a Hezbollah stronghold.

In a short time after the incident, a spokesperson for Hezbollah described it as “an unintentional accident between the native folks and members of the Irish battalion”.

Precisely what occurred has but to be decided.

Unifil was attributable to launch an interim report or assertion however that has now been placed on maintain.

The completed investigation report has been despatched to UN headquarters in New York.

It has but to be launched to the Irish authorities.

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