Ireland presses for killers of UN peacekeeper in Lebanon to face justice

Irish Deputy Prime Minister Micheal Martin will meet political leaders while in Lebanon

An Irish UN peacekeeper stands next to the coffin of Pvt Sean Rooney, who was killed in 2022. AP
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Ireland is determined that the people responsible for killing an Irish UN peacekeeper in Lebanon will be brought to justice, Deputy Prime Minister Micheal Martin has said.

He spoke as he visited Beirut to meet Irish troops serving with the UN Interim Force Lebanon (Unifil).

His itinerary also included meetings with Lebanese Defence Minister Maurice Sleem and Foreign Affairs Minister Abdallah Bou Habib.

Irish peacekeeper Pvt Sean Rooney, 24, from Co Donegal, was killed in 2022 while serving in Lebanon when his convoy was attacked.

“A central focus of my visit will be meeting with Lebanese ministers to communicate the absolute determination of the Irish Government to ensure those responsible for Pvt Rooney’s death are brought to justice,” Mr Martin said.

“I am very much looking forward to meeting our peacekeepers who serve with such distinction in Unifil, and in a very challenging environment amid escalating tensions due to the war in Gaza.

Ireland will continue to support Unifil, and the important role it plays in de-escalation in the south of Lebanon, he said.

“The dedication of defence force personnel and their families is a vital part of Ireland’s commitment to global peace and security, Mr Martin added.

“Nowhere is this engagement more evident than in South Lebanon.”

The Deputy Prime Minister was expected to travel to Camp Shamrock to meet members of the 124th Infantry Battalion in Unifil, Ireland’s largest overseas deployment.

Ireland has recently approved deployment of an additional platoon of 33 troops to serve with the Irish Battalion in Unifil.

On his arrival at Camp Shamrock, Mr Martin was set to receive an honour guard, meet UN and Irish military leaders, and address the troops.

It is his second visit to Beirut since Private Rooney’s death.

Updated: May 19, 2024, 4:27 AM