An Irishman has been killed while fighting in Ukraine, his family has confirmed.
Rory Mason, 23, from Dunboyne in County Meath, died while fighting for Ukraine’s International Legion near the Russian border.
The Mason family learnt of his death from the Irish Department of Foreign Affairs, which is providing consular assistance.
The family said they are in contact with representatives of the International Legion for the Defence of Ukraine, in which he enlisted in March.
Mason’s family said that information on his death is limited and their priority at this point is to repatriate his remains.
His father, Rob, said that his son was a man of “drive, purpose and conviction”.
“Though we are deeply saddened at his death, we are enormously proud of his courage and determination and his selflessness in immediately enlisting to support Ukraine,” he said.
“Rory was never political but he had a deep sense of right and wrong and an inability to turn the other way in the face of injustice.
“He had a long-standing interest in Eastern Europe, in travel and in learning new languages, including Russian.
“Those who fought alongside Rory speak of a truly brave and courageous man who could have left at any time but chose not to.”
Before joining the International Legion, his family said Mason had been working in Germany to help fund his travel ambitions.
In a statement, the International Legion said: “Our brother in arms, Rory Mason, has taken part in the Kharkiv counter-offensive with his unit and was killed in action. While conducting operations, the unit came under attack.
“We are in contact with the family and in co-ordination with them, following their wishes and instructions. The International Legion and the Armed Forces of Ukraine are handling the repatriation process.
“At this time, to protect operational security and the family’s privacy, we cannot release more information.”
The International Legion added that Mason's memory will live on and called for privacy for his family “at this difficult time”.
Mason is survived by his parents, his 22-year-old brother and 21-year-old sister.