Media Release – 1735hrs, Thursday 14 December 2023.
Today the Defence Forces remembers the passing of Pte Seán Rooney who was tragically killed in Al-Aqbieh one year ago while serving with the 121st Infantry Battalion in UNIFIL. Members of the 123rd Infantry Battalion UNIFIL began their commemorations this morning with a silent dawn parade. This was followed by a ceremony at the Tibnine memorial and wreath laying ceremony in Camp Shamrock (UNP 2-45).
Chief of Staff of the Defence Forces, Lieutenant General Seán Clancy remembers Seán and his family in this difficult time.
'At this time of year we remember those who have gone before us and we feel their loss most acutely. Our thoughts are with the family of Private Seán Rooney who is still dearly missed by all his colleagues in Óglaigh na hÉireann. Seán's passing is a stark reminder of risks our personnel face when they don the uniform.'
Go ndéana Dia trócaire ar a anam dhílis”.
Link to photos below
Notes to Editors:
Todays commemorations included the following:
The monthly commemoration at the Tibnine Memorial took place today on 14 December, followed by a celebration of Mass in St. George’s Church. Pte Rooney was remembered along with the other peacekeepers who died in the month of December. The Head of Mission/Force Commander Lieutentant General Aroldo Lázaro, the Senior Irish Officer/ Deputy Commander Sector West Colonel Tom McGrath and the Mayor of Tibnine laid wreaths during the ceremony.
Camp Shamrock UNP 2-45:
Separately, in Camp Shamrock, (The Irish and Polish Battalion) IRLPOLBATT held a day of internal reflection specifically in honour of Pte Rooney, details as follows:
A Dawn parade (the entire battalion) with a minute’s silence and removal of headdress.
An Honour Guard from dawn to dusk maintained at Peacekeepers’ Square in Camp Shamrock. The guard will rest on arms reversed and will rotate every 20mins, allowing for maximum inclusion of soldiers from the Battalion, all of whom have volunteered to take slots in the Honour Guard in honour of Pte Rooney.