The Bishop of Raphoe, Alan McGuckian has said the late Private Séan Rooney has given his life in the service of peace.
Bishop McGuckian released a statement expressing his sadness at the death of Sean who was killed while on peacekeeping duty in Lebanon.
Sean was serving as a peacekeeper under the United Nations with the 121st Infantry Battalion.
Bishop McGuckian said “With absolute commitment Séan has made the supreme sacrifice and has given his life in service of peace and reconciliation in our troubled world.
“His tragic death reminds us of the great service and sacrifice that the men and women of our Defence Forces make in their work of promoting peace and reconciliation in our world, often in the face of great danger to themselves.
“We pray for his fellow soldier, Private Shane Kearney who was injured, and remember his family at this difficult time. We hold within our hearts the sense of loss that Séan’s death will have on his many colleagues in the defence forces, those within the 121st Battalion especially, and all those that serve on Peace keeping duties around the world. They have lost a true friend and colleague.”
He added that Séan’s passing in these circumstances is a terrible blow to his immediate family and the communities of Newtowncunningham and Dundalk; it is especially difficult as we approach Christmas.
And he continued “Our prayers and thoughts are with Séan’s family here in Donegal and in Dundalk, and we will remember him in all our churches in the time ahead. On behalf of myself and the people of the diocese I offer our deepest sympathies.
“We pray that Séan’s loved ones get the strength, comfort and hope that they need in this devastating time. We say to them: ‘You are not alone. We are with you in your pain and loss. God be with you.”