Large numbers are expected to pay their respects to Private Seán Rooney as his funeral cortege makes its final journey home on Thursday morning.
Pte Rooney, 24, will be laid to rest in Newtowncunningham this afternoon with full military honours. President Michael D Higgins will be among the mourners at the funeral.
Originally from Dundalk, Pte Rooney moved to Newtowncunningham in Co Donegal at the age of 12 with his mother Natasha McCloskey. He attended St Eunan’s College in Letterkenny during his Leaving Cert years. He followed in his late father Cormac’s footsteps with pride when he joined the Defence Forces and served at Aiken Barracks to keep strong ties with family and friends in Louth.
The UN peacekeeper had been due to return from Lebanon later this week to spend Christmas with his family. Tragically, he was shot dead in an ambush last Wednesday when the armoured UN vehicle he was driving was attacked in the coastal Lebanese village of Al-Aqbiya.
Gardaí have released the route to be taken by Pte Rooney’s cortege to give all citizens an opportunity to pay their respects tomorrow.
The requiem mass for Private Rooney will be held at the Holy Family Church, Dundalk, Co Louth – where the soldier was based with the Army’s 27 th Infantry Battalion. Requiem Mass will be celebrated by Fr Donal Ryan, C.Ss.R at 9am.
After the funeral mass, Pte Rooney’s remains will travel from the Holy Family Church to Aiken Barracks. It will make its way to the N53 to Castleblayney and onward to All Saints Catholic Church, Colehill, Donegal.
A temporary road closure will be put in place by An Gardai Siochana along the N13 at Newtowncunningham between 12.30hrs and 16.00hrs. The closure will be between the turn-off into Newtowncunningham Main Street (L2051) and at the Junction with R237 Deerpark.
Books of Condolence are open at the Tourist Information Kiosk in Newtowncunningham, in Lifford (County House), Letterkenny Public Services Centre and Carndonagh Public Services Centre.
The following traffic diversions will be in place.
Traffic on the N13 approaching from Letterkenny travelling towards Bridgend / Carndonagh will be diverted onto Newtowncunningham Main Street (L2051) and turn onto (R237) Deerpark back onto N13.
Traffic on the N13 approaching from Bridgend travelling towards Letterkenny will be diverted onto R237 Deerpark, onto Newtowncunningham Main Street L2051 and turn back onto N13.
Traffic approaching from Killea/Carrigans travelling towards Bridgend Carndonagh will be diverted via will be diverted onto R237 Deerpark onto N13.
The public is asked to please allow for delays during this time.