The battalion commander of Private Seán Rooney, Lieutenant Colonel Frank Coakley has paid tribute to the soldier killed in Lebanon and his family.
Lt Col Coakley told RTÉ radio’s Morning Ireland that the soldier and his family were rooted in the military through the 27th Infantry Battalion. Three of Private Rooney’s uncles serve in the same battalion based in Dundalk.
Private Rooney had undertaken many courses in his three years in the armed forces including advanced driving skills as drivers were greatly needed, added Lt Col Coakley.
This was Private Rooney’s second tour in Lebanon. “We all want to go overseas, to represent our country. We are all proud to wear the flag in our UN role,” he said.
The army was a close-knit family and would provide every support to the family of Private Rooney.
A liaison officer has been appointed to offer assistance to Private Rooney’s mother Natasha and his grandparents in Dundalk.
Lt Col Coakley paid tribute to staff at Finner Camp who received the call at 2am and had to make the sad visit at 4am to the home of Private Rooney’s mother. Their visit was time sensitive as it was important to get to the family before any details were revealed on social media.
Private Rooney’s mother Natasha has moved from her home in Donegal to be with her parents and family in Dundalk where she will continue to receive the full support of the battalion, said Lt Col Coakley