Government determined killers of Irish peacekeeper will be brought to justice

The Irish Government is determined that those responsible for the death of a UN peacekeeper in Lebanon are brought to justice, deputy premier Micheal Martin has said.

The Tanaiste is visiting Beirut to meet Irish troops serving with the United Nations Interim Force Lebanon (Unifil).

Mr Martin will travel to Camp Shamrock to greet the members of the 124th Infantry Battalion in Unifil, Ireland’s largest overseas deployment.

In 2022, Irish peacekeeper Private Sean Rooney, 24, from Co Donegal, was killed while serving in Lebanon when his convoy was attacked.

Mr Martin said: “A central focus of my visit will be meeting with Lebanese ministers to communicate the absolute determination of the Irish Government to ensure those responsible for Private Rooney’s death are brought to justice.”

The Tanaiste recently approved deployment of an additional platoon of 33 troops to serve with the Irish Battalion in Unifil.

He said: “I am very much looking forward to meeting our peacekeepers who serve with such distinction in Unifil, and in a very challenging environment amid escalating tensions due to the war in Gaza.

“We recently reaffirmed our continuing support to Unifil and the important role it plays in de-escalation in the south of Lebanon, through an increased force protection element to the battalion.

“The dedication of Defence Force personnel and their families is a vital part of Ireland’s commitment to global peace and security.

“Nowhere is this engagement more evident, than in South Lebanon.”

Upon arrival at Camp Shamrock, Mr Martin will receive an Honour Guard from Defence Forces personnel, meet UN and Irish military leaders, and address the troops.

His itinerary also includes meetings with the Lebanese minister for defence Maurice Sleem, and minister of foreign affairs Abdallah Bou Habib.

It is his second visit to Beirut after the death of Private Rooney.

Mr Martin is accompanied by the Secretary General of the Department of Defence, Jacqui McCrum, and Defence Forces Chief of Staff Lieutenant General Sean Clancy.