Man continues to be questioned over murder of Private Séan Rooney

A MAN continues to be questioned by Lebanese military authorities on suspicion of firing the shots which killed UN peacekeeper Seán Rooney from Newtowncunningham.

The 24-year-old was laid to rest on Thursday last in the cemetery adjoining All Saints Catholic Church, with full military honours.

At his Requiem mass earlier that day in Dundalk, Pte Rooney’s mother, Natasha McCloskey paid a heartbreaking and emotional tribute to her son, describing him as a “national hero”.


Pte Rooney was a specialist driver in the United Nations Interim Forces in Lebanon (Unifil).

He was shot dead on December 14, when the vehicle he was driving came under attack in Al-Aqbieh.

Investigators have also obtained an AK-47 style assault rifle suspected of being used in the attack.

It is understood the man was held by Hizbullah, an armed group and powerful political party in Lebanon, for several days before being handed over to the Lebanese Armed Forces investigators as part of a negotiated settlement.

Pte Rooney was killed in the first fatal attack on UN peacekeepers since 2015.

Trooper Shane Kearney was seriously injured in the incident, and two other Irish soldiers received minor injuries.

Separate investigations by Unifil and the Defence Forces are still ongoing.


Asked for an update following the arrest of a suspect, a Defence Forces spokesperson declined to comment.

The spokesperson yesterday told the Donegal News: “There are three investigations currently ongoing into this incident.

“As these investigations are currently ongoing the Defence Forces has no further comment to make at this time.”

Irish officials have urged for caution over the arrest of the suspect.

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