A MONTH’S mind mass for murdered Private Séan Rooney from Newtowncunningham takes place on Saturday. The 24-year-old UN peacekeeper was killed on active service in the Lebanon on December 14.
He had been serving in Lebanon for the second time on peacekeeping duty with the United Nations when he was fatally wounded. Trooper Shane Kearney (22) suffered serious injury when the vehicle in which they were travelling was attacked.
Pte Rooney was laid to rest with full military honours in the cemetery adjoining All Saint’s Church, Newtowncunningham, on December 22, following requiem mass in Holy Family Church, Dundalk.
His month’s mind mass will take place in All Saint’s Church on Saturday, January 14, at 10am. Mass will also be offered for Pte Rooney in Holy Family Church, Dundalk – where he spent his early years and where he was based with the 27th Infantry Battalion – on Sunday, January 15 at noon.
Lebanese authorities have formally charged seven suspects over the murder of Pte Rooney. He was the 48th Irish soldier to die in Lebanon, 15 of them in the line of fire, during a 44-year period of service by military personnel from the State.
Pte Rooney spent his early years in Dundalk before moving to Newtowncunningham. He was a past pupil of Saint Eunan’s College in Letterkenny.
His late father, Cormac, had previously been a member of the Defence Forces and died in service at a young age.
Pte Roooney was due to marry his fiancee Holly McConnellogue (22) in August.
He is survived by his parents, Natasha and Paul McCloskey, grandparents Eugene and Rachel Rooney, nanny Ann McCloskey, his fiancée Holly, sisters Robyn and Carragh, brothers Callum and Benn and a wide circle of family, friends and colleagues.