Irish Government to be represented at trial of Private Sean Rooney, Tánaiste confirms

Micheál Martin has confirmed that the ‘interests and concerns’ of the Irish Government are to be legally represented at a trial into the killing of Donegal soldier Private Seán Rooney.
Private Sean RooneyPrivate Sean Rooney
Private Sean Rooney

The 23-year-old, from Newtowncunningham, was killed in December last year after a convoy of Irish soldiers came under fire in south Lebanon.

Micheál Martin was responding in the Dail to a question from Deputy Ruairí Ó Murchú who referenced reports stating that one of the men charged with the soldier’s death had been released on bail.

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Deputy Martin said that, on November 15, his Department became aware of a Lebanese media report ‘announcing that one of the individuals accused of the murder of Private Seán Rooney on December 14 last who had been in Lebanese custody had been released on bail’.

He told the Dáil inquiries had confirmed the man charged had been released ‘with the payment of a financial bond and the understanding is that the release was granted for medical reasons.’

He added: “The case against this individual and the other defendants is due to resume in Beirut on December 15. In addition to the assistance provided by the Irish Embassy in Cairo and the honorary consulate in Beirut, my Department has also engaged the services of a Lebanese legal firm to represent the interests and concerns of the Irish Government at court hearings in this case.”

Mr Martin said he had spoken with Pte. Rooney’s mother and said the family was his ‘absolute priority’ in terms of ensuring that they are kept immediately informed of any updates.