Statement of Bishop Alan McGuckian on the death of Private Seán Rooney RIP

16 Dec 2022

On behalf of the Diocese of Raphoe and the people of Donegal, I express my great sadness upon hearing of the tragic death of Private Seán Rooney RIP in Lebanon.

Seán died as a committed member of our Defence Forces, serving as a peacekeeper under the United Nations with the 121st Infantry Battalion.

With absolute  commitment Seán has made the supreme sacrifice and has given his life in service of peace and reconciliation in our troubled world. His tragic death reminds us of the great service and sacrifice that the men and women of our Defence Forces make in their work of promoting peace and reconciliation in our world, often in the face of great danger to themselves. We pray for his fellow soldier, Private Shane Kearney who was injured, and remember his family at this difficult time. We hold within our hearts the sense of loss that Seán’s death will have on his many colleagues in the defence forces, those within the 121st Battalion especially, and all those that serve on Peace keeping duties around the world. They have lost a true friend and colleague.

Seán’s passing in these circumstances is a terrible blow to his immediate family and the communities of Newtowncunningham and Dundalk; it is especially difficult as we approach Christmas.

Our prayers and thoughts are with Seán’s family here in Donegal and in Dundalk, and we will remember him in all our churches in the time ahead. On behalf of myself and the people of the diocese I offer our deepest sympathies. We pray that Seán’s loved ones get the strength, comfort and hope that they need in this devastating time. We say to them: ‘You are not alone. We are with you in your pain and loss. God be with you.’


Notes for editors

  • Bishop Alan McGuckian SJ is Bishop of Raphoe.                           

For media contact: Diocesan Communication Officer for the Diocese of Raphoe, Father Patrick Dunne: +353 (0) 87 688 0545.