23-year-old Irish man dies in fighting in Ukraine


An Irish man enlisted to fight in Ukraine in March was “killed in action,” his family confirmed Wednesday.

Rory Mason, 23, from Dunboyne, Co Meath, died on September 28 in Kharkiv during fighting by the International Corps of Defense Forces of Ukraine.

The Corps said Mason was “killed in action” after his unit was hit during a counteroffensive operation.

They also said they are in contact with Mason’s family and are proceeding with the repatriation process according to the family’s “wants and instructions”.

“Rory’s memory will live on in his unit, corps and the Ukrainian Armed Forces,” the statement read.

The Irish Department of Foreign Affairs provides consular assistance for families.

Mason is survived by his parents Rob and Elizabeth, a 22-year-old brother and a 21-year-old sister.

Robb said his family was “deeply saddened” by Mason’s death and “very proud of his courage and determination, and his selflessness in immediately enlisting to help Ukraine.” said.

Robb describes Mason as a “private young man with drive, purpose and conviction”, and while his son was never a politician, he “has a deep sense of right and wrong and a sense of injustice. I couldn’t turn around when I did,” he said. It also includes “Eastern European, travel, and long-standing interest in learning new languages, including Russian.”

“The people who fought alongside Rory speak of a truly brave and brave man who could have left at any moment, but chose not to.

“In the words of a colleague who worked with him, ‘Laurie was a seemingly shy man, but in his conduct and character he was a man of fortitude, conviction and honor. I’ve proven it more than once,” he added.

Rob said his family will miss Mason “extremely” and asked for privacy during this difficult time.

Taoiseach Micheal Martin said the 23-year-old’s death was “very, very sad”.

“Our thoughts and prayers are with the family at this time,” Martin said, speaking alongside Environment Ministers Eamonn Ryan and Thanayste Leo Varadkar at Government House in Dublin.

He also advised people not to go to Ukraine.

“In relation to his obituary, I am reluctant to make any comments that could be taken as arbitrage anyway. People make individual decisions in life for the best reasons,” he said. I got

“We advised people not to go to Ukraine. We continue that advice.”

Varadkar offered his condolences and said Ukraine is a very dangerous place right now, but he respects the decision some people make to join the fight.

“I think war should never happen, but we must remember that sometimes people choose to fight and someone on the Ukrainian side of the war is doing well,” he said.

On Thursday morning, Brian Maher, another Irishman who has been fighting in Ukraine since late May, said he had never met Mason and was shocked to hear the news.

“He’s from Dunboyne and I’m from Lathos,” an injured Irish man told RTE radio’s Morning Ireland program from an ambulance en route to Lviv.

The two towns of Co. Meath are about seven miles from each other.

When asked why he decided to go to Ukraine, Maher replied that he had life insurance and that his children would be safe if anything happened to him.

“In my head, I felt it was justified to go. [sic] Children here are not safe. I think that’s why I came here,” he said.

Maher was shot in the right forearm and has shrapnel lodged in his heart and spine. He said the shot was aimed at his chest.

An Irish man said he felt “guilty” about leaving the unit but was “looking forward to going home.”

PA Media contributed to this report.

Lily Zhou


Lily Zhou is an Ireland-based reporter focusing on UK news. Lily said she attended the Chinese edition of The Epoch Times for the first time before she focused on the UK in 2020.