Why would Irish peacekeeping troops come under fire in Lebanon?

Questions are being asked about maintaining an Irish presence in the Hizbullah-controlled region

Listen | 19:06

The tragic death of Private Sean Rooney in Lebanon marks the first Irish peacekeeper death in combat in the region since 1999.

The 23 year old was a member of the UN’s 10,000-strong mission, Unifil. It was established in 1978 after Israel invaded Lebanon, and members of the Irish defence forces helped to protect communities as the Israelis retreated.

It’s understood Pte Rooney died from a gunshot wound after the vehicle became surrounded by an angry mob near the coastal down of Al Aqbieh on the night of Wednesday, 14th December.

But why would the UN vehicle be the target of such ire? And what has caused the ratcheting up of tension in the Hizbullah-controlled region? The political and militant group denies responsibility for the killing and three separate inquiries are now underway.


Crime and Security Correspondent, Conor Gallagher, and retired Lieutenant Colonel and military historian, Dan Harvey, frame the conflict and analyse the threat on this episode of In The News.

Presented by Aideen Finnegan.