23-year-old Irishman killed in action in Ukraine, family confirms
Rory Mason passed away last month in the Kharkiv region near the Russian border.
A 23-year-old Irishman has been killed in action in Ukraine. Rory Mason passed away on Wednesday, 28 September. His family discovered the news from the Department of Foreign Affairs.
The Department of Foreign Affairs is supporting Rory's family at this time.
Mason enlisted in March. According to a statement released by the International Legion for the Defence of Ukraine, he was killed in the Kharkiv region near the Russian border.
Mason was fighting in the International Legion for the Defence of Ukraine as part of the Ukrainian Armed Forces. The legion issued a statement following his death:
"While conducting operations, the unit came under attack," the statement reads. "The International Legion and the Armed Forces of Ukraine are handling the repatriation process.
"At this time, to protect operational security and the family's privacy we cannot release more information. Rory's memory will live on in his unit, in the Legion and the Armed Forces of Ukraine".
Mason's family also issued a statement following his death.
“Rory was a private young man of drive, purpose and conviction," said his father Rob. "Though we are deeply saddened at his death, we are enormously proud of his courage and determination and his selflessness in immediately enlisting to support Ukraine.
"Rory was never political but he had a deep sense of right and wrong and an inability to turn the other way in the face of injustice. He had a long-standing interest in Eastern Europe, in travel, and in learning new languages, including Russian.
"Those who fought alongside Rory speak of ‘a truly brave and courageous man who could have left at any time but chose not to’.
"In the words of a colleague who served with him, ‘Rory was a man who from a glance could seem shy however when it came to actions and character he proved, again and again, he was a man of fortitude, principal and honour’.
"Rory was our son and we will miss him enormously. As our family is still trying to come to terms with Rory’s death, we would appeal for privacy at this difficult time."