Mayo man killed fighting Russian forces in eastern Ukraine
Finbar Cafferkey, who had previous military experience in Syria, was a volunteer fighter in Ukraine.
The family of a County Mayo man have today confirmed his passing whilst battling Russian forces in eastern Ukraine.
The man, who has been named as Finbar Cafferkey (40's), is originally from Achill Island, and had prior military experience before embarking to the Eastern European nation.
This experience came in the form of fighting against ISIS alongside Kurdish militia members in Syria, after the extremist group invaded Kurdish areas. back in 2014.
Mr. Cafferkey had only recently travelled to the east of Ukraine to assist local forces, who are currently facing a gruelling Russian counter-offensive in the region.
The Mayo man's passing was confirmed by his father, Tom, at the family home in Cashel, Achill, on Thursday afternoon.
Declining to comment on the circumstances of his son's death, Tom Cafferkey stated that "We are grieving... it's a private matter. I don't want to say anything further".
The family is well-liked and respected throughout the close-knit community on Achill Island, with the area entering a period of mourning in the aftermath of Mr. Cafferkey's death emerging.
"We heard reports on Wednesday that Finbar had been killed but we were hoping against hope that the information was untrue", one local said, before adding that "Now that his death has been confirmed, we are absolutely devastated".
Mr. Cafferkey was also a well-known advocate of humanitarian and environmental causes, having taken part in the 'Shell to Sea' protests against the Corrib Gas project a number of years ago.
Another local remarked that "Finbar was a man of principle. I know that about eight years ago he worked on the border between Greece and Macedonia assisting (refugees) coming off dinghies".
The dead man's parents, Tom and Celine, are being comforted by close relatives and neighbours, with the Cafferkey family understood to be issuing a statement later on regarding the death of Finbar.
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