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Irishman killed in Ukraine awarded medal for bravery

Photo: Irishman Rory Mason, 23, was killed fighting in Kharkiv in Ukraine in October 2022. He was this week awarded a posthumous medal for bravery.

by Jeff Farrell

January 5, 2024

An Irishman slain in Ukraine has been awarded a posthumous medal for bravery.

Rory Mason, 23, from Dunboyne in Co Meath, died while fighting for Ukraine’s International Legion.

He was killed in October 2022 in a counter-offensive in the eastern state of Kharkiv near the Russian border.

This week, officials at the Embassy of Ukraine to Ireland honoured Rory.

Ambassador Larysa Gerasko presented a medal to his family for his act of bravery in fighting Moscow's troops.

Photo: Family of Rory Mason at Ukraine's embassy to Ireland in Dublin where Rory was posthumously awarded a medal for bravery

She wrote on X (formerly Twitter) that she “was honored to present the family of the Irishman Rory Mason with the Order for Courage III class that has been awarded to him posthumously. 

“We admire and appreciate the courage and determination of Mr Mason and all Irish people fighting for Ukraine. StandWithUkraine”.

At the time Rory’s tragic death emerged, his father Rob said he was “enormously proud of his courage” to fight in the wartorn nation.

“Rory was a private young man of drive, purpose and conviction,” he said.

“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 honoured in Ukraine’s embassy on Tuesday evening, just hours after a fellow Irishman slain in Ukraine was laid to rest in Dublin.

Graham W Dale, 45, from Raheny, was killed on December 8 in the Ukrainian village of Pervomaiske, south of the eastern city of Avdiivka.

Dale was the third Irishman to be killed in Ukraine following the death of Finbar Cafferkey, from Co Mayo.

He was slain in the embattled nation in April 2023 while reportedly fighting with Ukrainian forces outside the eastern city of Bakhmut.

Note: A version of the above article ran in the Irish Daily Star on January 5, 2024

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