An Irishman has been killed while fighting in Ukraine, his family has confirmed.
Rory Mason, 23, from Dunboyne in County Meath, died while fighting for Ukraine’s International Legion near the Russian border.
The Mason family learned of his death from the Department of Foreign Affairs, which is providing consular assistance.
His father Rob said: “Rory was a private young man of drive, purpose and conviction.”
The family said they were in contact with representatives of the International Legion for the Defence of Ukraine, for which Mr Mason enlisted in March.
“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,” said Mr Mason’s father.
“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.”
‘Brother in arms’
Mr Mason had been working in Germany to help fund his travel plans.
He is survived by parents Rob and Elizabeth and a younger brother and sister.
The International Legion said: “Our brother in arms, Rory Mason has taken part in the Kharkiv counteroffensive with his unit and was killed in action.
“While conducting operations, the unit came under attack.
“Rory’s memory will live on in his unit, in the Legion and the Armed Forces of Ukraine.”
The Irish Department of Foreign Affairs issued a statement saying: “The Department of Foreign Affairs is aware of a case and is providing consular assistance.
“As with all consular cases, the department does not comment on the details of any individual case.”