Updated: 30/12/17 : 07:08:25
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Sligo soldier’s death, protest by Minister

THE KILLING of a Sligo soldier on United Nations duty led to a formal protest by the government.

The then Foreign Affairs minister Peter Barry summoned the Israeli ambassador in Dublin.

The Corkman asked that those responsible for Corporal McLoughlin’s death should be disciplined.

The details are contained in State papers just released under the 30 years rule.

Dermot McLoughlin died on January 10th 1987 when a round fired by an Israeli tank  struck his UN post in the town of Brashit.

A  brief was prepared for government and the Minister for Foreign Affairs.

Hostile Fire

It was confirmed there were no reports of hostile fire aimed at the Israeli military forces at the time of the incident.

The government also heard that Israeli troops had ignored flares fired by Irish soldiers to indicate a UN post had been hit.

These flares had been fired the fatal wounding of the soldier from Sligo Town.

The report for the government said “all the circumstances of the case suggested the incident was a deliberate and unprovoked attack.”

Previous Protests

The Israeli government initially said, noted the report, that the incident was an accident.

But it later clarified that an Israeli officer new to the area had overruled a subordinate and instructed that the UN post be fired on.

Minister Peter Barry said, however, he did not accept Israel’s claims that the UN post had been mis-identified by Israeli soldiers.

Previously, the Minister and his Cabinet colleague Paddy O’Toole, Minister for Defence, had formally protested after previous incidents.

These included incidents of close fire on Irish soldiers serving with the UN mission.