Rory Mason, (23), from Dunboyne, has been killed while fighting in Ukraine.

He died in action in Kharkiv, close to the Russian border, last Wednesday.

The young man from Dunboyne enlisted in the International Legion for the Defence of Ukraine at the outset of the war last March.

The Mason family were informed of his death bythe Department of Foreign Affairs, which is providing consular assistance.

At the moment information on what happened is limited, due to the Legion’s operational security concerns.

Rory grew up in Dunboyne and attended Dunboyne National School and St Peter’s College.

He had been working in Germany to help fund his travel ambitions prior to joining the international legion.

In a statement, his parents Rob and Elizabeth, as well as his younger brother (22) and sister (21), have issued a statement this morning, describing their son and brother as “truly brave and courageous”:

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