Sunday 22 January 2017

'Chilcot report won't bring back my son,' says mum of Irish soldier killed in Iraq

Martin Grant

Published 07/07/2016 | 02:30

Lance Corporal Ian Malone, who was killed by a sniper in Basra Photo: Damien Eagers
Lance Corporal Ian Malone, who was killed by a sniper in Basra Photo: Damien Eagers

A Dublin mother whose son was killed in the Iraq War says that no report will make her loss any easier to bear.

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Corporal Ian Malone, from Ballyfermot, was killed in Basra by a sniper's bullet in 2003 when the British and US armies invaded Iraq.

Mary Malone, the mother of Ian Photo: Paul Faith
Mary Malone, the mother of Ian Photo: Paul Faith

The 28-year-old served with the British Army's Irish Guards and was the first Irish-born soldier to be killed during the Iraq War.

His mother May, her partner Tom, and Ian's siblings Michelle, Debbie, Carol and Edward, last night said the damning Chilcot report does not provide the family with any comfort.

Read more: Tony Blair on Chilcot report: 'I will take full responsibility for any mistakes without exception or excuse'

His heartbroken mother revealed she watched Tony Blair's statement on television and didn't take any comfort in his response.

Ian Malone's body arrives in the UK. Photo: David Jones/Reuters Photo: REUTERS / POOL / David Jones
Ian Malone's body arrives in the UK. Photo: David Jones/Reuters Photo: REUTERS / POOL / David Jones

"There will never be a satisfactory answer, there really was no need for the war," Ms Malone told the Irish Independent last night.

"There were an awful lot of questions asked, but he didn't answer any of them.

"We listened to it and it was like double Dutch to us.

"It's not going to do anything, he made a great emphasis on putting the blame on his advisors. It's just a blame game, there is going to be no result for any families involved.

"It will be a big carnival affair for a few weeks and then it will all calm down.

"It doesn't mean much to the family, nothing will bring Ian back. Life has to go on."

Read more: Long wait for answers for relatives of soldiers killed in Iraq ahead of Chilcot report release

Tom said calls for Mr Blair to face war crimes wouldn't achieve anything. He added the Malone family do not believe any further reports or inquires would be helpful.

An emotional May last night recalled the final time she saw her son was at her birthday several months before his death.

May and Tom were having a few drinks in the local pub and heard on the news that two soldiers had been killed in Iraq - but she didn't question if it was her son.

It was only when they walked home that she realised a car from the British Embassy was waiting at her house to deliver the devastating news that her son had been killed.

Read more: 'Please stop saying I was lying' - says former UK Prime Minister Blair after Iraq war inquiry

"That's the life he wanted, he really wanted to join the army, so what could we do? We couldn't stop him.

"He's gone now and we can't turn back the clock. I don't want to be angry, Ian wouldn't want that," May added.

His family said Ian applied to join the Irish Defence Forces, but was rejected due to his age.

Ian's funeral was the first with a uniformed British military presence south of the border since 1922.

Irish Independent

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