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Tuesday 23 September 2014

Irish woman in US Army killed in Afghanistan

Published 01/10/2007 | 00:00

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Ciara Durkin, originally from Connemara,was killed in combat

A US army investigation has been launched after an Irish woman was killed while on duty in Afghanistan.

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US Central Command ordered the probe after soldier Ciara Durkin (30), originally from the island of Eanach Mheain in Connemara, was killed last Thursday.

The young soldier, who was living in Quincy, Massachusetts, was assigned to the army's Task Force Diamond unit when she died in combat.

The Pentagon released the tragic news that the soldier, a member of the Massachusetts Army National Guard, had died but has not revealed the circumstances of her death to her family.

It said an investigation was under way in accordance with US Central Command policy.

Ms Durkin left Connemara at the age of 10; her family moved to Boston in 1986.

After joining the army, she was assigned to Task Force Diamond and was part of a Finance Unit that was deployed in Afghanistan since November last year.

Quincy Director of Veterans' Services, Henry Bradley said she is the second Quincy soldier to die in Iraq or Afghanistan.

"Usually you watch it on TV and you don't see the real carnage that's going on," Bradley said.

"But when it's one from your own community, you look at it much differently."

Army Staff Sgt Alisia Birchett of Mashpee was killed in August, and Marine Capt Jennifer J Harris of Swampscott was killed in a helicopter crash in February.

The Adjutant General of the Massachusetts National Guard, Maj Gen Joseph C Carter said soldiers dying in the line of duty it is "a tragedy that affects us all". He added: "Our thoughts and prayers are with Specialist Durkin's family."

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