Independent review into deaths of two Irish soldiers in Lebanon

Private Hugh Doherty's body has never been recovered

Independent review into deaths of two Irish soldiers in Lebanon

Irish UNIFIL peacekeepers honour their fallen colleagues in Tibnin, Lebanon | Image: UN Photo/Pasqual Gorriz

A former High Court judge is to review an investigation into the death and disappearance of two Irish soldiers in Lebanon in 1981.

Defence Minister Simon Coveney has appointed Roderick Murphy to conduct the independent review into the death of Private Hugh Doherty and the disappearance of Private Kevin Joyce.

The two men went missing on April 27th 1981 while serving as members of the Irish battalion with the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL).

They were out on security duty on their own when they were shot and killed.

Private Doherty's body was discovered at the scene, but Private Joyce's body was never found.

Over the years, extensive diplomatic and military efforts to locate Private Joyce have found nothing.

Seven months after the attack, in November 1981, the United Nations completed a board of inquiry into the incident.

The Irish military authorities considered the UN report inadequate in certain respects.

This review by Mr Murphy will include all relevant documents and interviews with people considered appropriate by him.

He will then report back to Mr Coveney with his findings before the end of April next year.

Mr Murphy served as a judge of the High Court until his retirement in April 2013.