Northern Ireland

Funeral for Irish Ranger Aaron McCormick

The funeral of County Londonderry soldier Aaron McCormick, who died in an explosion in Afghanistan on Remembrance Sunday, has taken place.

The 22-year-old from Macosquin was helping to clear landmines in the Helmand area when he was killed.

He was buried after a service at St Mary's Church of Ireland Church. A volley of shots was fired by members of the regiment.

Among the mourners was Secretary of State Owen Paterson.

Church of Ireland minister Rev Mike Roemmele told mourners: "In every aspect of his military life he was a pioneer who cleared the way that others might follow him."

He added that the soldier's mottos were "clear the way" and "judge us by our deeds".

"Ranger Aaron McCormick lived and died as an exemplary soldier who fulfilled and exceeded the high expectations of both mottos," he said.

"In serving his country he also served the people of Afghanistan for whom he had great compassion. Judged by his deeds, he did not fall short.

"Today we honour him and express our pride in him."

Ranger McCormick's colleagues described him as the "epitome of the Irish infantry soldier".

Lt Col Colin Weir, commanding officer of the 1st Battalion, the Royal Irish Regiment, said: "Ranger Aaron McCormick was the epitome of the Irish infantry soldier - tough, selfless, good-humoured and full of compassion."

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