Memorial service for peacekeeper

IT HAS been 25 years since United Nations peacekeeper Peter McCarthy died in southern Lebanon in a ``truce'' mission during the Arab-Israeli conflicts.

The former Devonport resident was remembered yesterday at a memorial service held to coincide with last Wednesday's United Nations Day for Peacekeepers.

Mr McCarthy's wife, Susan, and daughter Sarah McCarthy, 29, both of Canberra, attended the service with about 70 others.

It was the first time that Mrs McCarthy had been back to Devonport since leaving the area after her husband's death.

Daughter Sarah said it was an emotional day.

``It just meant so much to see that he is still remembered,'' she said.

``I heard some lovely stories about the antics Dad used to get up to.  I was only three when he died and I have got quite a few memories, but it is lovely to paint a bigger picture around him, apart from what Mum remembers.''

Australian Peacekeeper Veterans' Association state president Mike Romalis said Captain McCarthy was killed during an observation mission along the borders of Israel, Lebanon and Jordan.

``He went out on a vehicle patrol with a Canadian officer, Major Coat . . . as they crossed the land to get back on to the track, they hit a landmine,'' Mr Romalis said. ``It killed Captain McCarthy instantly and the Canadian officer was severely injured.'' Mr Romalis said Captain McCarthy and 47 other peacekeeping officers were recognised on the Australian War Memorial's roll of honour last month.

Daughter Sarah and widow Susan McCarthy, of Canberra, with the plaque to honour UN peacekeeper Peter McCarthy, who died in Lebanon 25 years ago.  Picture: PAUL SCAMBLER

Daughter Sarah and widow Susan McCarthy, of Canberra, with the plaque to honour UN peacekeeper Peter McCarthy, who died in Lebanon 25 years ago. Picture: PAUL SCAMBLER