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Questions surround death of Irish-born soldier

February 17, 2011

By Staff Reporter

Durkin, (30) unmarried and with immediate family living in Quincy, Mass. was born on the island of Eanach Mheain in Connemara.
Her death occurred on Thursday of last week. Durkin was a member of the Massachusetts National Guard and was assigned to the army’s Task Force Diamond. She had been serving in Afghanistan since February.
In a brief statement, the Department of Defense announced today the death of Durkin who was supporting Operation Enduring Freedom.
“Spc. Ciara M. Durkin, 30, of Quincy, Mass., died Sept. 28 at Bagram Airfield, Afghanistan, of injuries suffered from a non-combat related incident. She was assigned to the 726th Finance Battalion, Massachusetts Army National Guard, West Newton, Mass. The circumstances surrounding the incident are under investigation,” the statement said.
The Boston Globe reported Tuesday reported that this statement contradicted an earlier one from the Massachusetts Army National Guard that said Durkin was killed in action.
“We’re completely in the dark,” Pierce Durkin, the dead soldier’s 28-year-old brother, told the Globe.
The family, which has members in both Massachusetts and Ireland, has said it is confident that Ciara Durkin did not take her own life. If not, then her death points to the likelihood that she was either shot by accident, or deliberately by a fellow soldier.
The family had requested help from members of Congress and the Irish government in an effort to find the truth behind the death of SPC. Whose body was found close to the base church.
Durkin, who joined the National Guard two years ago and so would have expected service overseas, was one of nine children and an aunt to 17 nieces and nephews. She sent some of her pay home to her nieces and nephews on a regular basis, according to family.
Durkin’s wake will take place from 4-9 p.m. Friday at the Dennis Sweeney Funeral Home in Quincy. Her funeral will be held at 10 a.m. Saturday at St. John the Baptist Catholic Church in Quincy.

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