19 Jul 2008

Church packed for NZ-born soldier's farewell

7:59 am on 19 July 2008

More than 1,000 people have attended a military funeral on the Gold Coast for New Zealand-born soldier Sean McCarthy, who was killed in Afghanistan last week.

The signaller was on duty with the Australian SAS when he was killed by a roadside bomb.

Family, friends and colleagues packed the Sacred Heart Church at Clear Island Waters to farewell the 25-year-old.

Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd, Opposition Leader Brendan Nelson and high-ranking military personnel also attended the ceremony, which was cordoned off by police.

Signaller McCarthy was born in New Zealand and grew up on the Gold Coast.

He served in East Timor before going to Afghanistan and was awarded the Australian Active Service Medal and the Afghanistan Campaign Medal.