AN Irish-born soldier serving in the American army sent text messages to a friend saying she was going to kill herself just before she took her own life, it has emerged.
The actions Ciara Durkin, originally from Connemara, took on the night she died inside an Afghan airbase have been detailed for the first time in a military report.
The 30-year-old was discovered behind the Enduring Faith Chapel more than a year ago by a chaplain who heard a single gunshot, the report stated.
Ms Durkin's sister Fiona Canavan said in a statement on the first anniversary of her death that it is still not clear exactly what happened on the evening of September 27, 2007.
This is the first time details of the report into Ms Durkin's death have been revealed publicly. However, the family of the soldier received the report in June and have since expressed sadness at its conclusions.
According to the report, Ms Durkin was found lying against shipping containers behind the chapel. It found that she shot herself in the head while sitting on the ground, leaning back against the containers.
Just before she died, text messages were sent from her phone to a friend saying she was going to take her own life.
The report does not draw any conclusions as to why the soldier took her own life, but sworn statements from fellow soldiers on the base suggest she was dealing with a range of stressful issues.
However, these statements were at odds with the picture painted by the family directly after Ms Durkin's death. They told of a happy and confident young woman who was in a committed relationship. Ms Durkin was openly gay.
Ms Canavan said that although the report did not answer all their questions, they were not going to pursue the matter further.
"I have accepted that we may never know what happened on that night," said Ms Canavan.
On a visit home shortly before her death, Ms Durkin expressed concern for her safety. She asked that an investigation be carried out if anything happened to her.