Wednesday 7 December 2016

Lt Colonel to be first woman to lead overseas

Martin Grant

Published 13/09/2016 | 02:30

Minister of State with responsibility for Defence, Paul Kehoe with Lt. Col. Mary Carroll who is leading the mission, and Vice Admiral Mark Mellett, Chief of Staff pictured at the Glen of Immal. Picture Colin Keegan, Collins Dublin.
Minister of State with responsibility for Defence, Paul Kehoe with Lt. Col. Mary Carroll who is leading the mission, and Vice Admiral Mark Mellett, Chief of Staff pictured at the Glen of Immal. Picture Colin Keegan, Collins Dublin.

A Roscommon officer is set to make history as the first woman to lead a group of soldiers on an overseas mission.

  • Go To

Lt Colonel Mary Carroll is commanding officer of the 54th infantry group, consisting of 130 troops.

Lt. Col. Mary Carroll will lead the overseas mission. Picture Colin Keegan, Collins Dublin.
Lt. Col. Mary Carroll will lead the overseas mission. Picture Colin Keegan, Collins Dublin.

Soldiers were put through their paces yesterday in the rugged Glen of Imaal ahead of their deployment to the Golan Heights in Syria, where they will serve with the United Nations Disengagement Observation Force in the troubled region.

The army officer, who is a mother of two, said she was looking forward to leading the mission.

"I'm very privileged to be in command," said Lt Col Carroll. "I'm delighted to see the Defence Forces is recruiting women. Our new recruitment drive has been very positive. More women can see this is a viable career."

Tipperary man Patrick 'Bonnar' Maher (26) will be switching his hurley for a gun when he jets off overseas.

Lt Grainne Kenneally, from Tipperary, is No. 1 Platoon Commander. Picture Colin Keegan, Collins Dublin.
Lt Grainne Kenneally, from Tipperary, is No. 1 Platoon Commander. Picture Colin Keegan, Collins Dublin.

The hurler, who was a key player in the Tipp All-Ireland winning team, says he is looking forward to his first mission.

Maher joined the army in 2012 and says all the training has been building up to this moment.

"The training is going very well. Everybody has confidence in each other and it makes things a lot easier," said Maher. "It will be challenging, but I'm looking forward to that challenge."

He said he hoped there would be time to play hurling in the Golan Heights.

A member of the Defence Forces during a simulated ambush at the Glen of Imaal. Picture Colin Keegan, Collins Dublin.
A member of the Defence Forces during a simulated ambush at the Glen of Imaal. Picture Colin Keegan, Collins Dublin.

"The GAA is touching an awful lot of places around the world, you never know," he said.

Irish Independent

Read More

Promoted articles

Editor's Choice

Also in Irish News