Defence Forces promotes first woman to the rank of general
A woman has been promoted to the rank of general in the Defence Forces for the first time and is taking up a key leadership role in an overseas mission.
It is the latest in a series of "firsts" for Galway City-born Maureen O'Brien, who has risen to the rank of brigadier general.
General O'Brien has been appointed as deputy force commander in the Undof mission on the Golan Heights, a strategic and highly contentious area on the Israeli-Syrian border.
Promotion to general follows her career successes in becoming the first female lieutenant colonel in 2011 and colonel in 2016.
But her proudest moment to date was her appointment as the first female battalion commander when she took charge of the 27 Infantry Battalion in Dundalk in 2012.
General O'Brien told the Irish Independent: "If you are in the infantry corps, it is the pinnacle of your career to be made a battalion commander.
"And that was a very important day for me to be given that role."