First female colonel for the Irish Defence Forces
The Irish Defence Forces has promoted a woman to the rank of colonel for the first time.
Galway city native Maureen O'Brien has a career in the armed forces spanning more than 30 years. She was first awarded a cadetship in 1981 - one year after the cadet school was first opened to women.
In 2011, she became the first woman to be promoted to the rank of lieutenant colonel, and in 2012 was appointed officer commanding of 27 Infantry Battalion in Dundalk. Col O'Brien has extensive overseas service. Her first two deployments were to Lebanon with Unifil.
She has taken up the appointment of director of communications and information services.