Monday 11 December 2017

Veteran soldier is new chief-of-staff for Defence Forces

Newly appointed Chief of Staff Major General Conor O'Boyle
Newly appointed Chief of Staff Major General Conor O'Boyle

Tom Brady Security Editor

THE officer who co-ordinated a massive reorganisation of the Defence Forces over the past year has been appointed as the new chief-of-staff of the military organisation.

The Cabinet approved the selection of Major General Conor O'Boyle to take over from Lieutenant General Sean McCann, who retires on age grounds.

The Government also appointed Maurice Quinn, a former assistant secretary at the Department of Defence, as the new secretary general. He succeeds Michael Howard, who retires in October.

Defence Minister Alan Shatter paid tribute to Mr Howard for his "outstanding public service, his dedication, drive and commitment to the achievement of results in the defence arena".

Mr Shatter said he also wanted to thank him for his expertise in representing the State internationally and, in particular, at EU level.

He also complimented Lieut Gen McCann for his "outstanding contribution as chief-of-staff over the past three years and his lifetime dedication to the Defence Forces".

Mr Shatter added: "He has served the Defence Forces and the country with distinction, both at home and abroad, and his leadership and professionalism are widely recognised."

The new chief joined the Defence Forces in 1970, and his overseas experience includes more than three and a half years in the Middle East with multiple tours to Lebanon, Syria and Israel, as well as three years in Brussels as the deputy Irish military representative to the EU from 2003 to 2006.

He was promoted to the rank of general in October 2009, and became deputy chief-of-staff in March last year with responsibility for logistics, finance, human resources, administration and legal matters.

Mr Quinn (53), who is from Dublin, was also involved in the reorganisation, and served as an assistant secretary in Defence until March, when he became assistant secretary for tourism and corporate services at the Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport.

His new post is for a term of seven years.

Irish Independent

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