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Chief of Staff of the Defence Forces (Ireland)
Nominated by Government of Ireland on the recommendation of the Minister for Defence
Appointed by President of Ireland
Incumbent Lieutenant General Conor O'Boyle

The Chief of Staff of the Defence Forces (COS) (Irish language: Ceann Foirne na bhFórsaí Cosanta ) is charged with the executive management of the Irish Defence Forces, and is the most senior military officer of the Army, Naval Service and Air Corps branches. The Chief of Staff is appointed by the President of Ireland, who is the Supreme Commander of the Defence Forces, on the recommendation of the Minister for Defence subject to the approval of the Government of Ireland. The office of the Chief of Staff consists of his personal staff, a strategic planning office and a public relations section.[1]

The Defence Forces Chief of Staff sits on the government's National Security Committee (NSC).[2]

The Chief of Staff delegates remaining executive duties to two Deputy Chiefs of Staff (who hold the rank of Major General or equivalent) and one Assistant Chief of Staff (Brigadier General);

  • The Deputy Chief of Staff Operations (D COS Ops) is tasked with operational matters.
  • The Deputy Chief of Staff Support (D COS Sp) is tasked with military support matters.
  • The Assistant Chief of Staff Support (ACOS Sp) is also tasked with military support matters.[1]

The current Chief of Staff of the Defence Forces is Lieutenant General Conor O'Boyle of the Irish Army. Lt Gen O'Boyle was appointed on 12 August 2013.[3]

Current General Staff of the Defence Forces[]

Position Photograph Incumbent Branch
Chief of Staff (COS) Conor O'Boyle.jpg 15px Lieutenant General Conor O'Boyle Badge of the Irish Defence Forces.svg Irish Army
Deputy Chief of Staff Operations (D COS Ops) Photo Review 2009 (4192587997).jpg 15px Major General Kieran Brennan Badge of the Irish Defence Forces.svg Irish Army
Deputy Chief of Staff Support (D COS Sp) An Taoiseach Enda Kenny with D COS Sp R Adm Mark Mellett.jpg Rear Admiral Mark Mellett DSM Nscoa.png Irish Naval Service
Assistant Chief of Staff Support (ACOS Sp) 15px Brigadier General Colm Campbell Badge of the Irish Defence Forces.svg Irish Army

Brigade Commanders[]

The country is divided into three areas for administrative and operational reasons, and in each area there is an Irish Army infantry brigade. The three brigade group structure envisages distinct operational areas of responsibility for each of the brigades and is supported in their responsibilities by the Naval Service and Air Corps. Each of the Brigade formations and the Air Corps are commanded by a Brigadier General, while the Naval Service is commanded by a Commodore;[4]

List of Irish Chiefs of Staff[]

No. Image Rank Name Branch Date appointed Relinquished appointment Time in appointment
1. Eoin O'Duffy.png Lieutenant General Eoin O'Duffy Badge of the Irish Defence Forces.svg Irish Army February 1922 July 1922 5 months
2. 50px Lieutenant General Richard Mulcahy Badge of the Irish Defence Forces.svg Irish Army July 1922 August 1922 1 month
3. Lieutenant General Sean MacMahon Badge of the Irish Defence Forces.svg Irish Army August 1922 March 1924 1 year, 7 months
4. Lieutenant General Peadar MacMahon Badge of the Irish Defence Forces.svg Irish Army March 1924 March 1927 3 years
5. Lieutenant General Daniel Hogan Badge of the Irish Defence Forces.svg Irish Army March 1927 February 1929 1 year, 11 months
6. Sean MacEoin.jpg Lieutenant General Seán Mac Eoin Badge of the Irish Defence Forces.svg Irish Army February 1929 October 1929 8 months
7. Lieutenant General Joseph Sweeney Badge of the Irish Defence Forces.svg Irish Army October 1929 October 1931 2 years
8. Lieutenant General Michael Brennan Badge of the Irish Defence Forces.svg Irish Army October 1931 January 1940 8 years, 3 months
9. Lieutenant General Daniel McKenna Badge of the Irish Defence Forces.svg Irish Army January 1940 January 1949 9 years
10. Lieutenant General Liam Archer Badge of the Irish Defence Forces.svg Irish Army January 1949 January 1952 3 years
11. Lieutenant General W. A. Egan Badge of the Irish Defence Forces.svg Irish Army January 1952 December 1954 2 years, 11 months
12. Lieutenant General Patrick Mulcahy Badge of the Irish Defence Forces.svg Irish Army January 1955 December 1959 4 years, 11 months
13. Lieutenant General John McKeown Badge of the Irish Defence Forces.svg Irish Army January 1960 December 1960 11 months
14. Lieutenant General Sean Collins Powell Badge of the Irish Defence Forces.svg Irish Army January 1961 March 1962 1 year, 2 months
15. Lieutenant General John McKeown (2nd term) Badge of the Irish Defence Forces.svg Irish Army April 1962 March 1971 8 years, 11 months
16. Lieutenant General Thomas O'Carroll Badge of the Irish Defence Forces.svg Irish Army April 1971 July 1976 5 years, 3 months
17. Lieutenant General Carl O'Sullivan Badge of the Irish Defence Forces.svg Irish Army August 1976 June 1981 4 years, 11 months
17. Lieutenant General Louis Hogan DSM Badge of the Irish Defence Forces.svg Irish Army June 1981 April 1984 2 years, 10 months
18. Lieutenant General Gerald O'Sullivan Badge of the Irish Defence Forces.svg Irish Army April 1984 February 1986 1 year, 10 months
19. Lieutenant General Tadgh O'Neill Badge of the Irish Defence Forces.svg Irish Army February 1986 October 1989 3 years, 8 months
20. Lieutenant General James Parker Badge of the Irish Defence Forces.svg Irish Army October 1989 April 1992 2 years, 6 months
21. Lieutenant General Noel Bergin Badge of the Irish Defence Forces.svg Irish Army April 1992 December 1994 2 years, 8 months
22. Lieutenant General Gerald McMahon Badge of the Irish Defence Forces.svg Irish Army February 1995 August 1998 3 years, 6 months
23. Lieutenant General David Stapleton Badge of the Irish Defence Forces.svg Irish Army August 1998 24 September 2000 2 years, 1 month
24. Lieutenant General Colm Mangan Badge of the Irish Defence Forces.svg Irish Army 25 September 2000 20 February 2004 3 years, 4 months
25. Lieutenant General James Sreenan Badge of the Irish Defence Forces.svg Irish Army 21 February 2004 28 June 2007 3 years, 4 months
26. Dermot Earley 2009.jpg Lieutenant General Dermot Earley DSM Badge of the Irish Defence Forces.svg Irish Army 28 June 2007 9 June 2010 2 years
27. Lt Gen McCann at CGSC HoF induction.jpg Lieutenant General Sean McCann Badge of the Irish Defence Forces.svg Irish Army 9 June 2010 12 August 2013 3 years, 2 months
28. Conor O'Boyle.jpg Lieutenant General Conor O'Boyle Badge of the Irish Defence Forces.svg Irish Army 12 August 2013 Currently in appointment
Retiring September 2015
2 years

See also[]

References[]

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