The Government last night accepted the recommendation of the Minister for Justice, Equality and Defence, Mr Alan Shatter T.D., to nominate Deputy Chief of Staff Support Major General Conor O’Boyle for appointment by the President as Chief of Staff of the Defence Forces. He will succeed the current Chief of Staff Lieutenant-General Sean McCann, who will retire on 12 August 2013.
Major-General Conor O’ Boyle joined the Defence Forces in 1970 and was commissioned into the Artillery Corps of the Army in 1972. He has served in a wide variety of appointments and ranks throughout the Defence Forces as a commander, staff officer and instructor. His overseas experience includes over three and half years in the Middle East with UNTSO and UNIFIL with multiple tours to Lebanon, Syria and Israel and also a three year appointment in Brussels as the Deputy Irish Military Representative to the EU from 2003-2006.
Major-General O’ Boyle was promoted to general rank in October 2009 and has commanded the 1st Southern Brigade in Cork and the Defence Forces Training Centre in the Curragh. He was appointed to his current position as Deputy Chief of Staff (Support) in March 2012 and has responsibility for Logistics, Finance, Human Resources, Administration and Legal Matters for the Defence Forces. He is married to Fionnula and has two children, Ciara and Ian. He is a keen golfer and has a long association with the Curragh Golf Club.
Good luck to him on his new appointment, but, if you'll forgive me pointing out the obvious, he seems rather old to me. Are all your PDF senior officers this old?
No. It is surprising that a man with roughly 2 years before retirement was given this important position.
I hear you, but it has to be noted that he has literally a world of experience, epecially in international peace-keeping duties, highly relevant in today's world.
PS - just axing - anybody from IRCON Cyprus 1971-74 here?
Definitely best man for the job, however, continuity at the helm is sometimes an advantage too.
10 Inf Gp '68 & 12 Inf Gp '69
(not 'throwin' brakes' tac)
OT, but since the new General spent most of his time peace-keeping, IRCON was the Irish UN Peacekeeping contingent at Kykko Camp at a road junction on the east-west Nicosia Road at the time, and me and a few pals used to go over there every now and than for the craic and the music.
Apologies for the thread-drift.
tac, remembering good times, like old fa- soldiers do.
We were based in the mountains of the Lefka District in the west of the Island and only saw Nicosia twice...the day we arrived, and the day we flew home!
Was a different Island then, with every 2nd village either Turkish or Greek.
Anyway, apologies to the OP for straying off course.
Jaysus, you lads must be 20 years older than I thought you were. Friends Father served in UNFYCIP around 1984/85, brought family with him for the year.
I did a tour in Cyprus...............2001 Ayia Napa, I didnt come back the same!
Joined up in '67 at 17, and spent my 18th and 19th birthdays serving with UNFICYP, four more birthdays with UNIFIL and one in Gaza !
A lot of birthdays totally wasted.
Well. Im not actually admitting how old I am, but I AM older than Mr Hedgemeister.
Yes. There was a rigid seniority system for promotion in place for years. The result has tended to be that officers do not reach senior rank until late in life. At one time mainstream (not doctors or engineers legal etc) officers were not reaching the rank of Commandant until they were 50!.
Even in recent times becoming a Lt. Col before 45 is a rarity. It would be highly unusual for anyone to become a Colonel before 50.
One previous Chief of Staff (Lt. Gen Louis Hogan) went from Lt. Col to Lt. Gen in 5 years. 5 promotions in 5 years after a career of 4 promotions in 34 years.
Even now seniority is still very much a factor.
Not at all. RACO made a point of removing seniority some years back in promotion competitions. In the promotion system it counts for nothing. However the achieve the required points for promotion may take longer purely to availability of overseas postings, courses etc. This is why more senior individuals get promoted.
To get into the system at all usually means relatively lengthy service. Some armies identify talent and actively fast track certain individuals whom they believe have potential. The current system in Ireland is a box ticking exercise.