Published on June 21st, 2015 | by Jim Lee


Government announces the appointment of Major General Kieran Brennan to the position of Deputy Chief of Staff

On 16th June, the Minister for Defence, Mr. Simon Coveney, announced the appointment of Major General Kieran Brennan, to the position of Deputy Chief of Staff (Operations) of the Defence Forces, with effect from 16th June 2015. Major General Brennan succeeds Major General Ralph James whose retirement was announced on 27th March, as was his appointment as Director Safety Regulation with Irish Aviation Authority (IAA), on the retirement of Kevin Humphreys. The appointment of Major General Brennan was approved by the Cabinet at its meeting on 16th June.

General ralph james

Major General Ralph James who recently announced his retirement

Major General Kieran Brennan was commissioned into the Infantry Corps in 1977 and has had a wide range of experience since then. He has instructed in the Military College, Defence Forces Training Centre and served as Battalion Commander of the Third Infantry Battalion in Stephens Barracks, Kilkenny. He has also served as the Director of Human Resource Management for the Defence Forces before taking command of 1 Brigade of the Army, headquartered in Collins Barracks, Cork, in 2014.

He has extensive overseas experience. He has served twice with United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) in 1982 and 1997. He served as Company Commander with the 28th Infantry Group as part of a KFOR Multinational Battalion in Kosovo in 2004. In 2008 Major General Brennan commanded the 98th Infantry Battalion with the EUFOR Mission in Chad and in 2010 he served as Deputy Military Advisor at the Permanent Mission to the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe in Vienna.

General Kieran Brennan

General Kieran Brennan

He is a native of Jenkinstown, Co Kilkenny. A former student of St Kieran’s College, Kilkenny he hails from a strong GAA family and has played hurling for Kilkenny at all levels. He won two All-Ireland senior hurling medals in 1982 and 1983, and was a GAA All Star in 1984. He is married to Maria and they have three children. Their daughter Karen is a national school teacher in Ashford, County Wicklow, and their sons Kieran and Shane are a Captain and Lieutenant respectively in the Army.

Speaking of the appointment, Minister Coveney said “I would like to take this opportunity to wish Major-General Brennan every success in his new role. He joins the senior management team within Defence at an exciting and challenging time as we finalise the new White Paper on Defence, which I plan to bring to Government shortly. I know he will make an important and significant contribution to the Defence Forces as Deputy Chief of Staff (Operations) and I look forward to working closely with him in this regard”.

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About the Author

Jim has had a life-long interest in military matters and aviation. Initially, he fused both of these interests together with a passion for military aviation, initially as a photographer. He has travelled extensively over the years and has been the guest of many European air forces, plus the air forces of the United States, Russia and others throughout the world. His first introduction to journalism coincided with an interest in the civil aviation industry was when he initially wrote for and later edited, ‘Aviation Ireland’, the club magazine of the Aviation Society of Ireland. Jim was a contributor to Flying in Ireland since its inception over 10 years ago and is now a key contributor to this site. He has also contributed items for a number of other aviation magazines and has produced a number of detailed contributions to Government policy documents, most recently the Irish Government’s White Paper on Defence. He is also deeply involved in the local community and voluntary sector and has worked both in local government and central government.

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