Published on September 29th, 2015 | by Jim Lee


Minister for Defence attends ‘Transfer of Authority’ ceremony as new General Staff members appointed

Defence Force crestRear Admiral Mellett, who was appointed to the position of Deputy Chief of Staff (Support) of the Defence Forces in November, 2013 was promoted to the rank of Vice Admiral and took up his position as the new Chief of Staff and will formally take up the appointment from midnight on 28th September.

On 17th September, the Minister for Defence Mr. Simon Coveney, T.D., attended the ceremony marking the transfer of authority from the current Chief of Staff of the Defence Forces, Lieutenant-General Conor O’Boyle to his successor Rear Admiral Mark Mellett, prior to Lieutenant General O’Boyle retirement from the Defence Forces, at the end of the month. The Chief of Staff is assigned authority and responsibility by the Minister of Defence in respect of all staff duties connected with the executive management of the Defence Forces. The Chief of Staff is responsible for Strategic Planning and Public Relations in particular.

During the ceremony which was held in McKee Barracks Dublin, Minister Coveney presented the Distinguished Service Medal (with Honour) to Lieutenant-General O’Boyle.

Minister of Defence & Lt. Gen Conor O'Boyle (IMG5556 JL)

Minister of Defence & Lt. Gen Conor O’Boyle

Paying tribute to Lieutenant-General O’Boyle, the Minister for Defence stated: “I am honoured to be presenting Lieutenant-General O’Boyle with the Distinguished Service Medal (with Honour)” and on behalf of the Government, the Minister thanked Lieutenant-General O’Boyle for “his hard work, commitment, professionalism and dedication which has brought great honour on the Defence Forces and on this Nation as a whole”.

Speaking of Rear Admiral Mellett the Minister stated: “I look forward to having the opportunity to work closely with Rear Admiral Mellett as Chief of Staff”.

New Deputy Chief Of Staff (Support) of the Defence Forces Appointed

On 9th September, the Minister for Defence, Mr. Simon Coveney TD, announced the appointment of Colonel Kevin Cotter to the position of Deputy Chief of Staff (Support) of the Defence Forces with effect from 29th September in succession to Rear Admiral Mark Mellett with effect from the 29th of September 2015, and will assume the rank of Major General. The Deputy Chief of Staff (Support) is tasked with military support matters by developing and implementing policy, plans, guidance and procedures for the Army, Air Corps and Naval Service.

The Cabinet approved the appointment at its meeting on the previous day. Colonel Kevin Cotter is a Communications and Information Services Corps officer who is currently the Director of Strategic Planning in Defence Forces Headquarters based in Newbridge, Co. Kildare.

He is a graduate of Dublin Institute of Technology and the Command and Staff Course, Military College and his most recent senior appointments include a period on the European Union Military Staff in Brussels and a period in the Military College, Curragh Camp. Colonel Cotter has extensive overseas experience having served in Lebanon, Bosnia, Kosovo and Liberia, Major General Cotter was born in New York, moving to Limerick in his youth and is married with one child. His interests include strategic affairs and outdoor pursuits.

Speaking of the appointment Minister Coveney said “I wish Colonel Cotter every continued success and I know he will make a significant contribution to the Defence Forces in his new role as Deputy Chief of Staff (Support). I look forward to working closely with him in the future”.

Major General Kieran Brennan

Major General Kieran Brennan

The other Deputy Chiefs of Staff is Major General Kieran Brennan who was appointed Deputy Chief of Staff Operations with effect from 16th June. Major General Brennan was born in 1957 and joined the Defence Forces as a cadet in 1975. The Deputy Chief of Staff (Ops) is tasked with operational matters. The General Officer Commanding, Air Corps is Brigadier General Paul Fry while the Flag Officer Commanding the Naval Service is Commodore Hugh Tully.

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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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