Chief of Staff of the Irish Defence Forces

Chief of Staff of Defence Forces Ireland
Vice Admiral Mark Mellett DSM (NS)

since 29 September 2015
Defence Forces
Member of National Security Committee
Reports to Minister for Defence
Nominator Government of Ireland on the recommendation of the Minister for Defence
Appointer President of Ireland
Salary €189,114[1]
The office of the Chief of Staff and General Staff are located at the DF/DoD HQ in Newbridge, County Kildare

The Chief of Staff of the Defence Forces (COS) (Irish: 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.[2]

The Defence Forces Chief of Staff sits on the government's National Security Committee (NSC).[3]

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 or equivalent);

The current Chief of Staff of the Defence Forces is Vice Admiral Mark Mellett DSM of the Naval Service. Vice Admiral Mellett assumed the role on 29 September 2015.[4]

Current General Staff of the Defence Forces

Position Photograph Incumbent Branch
Chief of Staff (COS) Vice Admiral Mark Mellett DSM Naval Service
Deputy Chief of Staff Operations (D COS Ops) Major General Kieran Brennan Army
Deputy Chief of Staff Support (D COS Sp) Major General Kevin Cotter Army
Assistant Chief of Staff Support (ACOS Sp) Brigadier General Peter O'Halloran Army

Brigade Commanders

The country is divided into two areas for administrative and operational reasons, and in each area there is an Irish Army infantry brigade. The two 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;[5]

Position Photograph Incumbent Branch
General Officer Commanding (GOC) 1st Brigade Brigadier General Philip Brennan Army
General Officer Commanding (GOC) 2nd Brigade Brigadier General Michael Beary Army
General Officer Commanding Defence Forces Training Centre (GOC DFTC) Brigadier General Joe Mulligan Army
General Officer Commanding (GOC) Air Corps Brigadier General Paul Fry Air Corps
Flag Officer Commanding the Naval Service (FOCNS) Commodore Hugh Tully Naval Service

List of Irish Chiefs of Staff

No. Image Rank Name Branch Date appointed Relinquished appointment Time in appointment
1. Lieutenant General Eoin O'Duffy Army February 1922 July 1922 5 months
2. Lieutenant General Richard Mulcahy Army July 1922 August 1922 1 month
3. Lieutenant General Seán Mac Mahon Army August 1922 March 1924 1 year, 7 months
4. Lieutenant General Peadar MacMahon Army March 1924 March 1927 3 years
5. Lieutenant General Daniel Hogan Army March 1927 February 1929 1 year, 11 months
6. Lieutenant General Seán Mac Eoin Army February 1929 October 1929 8 months
7. Lieutenant General Joseph Sweeney Army October 1929 October 1931 2 years
8. Lieutenant General Michael Brennan Army October 1931 January 1940 8 years, 3 months
9. Lieutenant General Daniel McKenna Army January 1940 January 1949 9 years
10. Lieutenant General Liam Archer Army January 1949 January 1952 3 years
11. Lieutenant General W. A. Egan Army January 1952 December 1954 2 years, 11 months
12. Lieutenant General Patrick Mulcahy Army January 1955 December 1959 4 years, 11 months
13. Lieutenant General John McKeown Army January 1960 December 1960 11 months
14. Lieutenant General Sean Collins Powell Army January 1961 March 1962 1 year, 2 months
15. Lieutenant General John McKeown (2nd term) Army April 1962 March 1971 8 years, 11 months
16. Lieutenant General Thomas O'Carroll Army April 1971 July 1976 5 years, 3 months
17. Lieutenant General Carl O'Sullivan Army August 1976 June 1981 4 years, 11 months
17. Lieutenant General Louis Hogan DSM Army June 1981 April 1984 2 years, 10 months
18. Lieutenant General Gerald O'Sullivan Army April 1984 February 1986 1 year, 10 months
19. Lieutenant General Tadgh O'Neill Army February 1986 October 1989 3 years, 8 months
20. Lieutenant General James Parker Army October 1989 April 1992 2 years, 6 months
21. Lieutenant General Noel Bergin Army April 1992 December 1994 2 years, 8 months
22. Lieutenant General Gerald McMahon Army February 1995 August 1998 3 years, 6 months
23. Lieutenant General David Stapleton DSM Army August 1998 24 September 2000 2 years, 1 month
24. Lieutenant General Colm Mangan Army 25 September 2000 20 February 2004 3 years, 4 months
25. Lieutenant General James Sreenan Army 21 February 2004 28 June 2007 3 years, 4 months
26. Lieutenant General Dermot Earley DSM Army 28 June 2007 9 June 2010 2 years, 11 months
27. Lieutenant General Sean McCann Army 9 June 2010 12 August 2013 3 years, 2 months
28. Lieutenant General Conor O'Boyle Army 12 August 2013 29 September 2015 2 years, 1 month
28. Vice Admiral Mark Mellett DSM Naval Service 29 September 2015 Currently in appointment
1 year, 2 months

See also


  1. "Written Answers - Defence Forces Personnel". Office of the Houses of the Oireachtas. Retrieved 13 July 2015.
  2. 1 2 "Official Defence Forces website - General Staff > Chief of Staff". 2011-10-06. Retrieved 2012-09-11.
  3. "Annual Report 2013" (PDF). Department of Defence and Defence Forces. Retrieved 11 July 2015.
  4. "New Chief of Staff of the Defence Forces". Defence Forces Ireland. Retrieved 4 October 2015.
  5. "Defence Forces Brigade Commanders". Retrieved 11 July 2015.
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