Feb 14 2011 Posted: 00:00 GMT
NUI Galway Graduate Lieutenant General Seán McCann will be honoured at a Dinner to celebrate his appointment as Chief of Staff of the Irish Defence Forces. The event will take place in the Officers Mess in McKee Barracks, Dublin 7 on 24 February 2011 at 7.30pm. The occasion will also celebrate more than 40 years of partnership between NUI Galway and the Defence Forces through the University Student Administrative Compliment (USAC), which has seen many officers pursue a large variety of qualifications at the University. Lieutenant General McCann holds a Bachelor of Commerce from NUI Galway which was conferred upon him in 1974. Mr J.B. Terrins, NUI Galway's Director of Alumni Relations says, "This will be a very special occasion, celebrating a relationship going back to 1969 when the first Defence Forces cadets and officers came through the gates of NUI Galway. The University is proud to count many distinguished Defence Forces officers amongst the ranks of its alumni – some still serving and others in key positions in business or other areas throughout the world. This dinner will see many of them reunited to honor Lieutenant General McCann, the first NUI Galway graduate to hold the position of Chief of Staff of the Defence Forces. In his appointment to the most senior position in the Defence Forces, Lt General McCann now leads the Army, Naval Service and Air Corps. Lt General McCann, who is 60 years of age, enlisted in the Defence Forces as an Officer Cadet in 1970. Following commissioning as an Officer in 1972, he served in various Cavalry units in Plunkett Barracks. He instructed in the Military College in both the Infantry School and the Command and Staff School. In more recent years he was Chief Instructor in the United Nations Training School in the Military College. Formerly Director of Cavalry and Commandant of the Combat Support College, he has also seen service in Defence Forces Headquarters as Personal Staff Officer to the Chief of Staff and as a Staff Officer in Operations Section. He was Director of Operations at Defence Forces Headquarters in 2007, and subsequently held the appointment of General Officer Commanding (GOC) the Defence Forces Training Centre (DFTC) from 2008 to 2009. He has been The Deputy Chief of Staff, Operations since 2009, with responsibility for all operational activities of the Defence Forces. Lt General McCann has extensive overseas experience. He served with the UN Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) in 1981 and 1987. He was Senior Operations Officer with the United Nations Iraq Kuwait Observer Mission (UNIKOM) in 1991. He served in Sarajevo with the European Union Monitoring Mission (EUMM) in 2000; and in 2002 he was Chief of Observer Group Lebanon (OGL), part of the United Nations Truce Supervisory Organisation (UNTSO). In 2003 he was appointed Chief Operations Officer with UNTSO. The event will be attended by President of NUI Galway Dr James J Browne, and is open to all graduates of NUI Galway, to join in a reception and dinner, to celebrate the Chief of Staff's appointment.