A Galway soldier has become the first woman in the history of the State to reach the rank of Major General - the second highest rank in the defence forces.
The United Nations has announced the appointment of Maureen O'Brien to the post of Deputy Military Advisor at the UN headquarters in New York.
Minister for Defence Simon Coveney says Maureen - a native of Galway city - has extensive command and peacekeeping experience, having served most recently as Deputy Force Commander in the UN Disengagement Observer Force, and says she will make an important contribution in this new role as part of the UN team.
The Chief of Staff of the Irish Defence Forces, Castlebar native Vice-Admiral Mark Mellett has congratulated Maureen O'Brien on becoming the first female officer in the history of the state to reach the rank of Major General, and said she brings a great deal of experience and knowledge to her new role.
Major-General O'Brien has served 39 years in the Defence Forces and her career includes peacekeeping missions to Chad, East Timor and Syria.