Earley rises!

Roscommon GAA legend Dermot Earley this week told the Roscommon People that he was ‘proud, humbled and honoured’ to be appointed new Chief of Staff of the Irish Defence Forces.   Major General Dermot Earley (58) was ratified as new Chief of Staff of the Defence Forces by the Cabinet on Tuesday. He succeeds the outgoing Chief, Lieut. General Jim Sreenan, who will retire in June. Mr. Earley, who had a highly distinguished GAA career with Roscommon, has been Deputy Chief of Staff for the past three years. Earley has an impressive military career during which he served as military advisor to the UN Secretary General in New York (from 1987 to 1991).   Speaking to the People from his home in Newbridge, Co. Kildare, Mr. Earley said that when he joined the Defence Forces as a cadet in 1965 he could not in his ‘wildest dreams’ have imagined rising to this exalted position.   He was ‘over the moon’ and ’emotional’ on accepting the honour.   Dermot Earley said that when news broke on Tuesday of his appointment he and his wife Mary had been inundated with calls from well-wishers. And he revealed that there had been countless calls from all over County Roscommon as people from his native county expressed their congratulations and pride.     Mr. Earley said that he had been informed by the Minister of Defence Deputy Willie O’Dea that he had been formally nominated for the position to the Cabinet. He would be taking up his new role at the end of June of this year and would be due to serve for just under four years, until retiring when he is aged 63.   Asked how he saw the role ahead, Mr. Earley said that his ‘your very earliest thoughts’ in a situation such as this were that ‘you would hope to live up to those who had preceded you’. ‘I am following in great footsteps and I would like to leave (the Defence Forces) in better shape in the future