Launch of Defence Forces 2016 Review and Academic Conference 19 November, 2016

Launch of Defence Forces 2016 Review and Academic Conference 19 November, 2016

In the presence of the contributors, editorial team and invited guests, Vice-Admiral Mark Mellett DSM, Chief of Staff, launched the 13th edition of the Defence Forces Review and an associated Academic Conference, in Headquarters 2 Brigade, Cathal Brugha Barracks, Dublin, on 19 November.

The objectives of the 2016 Defence Forces Review included the provision for an accurate and deeper understanding of contemporary research, both within and outside Óglaigh na hÉireann on matters of national and military interest, and the contribution to the wider discourse and reflection on events of 1916 and the emergence of modern Ireland.
The 2016 edition consists of twenty three articles from a wide array of military, academic and civilian contributors.  The quality and range of subjects demonstrate the high quality and originality of the research, resulting in articles that are both interesting and informative.

The Contributors to 2016 include Commandant Lar Joy a Director of the Military Heritage of Ireland Trust and Dr James McCarthy who is a member of the Trust.

Under the stewardship of the Commandant of the Military College Colonel Dave Dignam, some of the articles were presented in open forum to contribute to a wider discourse and reflection of the events of 1916 and the emergence of modern Ireland.

The conference moderators were Prof Eunan O’Halpin Professor of Contemporary Irish History at Trinity College Dublin, and Dr Ian Speller a Senior Lecturer and Director of the Centre for Military History and Strategic Studies in the Department of History at Maynooth University.

The following speakers presented papers: themes were:




Panel 1:  Comdt Steve MacEoin,  History, Memory and Commemoration – An Archivist’s Perspective.  Dr Aoife Bhreatnach, Waxing and Waning: Garrison Towns in Independent Ireland.  Mr Tom Tormey, “The Parting of the Ways”: The 1922 Split in the Dublin IRA and the Foundation of the Modern Army. Prof Tim Hoy, Military Innovation in Ireland 1916- 1923.

Panel 2:  Col Michael Campion, The Beautiful Simplicity of the Military Mind and the Tangle of the Law : The 1916 Court Martial Trial.   Lt Col Jerry Lane, Regime Salus populi suprema lex: Hard Times and Difficult Decisions Bring Drastic Action A Retreat from Revolution. Comdt Bill Campbell, Government and Army after the Civil War Col Tom Hodson, Establishing the Military College.

Panel 3:  Comdt Lar Joye, The Fighting Irish 1914-1916.  Dr Michael Kennedy, A matter of day-to-day and even hour-to-hour improvisation’: Ireland’s Experience of Dealing with the UN Secretariat during the Congo Crisis. Dr James McCafferty,  The Irish Army in the Congo, 1960- 64: The Foundation for Permanent Defence Forces Peacekeeping Missions.   Prof Eunan O’Halpin, Rethinking Irish Civil-Military Relations in the 21st Century.

Panel 4:  Cdr Brian Fitzgerald, Ireland – An Islander’s Perspective .  Dr John Treacy, Caveat Emptor – Building Ireland’s Small Navy 1945-49.  Petty Officer Stewart Hamilton, “All abord … or not?” Why are Naval Service Senior NCO Students Not Availing of Education Opportunities?  Cdr Pat Burke, Troubled Waters – The Legal Issues Inherent in the Defence Forces Role in the Mediterranean Migrant Crisis.

Panel 5:  Mr Mark Seaman, The Troubles’ – An Irish Inspiration for SOE? A re-examination of a Long Standing Theory Concerning SOE’s Origins.   Col David Dignam, The Evolving Operational Paradigm and The Defence Forces.   Lt Col David Corcoran, Just Flight Safety Culture and Irish Defence Forces: It’s a Question of Law! Capt Fiachra Ó Coigligh, From Hijack to Attack: Bloodier Terrorist Strategy… A Product of NewMedia?

A call for papers for the 2017 Defence Forces Review will be issued in the New Year and interested parties are invited to make contact at or online at