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The Chief of Staff


Lieutenant General Seán Clancy is the Defence Forces Chief of Staff with effect from 29th of September 2021.

Lieutenant General Seán Clancy joined the Irish Defence Forces in 1984 as a cadet and commenced his flight training in 1986. He has flown both fixed and rotary wing aircraft and has accumulated nearly 5,000 flight hours. He is a qualified type and instrument-rating examiner, a qualified flight simulator instructor and has most recently held type, instrument and NVG ratings on the AW139.

Lieutenant General Clancy has been a driver of change and a champion for innovation within the Defence Forces. He played a central role in the development of the Ireland’s first Emergency Aeromedical Service established in 2012. He has been a strong advocate for Leadership and was the co-author of the Defence Forces Leadership Doctrine published in 2016. He subsequently led the team who developed the current vision and values-based strategy for the Defence Forces post the publication of the White Paper on Defence.

He has served in appointments including Squadron Commander, Wing Commander, Senior Staff Officer Operations, Senior Staff Officer Personnel, Chief of Air Staff Support in Air Corps Headquarters and Director of Strategic Planning Branch, Chief of Staff's Branch, Defence Forces Headquarters. Prior to promotion he served as Deputy Chief of Staff (Support) as well as General Officer Commanding, Irish Air Corps and Director of Military Aviation. 

Lieutentant General Seán Clancy has spent a considerable period of his career as a Search and Rescue pilot and was the commander of the crew who received the Marine Medal for Meritorious Service in 2002. He has served for a year with the European Union Force in Bosnia as the military advisor to the Force Commander and spent two years as a non-permanent member of SHIRBRIG, the UN standby Brigade. 

 He holds a Bachelor of Science Degree from Trinity College, Dublin and a Masters in Military Leadership and Defence Studies from the National University of Ireland, Maynooth. He is a graduate of the Defence Forces Command and Staff College where he was the recipient of the Lt Gen Tadgh O’Neill Award. In 2017 he completed a Diploma in Advanced Management Performance with Smurfit Business School.

Lieutenant General Seán Clancy is married to Caroline. They have three children and live in Dublin.