NEWS: Lebanon expert promoted

4 November 2020
By Roger LD Jones

Lebanon expert promoted

He has extensive overseas peacekeeping service with the United Nations, EU and NATO; deploying to Lebanon, Western Sahara, East Timor, Cote D’Ivoire, Chad, and Afghanistan.

Brigadier General Brian Cleary has now been appointed as General Officer Commanding 1 Brigade based in Collins Barracks, Cork City. This follows his recent appointment as Commander, Joint Task Force, which was established on the 19th Mar 2020 in response to Ireland’s COVID-19 threat.

A native of Athlone, Co. Westmeath, Brigadier General Cleary joined the Permanent Defence Forces in 1981 as a member of the 58th Cadet Class and was commissioned as an Officer into the Artillery Corps in 1983. He currently resides in Kildare.

Military Experience

Brigadier General Cleary has held a wide variety of roles and appointments in the Artillery Corps, DF Public Relations, DF Special Operations, DF Military College and DFHQ Operations Division.


Brigadier General Cleary holds a master’s degree in Organisational Behaviour (MSc OB) from Trinity College, Dublin and a master’s degree in Leadership, Management & Defence Studies from the National University of Ireland, Maynooth.

Brigadier General Cleary is married to Martina and they have four children. His interests include reading, sports, outdoor pursuits, triathlon and choral singing.

What is ‘The 1st Brigade’?

The 1st Brigade is an all arms Brigade consisting of combat, combat support and combat service support elements. Such elements include units of Infantry, Artillery, Cavalry, Engineers, Communications and Transport. These units are spread throughout the Brigades’ designated area of territorial responsibility.

The 1st Brigade is responsible for military operations in the south of the country. Its area of responsibility includes the counties of Carlow, Laois, Offaly, Kilkenny, Wexford, Waterford, Cork, Kerry, Limerick, Clare, Tipperary and Galway. The Brigade Headquarters is located in Collins Barracks, Cork.

Within the Southern Brigades area of responsibility are situated various vital installations including; Shannon Airport, Cork Airport, Cork Docks, and Farranfore Airport.

When not involved in operations personnel are in constant training to maintain current skills, become proficient with new equipment and in particular to be able to adapt to a constantly changing environment.

Brigade training takes place all year round and covers; Conventional Military Operations, Overseas Missions and Aid To Civil Power.

There are several training areas within the Brigade area; Kilworth Camp in North Cork, Bere island in West Cork, Fort Davis in Cork Harbour, and Carnagh Camp in Roscommon.

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