Dermot Earley DSM
|Born||24 February 1948|
Castlebar, County Mayo
|Died||23 June 2010 (aged 62)|
Drogheda Memorial Hospital, Curragh, County Kildare
St Conleth's Cemetery, Newbridge, County Kildare
|Service/||Irish Defence Forces|
|Years of service||1965—2010|
|Commands held||Chief of Staff of the Defence Forces 2007—2010|
|Awards||Distinguished Service Medal|
|Relations||Dermot Earley Jnr (son)|
|Irish name||Diarmuid Ó Mochóir (Mór)|
24 February 1948|
Castlebar, County Mayo
|Died||23 June 2010(aged 62)|
|Height||6 ft 0 in (1.83 m)|
Chief of Staff of the|
Irish Defence Forces
Lieutenant-General Dermot Earley DSM (24 February 1948 – 23 June 2010) was a high-ranking military official in Ireland and with the United Nations. He was the Chief of Staff of the Defence Forces from 2007 to 2010.
Early life and education
Earley was born in Castlebar, Co Mayo in 1948. He was educated at Gorthaganny N.S. where his father Peadar was a principal teacher and later he attended St. Nathy's College in Ballaghaderreen, County Roscommon.
After completing his Leaving Certificate in 1965 Earley joined the defence forces as a cadet and was commissioned in 1967. His first posting was as a platoon commander in the Recruit Training Depot at the Curragh and in 1969 he was appointed an Instructor at the Army School of Physical Culture (ASPC). Two years later, in 1971, Earley obtained a specialist diploma in physical education at St. Mary's College, Twickenham.
Earley's service record included overseas service with UNTSO in 1975, Adjutant to the 52nd Infantry Battalion UNIFIL. From 1987 to 1991, he served as deputy military adviser to UN secretary general Javier Perez de Cuellar and Battalion Commander of the 81st Infantry Battalion UNIFIL in 1997. While serving with the UN up to 1991 he was a member of negotiating teams dealing with the Iraqis and Kuwaitis, and was a key adviser during the setting up of the UN's mission in Kuwait – Unikom. He was involved in negotiating an end to the Angolan civil war. He is a graduate of the Royal College of Defence Studies, London (2001) and holds a Master of Arts (Hons) in peace and development studies from the University of Limerick (1999). He undertook the Ranger Course in the Defence Forces, which led to the establishment of special operations training and the establishment of the Army Ranger Wing (ARW). He was the last serving member of that course.
Earley was appointed School Commandant of the ASPC. In 1991 he was appointed an instructor at the Command and Staff School of the Military College and in 1994/95 he helped establish the United Nations Training School Ireland (UNTSI) in the Military College.
He was promoted to Lieutenant Colonel in 1995. He commanded the 27 Infantry Battalion on the Irish border. He was promoted to Colonel in 2001. In December 2003 he was made Brigadier General and was appointed Major General in March 2004 when he received his final appointment. He replaced Lieutenant General James Sreenan. He became chief of staff in April 2007, leading the Army, Air Corps and Naval Service.
On 18 April 2010 Dermot Earley indicated he would retire from the Defence Forces due to ill health. Lt Gen Earley was awarded a Distinguished Service Medal with Honour from the Taoiseach Brian Cowen. His resignation was accepted on 9 June 2010 and one of his previous deputies, Major General Sean McCann, was appointed Chief of Staff. Lt Gen Dermot Earley died of Creutzfeldt–Jakob disease (CJD) on 23 June 2010.
His Newbridge funeral on 24 June 2010 was attended by the Taoiseach Brian Cowen, Irish government ministers and leading GAA figures, while former Taoiseach Liam Cosgrave issued a statement calling him "one of the great figures of this country".
Minor and under-21
Two years later, in 1965, Earley lined out in a second Connacht minor decider. Five-in-a-row hopefuls Mayo were beaten by Roscommon, giving Earley a Connacht Minor Football Championship title.:155 Roscommon were later defeated in the All-Ireland semi-final.
In 1966 Roscommon again faced Mayo in a provincial minor decider, this time Earley's side being beaten.:155 That year Earley was also a member of Roscommon's under-21 team, and he also met Mayo in this grade in the Connacht final. Earley's side won the game,:163 gaining Earley his first Connacht Under-21 Football Championship winners' medal. Roscommon later qualified for the All-Ireland final where reigning champions Kildare were defeated by Earley's side, earning him an All-Ireland Under-21 Football Championship winners' medal.:156
By 1969, when Earley was still eligible for the under-21 grade, he was appointed captain for the year. The provincial decider that year saw Roscommon face Galway, with the sides finishing level. In the subsequent replay, Roscommon took the title,:163 and Earley had his second Connacht under-21 title. Roscommon later qualified for a second All-Ireland final in four years, with Antrim ultimately winning.:156
Earley also played Under 21 hurling with Roscommon. In 1969 he was playing in the All Ireland under-21 final were Roscommon faced Kildare, however Kildare won on the day.
Earley was only seventeen years-old when he made his senior debut for Roscommon in 1965. Playing with the senior team for several years, by 1970, Earley lined out in his first senior provincial decider. Roscommon were beaten by Galway in the game by 2–15 to 1–8.:143
Two years later in 1972 Roscommon were back in the Connacht final. Playing against Mayo, Roscommon took their first provincial title in ten years.:143 It was Earley's first Connacht Senior Football Championship title. Roscommon's next game was an All-Ireland semi-final meeting with Kerry, which Kerry won.:123
After surrendering their provincial title in 1973, Roscommon faced Galway in the provincial decider a year later. Earley was one of the few players to shine[original research?] as his team were absolutely trounced by 2–14 to 0–8.:143 His efforts were later rewarded when he was presented with his first All-Star award.
In 1977, a new-look Roscommon team saw Earley's side finally triumph over Galway, and he won a second Connacht winners' medal.:143 Roscommon subsequently faced Armagh in an All-Ireland semi-final. A draw meant a replay was required, which Armagh won by a single point.:123
The Connacht series of games provided little difficulty for Earley's side again in 1978.[original research?] Roscommon beat Galway in the final,:143 gaining Earley his third Connacht title. The subsequent All-Ireland semi-final pitted Earley against reigning champions Kerry - a game which Kerry won comfortably by 3–11 to 0–8.:123
Roscommon made it three Connacht titles in-a-row in 1979 as Mayo were accounted for on a score line of 3–15 to 2–10.:143 It was Earley's fourth provincial winners' medal. They met Dublin in the All-Ireland championship, who beat them by a single point.:123 In spite of failing to reach the All-Ireland final, Earley was later presented with a second All-Star award.
In 1980, a fourth Connacht title in succession was claimed.:143 It was a fifth provincial winners' medal for Earley. The subsequent All-Ireland semi-final saw Roscommon finally triumph and, after that defeat of Armagh, Earley lined out in the All-Ireland final against Kerry. The Connacht champions shocked Kerry and took a five-point lead inside the first twelve minutes. Mikey Sheehy popped up to score the decisive goal for 'the Kingdom', as Kerry went on to claim a 1–9 to 1–6 victory in a game that contained sixty-four frees.
In 1985 Earley sustained a fractured jaw in the Connacht semi-final against Galway. When he was leaving the field he received a standing ovation as many thought that would be his farewell to football. Earley confounded everybody and lined out in the Connacht final against Mayo two weeks later. In spite of kicking six points, Mayo still triumphed by 2–11 to 0–8. At the age of thirty-seven, Earley decided to retire from inter-county football.
Earley was married with six children. The family lived in Kildare. His younger brother, Paul and his son, Dermot Earley Junior were both Gaelic footballers. Paul Earley, like Dermot Snr, was an All Star recipient for Roscommon, and while Dermot Jr was also an All Star winner, he played his football for Kildare.Dermot also has a daughter, Noelle, a very talented dual player who received an all star for football in 2009 and won two all Ireland’s for Kildare football in 2004 and 2016.
- "Defence Forces chief was famed footballer". The Irish Times. 26 June 2010.
- Defence Forces Chief to retire. RTÉ. 18 April 2010.
- Lt Gen Dermot Earley's resignation accepted. RTÉ. 9 June 2010.
- Dermot Earley dies aged 62. RTÉ. 23 June 2010.
- Funeral of Dermot Earley in Newbridge. RTÉ. 26 June 2010.
- Donegan, Des (2005). The Complete Handbook of Gaelic Games. DBA Publications.
- Corry, Eoghan (2005). The GAA Book of Lists. Hodder Headline Ireland. p. 405.
- Breheny, Martin &, Keyes, Colm (2004). The Chosen Ones: Celebrating 1000 GAA All-Stars. Blackwater Press. p. 155.
| Chief of Staff of the Defence Forces
|| Roscommon Senior Football Manager
| Kildare Senior Football Manager