Lieutenant General Sean Clancy gets top job at EU Military Committee

Lieutenant General Sean Clancy Gets Top Job At Eu Military Committee
Lieutenant General will take up the role in May 2025. Photo: PA
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By Cillian Sherlock, PA

The Chief of Staff of the Defence Forces has been appointed as the first Irish chairman of the EU Military Committee.

Lieutenant General Sean Clancy, who has almost 40 years of service in the military, will take up the role in May 2025.


Lt Gen Clancy will remain as Chief of Staff of the Defence Forces until then, at which point he will have completed almost four years at the top of the State’s military.

United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon
Minister for Defence Micheál Martin (left) ‘warmly welcomed’ the election of Lieutenant General Sean Clancy as chairman-elect of the EU Military Committee. Photo: Niall Carson/PA

The EUMC is the highest military body within the European Council, and is composed of the Chiefs of Defence of the 27 member states, who are regularly represented by their permanent military representatives.


It is the forum for military consultation and cooperation between the EU member states in the field of conflict prevention and crisis management.

It directs all military activities within the EU framework, in particular the planning and execution of military missions and operations under the Common Security and Defence Policy (CSDP) and the development of military capabilities.

Lt Gen Clancy will also be regularly tasked with giving military advice and making recommendations to the Political and Security Committee of the Council, which is made up of ambassadors from member states.



The chairman acts as the military adviser to the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy.

This extends to attending council meetings with defence and security implications.


The chair also acts as the primary point of contact for the Operation Commanders of the EU’s military operations.

The appointment of the chair of the EUMC occurs every three years with each member state having the opportunity to nominate a representative.



The other nominees for this election were from Poland and Slovenia.

Voting was conducted by secret ballot with each member state casting a first and second preference.

The three-year role in Europe will require Lt Gen Clancy to be promoted to the rank of General (4-star).

He is currently leading the Defence Forces during a period of reform following a report into allegations of sexual misconduct, bullying and harassment within the service.


The Government has announced that a judge-led Tribunal of Inquiry will be established in the coming weeks to investigate the effectiveness of complaints processes within the Defence Forces.

Tánaiste and Minister for Defence Micheál Martin said: “I warmly welcome Lieutenant General Sean Clancy’s election as chairman-elect of the European Union Military Committee.

“Lieutenant General Clancy’s appointment comes at a crucial time for Europe, with increased regional and global instability and insecurity.

“He brings with him almost 40 years of distinguished military service with the Irish Defence Forces and with his extensive range of defence experience and his skills in partnership building.

“He is ideally suited to apply his abilities to the role of chair of the EUMC at such a crucial time for the military pillar of the EU’s Common Security and Defence Policy.”

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