General Ó Murchú joined the Permanent Defence Forces in 1982 as a member of the 59th Cadet Class. Prior to that, he spent several years in the Army Reserve (22nd Infantry Battalion FCA) in his home town of Ennis. After commissioning, he saw early service in the 6th Infantry Battalion, the Army Ranger Wing, Military Intelligence and the Infantry School. Later appointments included Second in Command of the 5th Infantry Battalion, Chief Instructor of the Cadet School, School Commandant of the UN Training School Ireland and Commanding Officer of the DF’s Central Medical Unit.
In recent years he served as Director of Strategic Planning (D SPB), where he acted as Senior Staff Officer to the Chief of Staff. His most recent appointment has been as Assistant Chief of Staff (ACOS) and Defence Forces Risk Manager, in which capacity he was responsible for Force Protection and Business Continuity during the COVID-19 pandemic. Both as D SPB and ACOS, he has led the DF’s ‘Values in Action’ initiative, a programme designed to ensure that Óglaigh na hÉireann’s stated values are clear, communicated and conspicuous, and reflected in the everyday behaviours of all ranks across the organisation.
General Ó Murchú’s considerable overseas experience includes tours of duty with the UN in UNIFIL (South Lebanon), UNOSOM II (Somalia), MINURSO (Western Sahara), UNTSO (Israel and Syria) and ONUCI (Ivory Coast). He has deployed twice with the EU – as Chief Intelligence Analyst with HQ EUFOR Tchad/RCA in Eastern Tchad and more recently for two years in Brussels as Military Assistant to the Chairman of the EU Military Committee. In this role he represented the Chairman at the Political and Security Committee, working with member state ambassadors and senior EU officials on the security and defence aspects of EU foreign policy.
He holds an honours degree in French and English literature from NUIG, is a graduate (with Merit) of the École de Guerre in Paris and has a Masters (with Distinction) in International Liaison and Communication from the University of Westminster. In 2018 he completed an Executive Diploma in Strategy Development and Innovation (with Distinction) at the Smurfit Business School in UCD. He holds a NATO interpreter qualification in French and has a keen interest in Irish language and music. He also holds various instructor qualifications as a diver and parachutist (both military and sport), and is President of Defence Forces Parachuting.
Source: Óglaigh na hÉireann