On 13th March 2012 the Government announced the promotion of Colonel Gerald Aherne, Kiltoom, Co. Roscommon, to the Rank of Brigadier General.
Brig. Gen Aherne assumes the appointment of General Officer Commanding the 4 Western Brigade which encompasses the province of Connacht, two Ulster counties of Cavan and Donegal and the Leinster counties of Longford, Westmeath and Offaly.
Brig. Gen. Gerald Aherne joined the Defence Forces in 1971 and was commissioned in 1973. An Infantry Officer, he has served in all command and staff appointments at Unit, Brigade and Defence Forces Headquarters appointments.
He was promoted to Colonel in 2006 and since that time he has served in Ireland as Provost Marshal and Director of the Military Police Corps, Director of Training, Commandant of the Military College, and most recently as Acting Officer Commanding, 4 Western Brigade.
Brig. Gen. Aherne has wide-ranging overseas experience with over thirty years service from the Middle East to the Balkans and in Africa.
Three six-month tours of duty with the Irish Battalion in Lebanon (UNIFIL) were augmented by a two-year tour of duty as a Military Observer on the Golan Heights, Beirut and in Syria with UNTSO. In the Balkans he served on secondment for one year with the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) in Croatia, and with the NATO Force (KFOR) in Kosovo.
He served as the Force Chief Operations Officer of the UN Forces in Liberia (UNMIL) in 2007/08 and as the Deputy Force Commander of the UN Force in Chad (MINURCAT) for two years in 2009/10, the latter in the rank of Brigadier General.
Brig. Gen. Aherne is a graduate of the Defence Forces Command and Staff course and the Defence Forces Strategic Leadership course.
Brig Gen Aherne is a B.A. Graduate of NUIG. He also holds a Masters in International Relations (L.LM, Hons) from the School of Human Rights, Faculty of Law at NUIG. He is a Member of the NUIG Alumni Board.
A native of Cork City, Brig Gen Aherne has been a lifelong member of the GAA as a player, coach and administrator at club, county and national level, and is heavily involved with St Brigid's GAA Club in Co. Roscommon.
Brig. Gen. Aherne is a resident of Kiltoom, Co. Roscommon. He is married to Marian and they have three children, John (a serving Captain in the Defence Forces), Sarah and Gerald Junior.
Issue dated: 23 March 2012