From General Michael Collins to Lieutenant General Dermot Earley, the Irish Defence Forces have been led by a succession of outstanding and distanced Chiefs of Staff. Their leadership has been vital and decisive from the Forces' turbulent founding through the Emergency, the early pioneering years of United Nations' peacekeeping missions, the difficult and demanding period of the Northern troubles and through a time of intense reform and re-organisation.
The Defence Forces Headquarters Mess in McKee Barracks, Dublin, houses a unique collection of portraits of all the Chiefs of Staff. Begun in the 1950s and continued unbroken through the generosity of the mess members and the State. This collection is an exceptional record of this leadership and it contains many works by the most notable Irish portrait painters from the 1950s to the present day.
This book reproduces the collection with superb full-colour images of the paintings, each accompanied by detailed entries on the Chief of Staff's career and that of the artist.