UCC-Defence Forces Lecture Series – on-line lecture by Defence Forces Chief of Staff Vice Admiral Mark Mellett, 15th October 2020

8 Oct 2020
Defence Forces Chief of Staff Vice Admiral Mark Mellett

University College Cork and the Irish Defence Forces are pleased to announce the launch of a lecture series on international relations, security and defence. The lecture series is jointly organised by the Defence Forces and UCC’s Colleges of Arts, Celtic Studies and Social Sciences and Business and Law. The first lecture in the series will be delivered – on-line - by Defence Forces Chief of Staff Vice Admiral Mark Mellett on October 15th, 18.30-20.00 (- full details below). 


The world faces an increasingly challenging and complex security environment. Great power tensions have increased in recent years. Civil wars and failed states continue to cause large-scale loss of life and human suffering in countries such as Afghanistan, Syria and Yemen. At the same time, issues such as climate change, migration and the Covid-19 pandemic pose major challenges in terms of broader human security. In the context of rising nationalism and populism, multilateral institutions such as the United Nations (UN) and the European Union (EU) are struggling to respond. At the national level, the Irish government has committed to establishing an independent Commission on the Defence Forces to undertake a comprehensive review of the Defence Forces.


The lecture series aims to contribute to informed public debate on contemporary global security challenges, how such problems may impact on Ireland and how Ireland can contribute to addressing regional and global security threats. Speakers will include Defence Forces personnel, UCC staff with expertise in international relations, security and defence and external experts. The series will include lectures on the challenges in the five dimensions of land, sea, air, cyber and space. It will address overseas operations in particular Ireland’s contributions to UN peacekeeping and EU crisis management operations. The series will also explore other dimensions of security, such as climate change, migration and terrorism.

Lecture details:

Vice Admiral Mellett’s lecture will address challenges to human security, values and sustainable development goals, unilateralism versus multilateralism and the role of leadership.

Vice Admiral Mark Mellett DSM, PhD, is Chief of Staff of the Irish Defence Forces. Vice Admiral Mark Mellett has over 40 years’ service as an officer in the Irish Defence Forces and was appointed as Chief of Staff in 2015, having previously served as Deputy Chief of Staff and Chief of Navy. Vice Admiral Mellett has extensive experience at home and abroad, including in Afghanistan and Lebanon, in combined and joint operational missions. He has served as a specialist Naval Diving Officer and Commander of three seagoing commands and participated in and led numerous counter terrorism and counter narcotic operations for one of which he was awarded ‘The Distinguished Service Medal (DSM)’ by the Irish Government. Admiral Mellett is a champion of internal and external organisational diversity and a strong advocate of external networks and partnership with other militaries, state bodies, research institutes and enterprise. Admiral Mellett holds a Doctorate in Political Science and is currently an Adjunct Professor of Law at UCC. He was the distinguished graduate of the senior command and staff courses he attended at the Irish Military College, the US Naval War College and the UK Royal Naval College Greenwich.


The video of the seminar can be found here 

For more on this story contact:

Dr. Andrew Cottey

Jean Monnet Chair in European Political Integration

Senior Lecturer

Department of Government and Politics

University College Cork

Department of Government & Politics

Roinn Léann an Rialtais agus na Polaitíochta

2nd Floor, Block B, O'Rahilly Building, University College Cork, Republic of Ireland,