Speaking today Independent Senator Gerard Craughwell former 1st Infantry Battalion Sergeant,  congratulated the Defence Forces under Chief of Staff  Vice Admiral Mellett on the graduation of 200 Defence Forces members at a conferring ceremony at the Institute of Technology Carlow.  
Senator Craughwell said that while the Irish Defence forces;  Army, Navy and Air Corps are well known for their peace keeping roles in some of the most dangerous war torn parts of the world and  for their current humanitarian mission in the Mediterranean,  not everyone was aware of the academic excellence achieved by members of all ranks through participation in   Defence Forces educational programmes.Senator Craughwell praised  Minister Simon Coveney TD, Chief of Staff  Vice Admiral Mellett , Senior Military personnel and Dr Patricia Mulcahy President of IT Carlow for an innovative collaborative partnership which lead to awards to postgraduate level in Leadership, Management, Defence Studies and Communications Technology Management. As a former mature student himself, Senator Cruaghwell said that it was the graduates and their families who deserved the greatest recognition today for their commitment to lifelong learning and to academic excellence.Senator Craughwell said that the Irish Defence Forces must surely be a world leader in offering exciting careers, opportunities for personal development  and transferable qualifications for its serving members.  He said that today is another very proud day for the Defence Forces and the achievements should be acknowledged  and  celebrated fully. 


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