A parachute accident claimed the life of an "outstanding" soldier

Sgt. Maj. O'Connell, acting

Acting Sergeant Major Declan O'Connell died in a parachuting accident in Spain on Sunday, and the Irish Defense Forces have paid tribute to him.

In February 1990, 54-year-old Acting Sgt Maj O'Connell enlisted in the Irish Defense Forces.

Off duty, he was enrolled in a civilian parachute instructors' course when the incident took place.

He was described as an "outstanding soldier" and "highly respected" by Lt Gen Seán Clancy.

His family in the Defense Forces will miss him most of all, and in this particularly trying time, he will be missed, the president continued.

County Kildare native and acting sergeant major O'Connell has deployed nine times, serving in Lebanon, Kosovo, Mali, and Bosnia and Herzegovina.

He was a skilled jumpmaster and an avid parachutist, according to the Defense Forces.

In addition to leadership courses at the NATO school in Germany, he had completed a number of international military courses, including one with the UK Armed Forces.

Maj Gen Adrian "Murch," the president of Defence Forces Parachuting and the deputy chief of staff of the Irish Defense Forces, described him as a "natural leader and instructor" and a "great mentor to younger jumpers.".

He served as an advocate for all DF (defence forces) values, particularly moral and physical bravery, selflessness, and integrity. ".

To all who knew him, he was a "great soldier, teammate, and friend," the speaker continued.

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