Tom Clonan

Tom Clonan
Born Finglas, Dublin, Ireland
Allegiance  Ireland
Service/branch Army
Years of service 1989–2000
Rank Captain
Battles/wars UNIFIL

Tom Clonan is a retired Irish Army Captain, author and security analyst.

Military career

Clonan grew up in Finglas, Dublin and attended St Kevins College in Glasnevin at second level. He completed a degree in Education at Trinity College, Dublin, graduating in 1987, before joining the Irish Army as a cadet in 1989.

In 1995, Clonan deployed to South Lebanon as an officer commanding Irish troops under the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) mission in that country. Clonan's deployment to Lebanon coincided with the Israeli punitive Operation 'Grapes of Wrath' against Hizbullah which culminated in the massacre of refugees at the village of Qana in April 1996. Clonan has spoken about his experiences of conflict and trauma in RTE's documentary 'Peacekeepers' (2016) and in his first book, 'Blood, Sweat and Tears' (Liberties Press, 2012). He was also an OSCE election monitor in Bosnia during the Dayton Agreement in 1996. In this role, Clonan was based in the Serb held town of Prijedor. Back at home, he completed a Masters degree in Communications at the Dublin City University (DCU) and joined the Defence Forces Press Office (DFPO) as a press officer.[1]

Research on female personnel in the Defence Forces

Between 1996 and 2000 Clonan was given formal written sanction - by the Chief of Staff and the Director of Training at Defence Forces Headquarters - to undertake a PhD at DCU as the first equality audit of the Irish military, titled "The Status and Roles Assigned Female Personnel in the Permanent Defence Forces". The findings revealed a catalogue of discrimination, bullying, sexual harassment and assault within the Irish Defence Forces against female soldiers and led to an independent government inquiry which resulted in an overhaul in the workplace policies of the DF and the implementation of recommendations arising from the inquiry to protect equality within the Irish armed forces.[2][3] Clonan was the subject of 'Whistleblower Reprisal' (as cited by Transparency International, Ireland) from some senior officers for whistleblowing.[4]

He retired from the Defence Forces in 2000.

Academic, media and politics

Clonan lectures at the Dublin Institute of Technology (DIT) School of Media in the fields of Journalism, Political Communication, Public Affairs and Research Methodology.[3]

He has been a security analyst for The Irish Times since the September 11 attacks in 2001, reporting and commenting on various world events involving defence, intelligence, terrorism and international relations for various news organisations.[5]

He is a Fellow of the US-based Armed Forces & Society publication.[2]

Clonan's young son suffers from a rare neuromuscular disease, and as a result Clonan has campaigned on behalf of children and young people in Ireland with disabilities and brought attention to the effects austerity has had on funding for essential services to assist people with disabilities.[3]

Clonan ran for election to the 25th Seanad Éireann in 2016 as a graduate of the University of Dublin, but was unsuccessful in his attempt.

He is the author of two best-selling books, Blood, Sweat and Tears (2012) and Whistleblower, Soldier, Spy (2013).[6]


  1. "Tom Clonan: Whistleblower, Soldier, Spy". Retrieved 30 May 2016.
  2. 1 2 "Tom Clonan, Guest Speaker". Athenas Ireland. Retrieved 30 May 2016.
  3. 1 2 3 "About Tom Clonan". Tom Clonan. Retrieved 30 May 2016.
  4. Tallant, Nicola (28 November 2013). "'Stop hiding behind that f**king handicapped son of yours'". Sunday World. Retrieved 30 May 2016.
  5. "Tom Clonan, Security Analyst". The Irish Times. Retrieved 30 May 2016.
  6. "Launch of Tom Clonan's book Whistleblower, Soldier, Spy". Dublin Institute of Technology (DIT). Retrieved 30 May 2016.
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