Clonmel girl is first Irish navy petty officer

Sian Moloughney

Sian Moloughney

The Irish Navy promoted its first three female petty officers in recent weeks and among the group was a woman from Clonmel.

Suzanne Grogan, from Kilmacomma, Clonmel, made history when she become one of the first women to be promoted to the rank which is referred to as the backbone of the Irish Naval Service.

She recently finished her latest tour at sea on board the LÉ Róisín and she will now take up a position in Naval Support Command, in Haulbowline.

The daughter of Ben and Bridget Grogan, Suzanne has been in the Irish Navy for 13 years, having joined a few years after she finished school at the Presentation Secondary School in Clonmel.

Growing up, she had a keen interest in search and rescue and decided the Naval Service was the job for her. She is a qualified instructor in marine fire fighting and damage control, having completed detailed training in Britain in 2008. She is a qualified naval mechanic.

Suzanne is married to Mark O’Driscoll and they live in Cobh with their daughter, Leigh.

Her family in Clonmel, parents Ben and Bridget, and siblings Patrick, Bridget, Bernard and Mary, are all very proud of her achievements.

Following Suzanne’s promotion, women now hold office in every section of the Naval Service.

Women were first admitted to the Naval Service in 1995 with the introduction of cadets. The first induction of recruits had followed two years later.

County Tipperary has been leading the way with history making women in the Irish naval Service - Lieutenant Commander Roberta O’Brien from Bansha, became the first female captain of a ship in 2008. Since then three other women have gone on to command vessels.

Commodore Mark Mellett, Flag Officer Commanding the Naval Service, said he wished the new petty officers well in their appointments.

“This event helps to strengthen further the capacity of the Naval Service to provide for all in society, which it reflects,” he said.