Kilkenny is the birthplace of Commodore Michael Malone who grew up in Tralee, Co. Kerry in the 1960s and later moved with his family to Wicklow. He joined the Irish Naval Service in 1981 as a Marine Engineering Cadet and was commissioned as a naval officer in 1983. In May 1985, he graduated from Cork Regional Technical College in Marine and Plant Engineering and in December of the following year he graduated from the Royal Naval Engineering College, Marine Engineering Application Course, Plymouth, UK. He holds an MA in Leadership, Management and Defence Studies from National University of Ireland, Maynooth and is a graduate of the Defence Forces Senior Command and Staff Course. He has also studied at the Pearl Harbour Naval Shipyard where he completed the International Shipyard Managers Course.
He explains that he has held a wide variety of appointments both afloat and ashore over the last 37 years. At the rank of Captain, he held the appointment of Officer Commanding Naval Support Command with responsibility for all HR, logistics, electronics and engineering functions within the Naval Service.
Michael spent four years on LE Ėmer during the late 1980S and early 1990s. He recalls the design and building of the LE Niamh, taking it from build with 400 hours on the engines all the way to Japan and back to Ireland, having spent a year watching the vessel being built. He was Programme Manager for the design and building of the Irish Navy’s P60 class Offshore Patrol Vessels, and this programme has witnessed the delivery of four 90-metre OPVs to the Irish Navy during the period 2015-2018. He describes the functionality of the vessel and explains that he has spent time on all Irish Navy vessels. He discusses the issue of personnel recruitment and gender balance in the Naval Service.
Commodore Michael Malone is a chartered engineer and Fellow of the Institute of Marine Engineering Science Technology, Member of the Institution of Fire Engineers and Fellow of Engineers Ireland. He is a Member of the Association of Energy Engineers (U.S.) and a Certified Energy Manager. He was promoted to his present rank and into the appointment of Flag Officer Commanding Naval Service (FOCNS) in December 2017.