Capt Brian Phelan RIP


ARCO regrets to inform its members of the death of Captain Brian C. Phelan, Rushbrooke, Cobh, County Cork and formerly of Clonmel, County Tipperary. Passed away on 6th August 2021 surrounded by his loving family and in the excellent care of all at Brookfield Care Centre, Leamlara. Beloved husband of the late Pauline, much loved father of Ann, Ruth, and Jane; dear brother of Liam, Theresa, and the late Donal and Nial. Sadly missed and lovingly remembered by his daughters, brother, sister; grandchildren Colm, Eoin, Sinéad, Rhona, Rory, Oliver, and Leo; great grandson Art, son-in-law Pat, extended family, relatives, Defence Forces colleagues and friends.

Ní bheidh a leithéid ann arís

Brian Phelan was a member of the 29 Cadet Class (1954-1956) and was commissioned into the Signals Corps on 26 November 1956. Brian served in the Curragh with Depot Signals and in Cork with 1 Field Signal Company. He was also OIC Communications in the Naval Service. Overseas he served with Headquarters Company, 38 Infantry Battalion ONUC from November 1962 to May 1963 and with Headquarters Company, 5 Infantry Group UNFICYP from October 1965 to March 1966.

Brian retired from the Defence Forces to become Chief Ambulance Officer of the Southern Health Board and oversaw that service’s response to the Whiddy and Air India disasters and the Buttevant rail accident. He was a major contributor to the development of Emergency Planning in Ireland.

Brian’s funeral will take place in line with current government guidelines. The funeral cortege will leave Cahill’s Funeral Home, Newtown Road, Cobh, on Monday 9th August at 1.30pm en route to Saint Colman’s Cathedral for 2pm Requiem Mass followed by burial in Saint Colman’s Cemetery.

Brian’s funeral Mass will be live-streamed on

Family flowers only please. Donations in lieu if desired to the Irish Cancer Society (

Members may wish to leave personal messages in the ‘Condolences’ section of Brian’s death notice on –

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