A Cork man who held the two most important United Nations appointments in the Middle East during a period in the 1980s has died.

Lieutenant General William Callaghan was the Force Commander of the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon from February 1981 to May 1986 and the United Nations Truce Supervision Organisation from from April 1978 to June 1979 and again from May 1986 to June 1987.

The UNTSO controls multinational forces in Israel, Lebanon, Jordan, Syria and Egypt and is the largest command military appointment in the UN.

He was awarded a Distinguished Service Medal from the Irish Defence Forces for his outstanding contribution, as well as the French Legion d'Honneur and the Lebanese National Order of the Cedar.

Lt Gen Callaghan was affectionately known as Bill to his family, and as The Bull amongst his military colleagues.

Born in Buttevant in 1921, he joined the Defence Forces in 1939.

He was predeceased by his wife Carmel. He has seven children.