Army History

The Irish Defence Forces originated as the Irish Volunteers which was founded in 1913. Their official title in the Irish Language is Óglaigh na hÉireann, Irish Volunteers. Defence Forces cap badges and the buttons on their officers uniforms also carry the insignia Óglaigh na hÉireann. The Defence Forces buttons on other uniforms still show the letters I V for Irish Volunteers. The Irish Volunteers, led by Patrick Pearse, took part in the Easter Rising of 1916.

Visit the Defence Forces History page in the Info Center section for more information about the History of the Army under the following headings:

  • The Foundation of The Volunteers
  • The Easter Rising, 1916
  • The War of Independance 1919 - 1921
  • The Civil War 1922 - 1923
  • Between the Wars 1923 - 1939
  • The Emergency 1939 - 1946
  • Post Emergency Years 1946 - 1960
  • The Sixties 1960 - 1969
  • Into the Modern Era 1969 - Present Day
  • The Modern Era
  • Peace Support Operations
  • Defence Forces Cap Badge