The Modern Era

The late 1990s heralded a new phase in the evolution of the Defence Forces with a major restructuring involving the removal of Command Headquarters, the disestablishment of garrison units, the closure of barracks and the development of a three brigade structure. Funds freed up from the reduction in personnel and the sale of property were put into a re-equipment and infrastructural programme.

The period saw an increased emphasis on planning, education and training. A range of human resource policy initiatives were introduced which serve to cement a commitment to best HR practice. The Defence Forces has embraced the need for these ongoing changes as part of its culture.

As a result of multi-role tasking by the government the Naval Service, assisted by the Air Corps, now has considerable responsibilities in monitoring and conducting surveillance of Ireland’s maritime interests.

The period saw a restructuring of the Reserve Defence Force which involved major organisational change with access to improved training resources, new equipment and logistic support.

The Peace Process, heralded by the signing of the Good Friday Agreement on April 10, 1998, has reduced the intensity of the commitment to Aid to the Civil Power Operations and has allowed greater emphasis on training for the full spectrum of Peace Support Operations.

Ongoing world tension and the international response to natural disasters indicate that multinational peace support, crisis management and humanitarian operations will play an increasing part in the activities of the Defence Forces.


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The Badge Design

The Badge design (common to all Corps and Services and all orders of dress) is derived from the badge of the Irish Volunteers and was designed by Professor Eoin MacNeill, Chairman of the National Executive of the Irish Volunteers. This badge was originally adopted by the Irish Volunteers in October 1914. [Read more]