What We Do

The roles of the Defence Forces, as set out in the White Paper are:

  • To defend the State against armed aggression; this being a contingency, preparations for its implementation will depend on an ongoing Government assessment of the security and defence environment;
  • To aid the civil power (meaning in practice to assist, when requested, the Garda SÁochána, who have primary responsibility for law and order, including the protection of the internal security of the State)
  • To participate in multinational peace support, crisis management and humanitarian relief operations in support of the United Nations and under UN mandate, including regional security missions authorised by the UN.
  • To provide a fishery protection service in accordance with the State's obligations as a member of the EU; and,
  • To carry out other such duties as may be assigned to them from time to time, e.g. search and rescue, air ambulance service, Ministerial air transport service, assistance on the occasion of natural or other disasters, assistance in connection with the maintenance of essential services, assistance in combating oil pollution at sea.


Read the History of the Defence Forces

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]