National Day of Commemoration

In Ireland, the National Day of Commemoration commemorates all Irishmen and Irishwomen who died in past wars or on service with the United Nations. It occurs on the Sunday nearest July 11, the anniversary of the date in 1921 that a truce was signed ending the Irish War of Independence. The principal ceremony is normally held at the Royal Hospital Kilmainham, Dublin.

The military and religious ceremonies are held in the presence of the President, the Taoiseach and other members of the Government of Ireland, members of the Oireachtas, the Council of State, the Diplomatic Corps, the Judiciary, relatives of 1916 leaders, next-of-kin of those who died on service with the UN, Northern Ireland representatives and a wide cross-section of the community, including ex-servicemen and ex-servicewomen.

Defence Forces Participation

The Defence Forces particiaion in this ceremony is:

  • Parade Officer in Command (OIC),a Lt Colonel and a Sgt-Major
  • Captain's Escort of Honour
  • Captain's Guard of Honour
  • Military Band
  • Pipers
  • Cadet School Honour Guard
  • PC 9 Flypast
  • MP Support x 8
  • Flag Officer
  • Wreath Bearers x 2
  • National Colour (1 x Capt)
  • Regimental Colour Officers (1 x Jnr Offr)

Outline of the Ceremony

Platoons and Captain's Guard of Honour assemble and march on parade followed by the Army No 1 Band and Pipers. The National Colour, and Regimental Colours parade separately on the parade ground minutes before the ceremony in full commences.

Reception of An Taoiseach

Once the troops are on parade the reception of An Taoiseach is conducted. An Taoiseach is escorted on the parade ground by the DCOS Ops and the DCOS Sp where Military Honours are rendered by the Captain's Gurad of Honour.

Reception of An tUachtarán

Escorted by a Captain's Escort of Honour, An tUachtarán arrives at the ceremony and is received by the COS and GOC 2 E Bde and is conducted by them to a position facing the Regimental Colour of the Captain's Guard of Honour. Military Honours to An tUachtarán are rendered and the President is invited to inspect the Guard of Honour.

The Main Ceremony

On completion of the reception to An tUachtarán and the inspection of the Guard of Honour, the Guard of Honour leaves the parade ground. The President invites the Clergy to commence the prayer service.

After the Inter Denominational Prayer Service, the Parade Commander will bring the parade to attention and then order the Cadet Honour Guard on Parade with the words SCOIL na nDALTAÁ AR PARAID. When the Cadet Guard of Honour is in on parade they are given the order to "Reverse Arms".

The President lays a wreath which is followed by a One Minute Silence and the playing of Last Post by the Military Band.  At this stage the National Flag is raised to Full Mast and the Military Band plays Reveille and the Cadet Guard of Honour presents arms.

The ceremony is closed by the playing of The National Anthem and as the last strains of the National Anthem are played the Air Corps' PC9's complete a fly-over.

Read more about Defence Forces Ceremonials

Ceremonial Guard

The National Mounument

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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]