State and Military Funerals

State Funerals -To whom Accorded

A State funeral may be accorded to the remains of

  • The President and former Presidents
  • An Taoiseach and former Taoisigh
  • Any other personage to whom the Government decides to accord such a funeral

Military Funerals - to whom Accorded

On such occassions as the exigencies of the service allow, and where the relatives so desire, a military funeral may be accorded

  • A deceased officer, non-commissioned officer, private or member of the Army Nursing Service who, at the time of death, was a serving member of the Permanent Defence Forces
  • A deceased member of the Chaplaincy Service who, at the time of death, was serving with the Permanent Defence Forces
  • A deceased officer, non-commissioned officer or private of the Reserve Defence Forces who, at the time of death, was on service in aid to the civil power or was undergoing annual training or other full-time military training or instruction or on permanent service
  • A deceased ex-member of the Permanent Defence Force or of the Reserve Defence Forces who, at the time of death, was being treated as a free patient in a military hospital (other wise than by direction of the Army Pensions Board)
  • A deceased ex-officer who was, at any time, a military member of the Council of Defence
  • A deceased ex-officer who, at any time during his or her service, held the rank of Major-General or higher rank

Military Funerals - Retired Personnel PDF 

Where the family of a retired member of the Permanent Defence Force has requested a Military Funeral and where the exigincies of the service permit, the General Officer Commanding the Brigade , the Flag Officer Commanding the Naval Service or the General Officer Commanding the Air Corps may authorise military participation at the funeral of a retired member of the PDF, who are not entitled to a full military, as outlined below:

A Bearer Party not exceeding ten (10) Permanent Defence Force Non-Commissioned Officers with Military Police Support on the day of the burial only

and/or

A National Flag to dress the coffin

The deceased must have had a minimum of twenty years service and retired with a satisfactory record.

Military Funerals - Authorised Organisations

Military Honours at funerals may be provided only to the following authorised organisations:

  • The Old Irish Republican Army
  • Fianna Éireann
  • The Irish Citizen Army
  • Cumann na mBan
  • The Hibernian Rifles

Subject to the recommendations of, and the certification of the membership of any of the organisations stipulated above, by the local Garda SÁochána authorities, the General Officer Commanding a Brigade may grant applications for the provision of a firing party to render military honours at the burial of a deceased member of any of these organisations, provided that the burial takes place within a reasonable distance of an occupied military post.

Interment In Army Plot - Glasnevin Cemetry

  1. The Army Plot, Glasnevin Cemetery, is reserved for deceased officers and enlisted personnel who had pre-truce service in the Irish Volunteers, and whose relatives have no objection to their interment there.
  2. Permission for interments will be granted by DCOS (Sp).
  3. Arrangements for the opening of the grave will be made by the undertaker with Dublin Cemeteries Committee.

Other Constituents of a Military Funeral

Bearer Party

A Bearer Party not exceeding 10 Personnel will normally be provided for all ranks. At the funeral of an officer, the Bearer Party  should be composed of Non-Commissioned officers, normally drawn for the Military Police Corps.

Pall Bearers

The pall will be supported by officers or Non-Commissioned Oficers of the same rank as that held by the deceased. The number of Pall-Bearers will not exceed ten and the i/c pall bearers will be at least of Sergeant rank.

Gun Carriage

A gun carriage and equipement for military funerals may be supplied at the discretion of the formation/service commander of the formation/service concerned.

 

The National Flag

At a State/Military funeral the coffin shall be draped with a ceremonial flag (9 ft by 4.5 ft with loops). It shall be placed length ways and evenly on the coffin with the green portion to the head. When the coffin has been draped with the National Flag the head-dress and sword will be placed on the coffin:

  1. The head-dress will be placed on the head of the coffin, over the green portion of the flag, with the peak of the cap or the badge of the beret pointing towards the head.
  2. The sword in the case of officers, will be placed centrally on the coffin with the hilt towards the foot of the coffin
  3. The Service Dress Belt, in case of other ranks personnel, will be placed lengthways centrally on the coffin with the clasp closed.

Where a National Colour and a Regimental Colour are carried at a funeral the colours shall be draped with two streamers of black crepe seven feet long and twelve inches wide attached to the top of the staff immediately below the Tau.

Escorts and Firing Party - State Funerals

The Escort and Firing Party for a State funeral will be as laid down in the following table.

Personage Escort Firing Party
Serving Uachtaráin 1 Offr, 2 Sgts, 2 Cpls, 20 Ptes
Serving Taoiseach 2 Coys 1 Offr, 1 Sgt, 3 Cpls, 16 Ptes
Former Uachtaráin 1 Coy 1 Offr, 1 Sgt, 1 Cpl, 14 Ptes
Former Taoisigh 1 Coy 1 Offr, 1 Sgt, 1 Cpl, 12 Ptes

Escorts and Firing Party -  Military Funerals

As a guide the Escort and Firing party supplied to accord military ceremonial honours at military funerals are suggested below:

Rank Escort Firing Party
Lt Gen,
Maj Gen or Brig Gen
2 Coys
200 All Ranks
1 Offr, 1 Sgt, 1 Cpl, 10 Ptes, 1 Trumpeter

Commandant

1 Coy
100 All Ranks
1 Offr, 1 Sgt, 1 Cpl, 6 Ptes, 1 Trumpeter

Captain or Lieutenant

2 Pls
30 All Ranks
1 Offr, 1 Sgt, 1 Cpl, 6 Ptes, 1 Trumpeter

NCO or Private

1 Pl
30 All Ranks
1 Sgt, 1 Cpl, 5 Ptes, 1 Trumpeter 

A deceased former Officer who was, at any time, a military member of the Council of Defence, or a deceased former officer who, at any time of his or her service, held the rank of Major General or higher, or a Colonel or Lieutenant Colonel who died in service will have the following Escort and Firing Party:

Escort Firing Party
1 Coy 100 All Ranks 1 Offr, 1 Sgt, 1 Cpl, 8 Ptes, 1 Trumpter
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]