Skip to main content

Defend the state

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.

Aid the civil power

To Aid the Civil Power/Aid to the Civil Authority (meaning in practice to assist, when requested, the Garda Síochána, who have primary responsibility for law and order, including the protection of the internal security of the State).

Multinational peacekeeping & humanitarian relief

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.


Maritime security & fishery protection

The Naval Service is the State's principal seagoing agency with a general responsibility to meet contingent and actual maritime defence requirements. It is tasked with a variety of defence and other roles. Defence roles include defending territorial seas, deterring intrusive or aggressive acts, conducting maritime surveillance, maintaining an armed naval presence, ensuring rite of passage and protecting marine assets.


The Defence Forces participates in various national ceremonies throughout the year. Each service within the Defence Forces has a designated role to play during these ceremonies. Depending on the ceremony the Defence Forces involvement may consist of Guards of Honour, Gun Salutes and Musical recitals.