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Defence Forces History

This section of the Website traces the history of the Defence Forces from its foundation in 1913 to the present day. We hope that you find the information presented both interesting and helpful. In particular it should encourage you to read further on the subject so that you can develop an informed insight into the origins of both the Defence Forces and of the country it serves so proudly and sel

History of the Army

The Irish Defence Forces originated as the Irish Volunteers which was founded in 1913. Their official title in the Irish Language is Óglaigh na hÉireann, Irish Volunteers.

History of the Air Corps

Irish military aviation began in 1922 when a single-engined biplane, a Martinsyde Type A mark II was bought to permit Gen Michael Collins to escape from London should the Treaty talks with Britain fail.

History of the Naval Service

Tracing its roots back to 1913 and the very founding of the state the Irish Army has played a massive part in the creation and development of the Republic of Ireland.

Defence Forces School of Music

The idea for the establishment of an Army School of Music was first mooted in November, 1922. General Richard Mulcahy, the then Chief of Staff

Defence Forces Cap Badge

This badge was originally adopted by the Irish Volunteers in October 1914 as the official badge of the organisation. The Centrepiece is formed of the letters ‘FF’. These letters signify ‘Fianna Fáil’.

The National Flag

Though it can be traced to the mid-19th century, following the 1916 Easter Rising, it captured the national imagination as the banner of the new revolutionary Ireland, the tri-colour came to be acclaimed throughout the country as the National Flag.

Sliabh na mBan

Sliabh na mBan, referred to as ‘Slievenamon’ in its earlier, anglicised form, is one of thirteen 920 pattern Armoured Rolls Royce cars which were acquired from the British by the Irish Free State after the Anglo-Irish Treaty of December 1921