Ger O’Connor (Mullingar) – Medals of the Irish Defence Forces

Mullingar’s Ger O’Connor (Battery Quartermaster Sergeant, 54 Field Artillery Regiment) has generously given us his his book on Medals of the Irish Defence Forces.  Click button below for PDF link to Ger’s book.

Medals of the Irish Defence Forces

The award of medals for services rendered is generally associated with the military. Military medals are bestowed in recognition of specific acts or service which can vary in significance from routine duty to bravery and valour.

Irrespective of their provenance, military medals are highly valued and are regarded as representing all that is best in the field of human endeavour. They are seen as being earned and merited by the recipient and in the Defence Forces this sense of worth is enhanced by the strict conditions attaching to the awards.

Medals in the Defence Forces fall into two broad categories: medals awarded by the Minister for Defence on the recommendation of the Chief of Staff and medals awarded to qualifying personnel for service overseas on
Government approved missions. The first category comprises the Military Medal for Gallantry and the Distinguished Service Medal, which can be awarded for acts of bravery, gallantry, courage, leadership or devotion to duty and the Military Star, a posthumous decoration awardable to personnel killed as a direct result of hostile action. These medals may only be awarded following rigorous investigation by a board of officers appointed by the Chief of Staff. Also in this category are the Service Medal, which recognises service in the Defence Forces for a minimum fixed period and the United Nations Peacekeepers Medal, which recognises service overseas with a UN
mandated mission.

The second category consists of medals awarded for overseas service, which are extensive in number reflecting the long tradition of participation by members of the Defence Forces on overseas missions.

All of these medals are described in detail in this valuable and well produced booklet, the brainchild of RDF member
and medal collector Battery Quartermaster Sergeant Ger OʼConnor, 54 Field Artillery Regiment, whose enthusiasm
and drive has contributed greatly to this project. With the approval of the Chief of Staff, A Administration, DFHQ
has compiled this very attractive publication which will be of interest to the professional soldier and the amateur
enthusiast alike.