COVID-19 Medal Ceremony for Civil Defence Volunteers – Press Release

29 November 2022

COVID-19 Medal Ceremony for Civil Defence Volunteers

Croke Park


The Minister for Defence and Foreign Affairs, Simon Coveney T.D. is honouring Civil Defence volunteers for their work during the COVID-19 pandemic at a ceremony in Croke Park today

Minister Coveney has commissioned a special COVID-19 medal for all volunteers who undertook duties during the COVID-19 crisis.  In total, this medal will be presented to circa. 1,500 volunteers, with the first 438 volunteers being presented with these medal on 29 November.

Speaking at the event Minister Coveney said:

In honour of the role played by Civil Defence volunteers during the pandemic, the supports provided to their local communities and the frontline emergency services, I have commissioned a specially designed medal to be presented to almost 1,500 members of Civil Defence involved in this effort.  I was delighted to present the first of these medals at a ceremony in Croke Park today.”

Civil Defence volunteers undertook 9,500 taskings during the pandemic in support of the Local Authorities, HSE and An Garda Síochána.  Civil Defence volunteers assisted their communities in every county across the country.

Civil Defence volunteers provided key services such as:

    1. Bringing people for medical appointments and essential medical treatment
    2. Bringing people to testing and vaccination centres.
    3. Providing administrative assistance to the Irish Blood Transfusion Service,
    4. Assisting in HSE vaccination centres
    5. Sorting and delivering COVID-19 test kits to testing centres,
    6. Collecting foodstuffs from suppliers and bakers for food hubs,
    7. Delivering food parcels, medication and library books to vulnerable households


Notes to the Editor

  1. Civil Defence is a statutory volunteer-based organisation with a nationwide footprint, established in 1951.
  2. In central Government terms, responsibility for the organisation falls under the aegis of the Department of Defence.  Nationally, Civil Defence is managed by 35 Local Authority Civil Defence Officers and has approximately 2,700 volunteers. The Civil Defence organisation is dependent on the volunteers giving freely of their time and expertise.
  3. The central strategic objective of Civil Defence is to support the Principal Response Agencies in a variety of emergency and non-emergency situations.  The Principal Response Agencies consist of the Local Authorities, HSE and An Garda Síochána.
  4. A “Civil Defence – Towards 2030” policy document was published in 2020.  The policy document sets out the five core Civil Defence roles and services into the future;
    1.                Emergency Response,
    2.                Search and Rescue,
    3.                Medical Response,
    4.                Community Assistance
    5.                Radiation Monitoring