Thursday, 24 October 2013

Questions (206)

John Halligan


206. Deputy John Halligan asked the Minister for Defence following on from the plan in 2006 to issue replacement certificates to the families of the military veterans of 1916 and the War of Independence, his plans to issue replacement medals to the families of those servicemen prior to the celebration of the 100-year anniversary; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [45473/13]

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Written answers (Question to Defence)

The position is that my Department receives requests from time to time for the replacement of lost, stolen or destroyed medals awarded to veterans of the 1916 Rising and the War of Independence. In relation to such requests, it has been settled policy for many years that replacement medals were issued on a once-off only basis on receipt of a bona-fide request from the veteran to whom the original medals were awarded. This policy was adopted in the interest of preserving the intrinsic value of the medals and to strictly limit the number of medals issued in any particular case.

Although all of the veterans are now deceased, the rationale for restricting the issue of replacement medals is still valid. Apart from the intrinsic value of the medals, their monetary value on the open market is also a factor. Since 2006 the approach has been that where 1916 Rising/War of Independence medals had been lost, stolen or destroyed, official certificates (in both Irish and English) would be issued in such cases confirming that the relevant medal(s) was/were awarded to the named veteran. Where any such case arises, the relative of the veteran can complete an application form available from the Pensions Administration Section of the Department of Defence and, if in order, the relevant certificate/s will be issued.

I have no plans to change the current arrangements.