The Government deeply appreciates and values the contribution of the many members of the Defence Forces who served along the border during the period we have all come to know as the ‘Troubles’. I have no doubt that my predecessors in various Governments over the years share that appreciation and depth of gratitude.
There are currently two medals that mark the service of personnel with either the Permanent Defence Force (PDF) or the Reserve Defence Force (RDF). The medal known as An Bonn Seirbhíse (The Service Medal) may be awarded to an officer, non-commissioned officer or private of the Defence Forces, or a member of the Army Nursing or Chaplaincy Service who possess the qualifying criteria for the award.
The qualifying service for officers and members of the Chaplaincy Service and Army Nursing Service is 5,475 days satisfactory and continuous service. The qualifying service for NCOs and Privates is 3,650 days satisfactory and continuous service.
An Bonn Seirbhíse (Na hÓglaigh Cúltaca) (The Service Medal (Reserve Defence Force)) was introduced in 1961 for members and former members of the Reserve and is awarded after 7 years of service.
The award of either of these medals to qualifying personnel reflects the service given by those personnel to either the PDF or the RDF as the case may be, and by extension the wider public, during the periods for which they served.
Whilst acknowledging the significant role of all Defence Forces personnel to the security of the State throughout the period of the ‘Troubles’, I am satisfied that these medals meet the need of marking service of personnel with either the Permanent Defence Force or Reserve Defence Force as the case may be, and I have no plans to introduce additional medals in this regard.