"An Cor Poilini Airm"

Military Police collar badge    This page are based on pages of 5 Field MP Company and SFOR Informer pages. The original photographs are also taken from those pages. The original pages can be found here
History. The Republic of Ireland has consistently retained a policy of neutrality throughout her existence. Despite considerable pressure, both internally and externally, she denied Britain the use of strategic naval bases in World War Two and subsequently declined an offer to join NATO, on the basis that to do so would have conflicted with her national aspiration to sovereignty over the entire island. Until recently, Ireland was willing, if only due to geographical expediency, to rely on Britain for her international defence, restricting her own contribution to the provision of a battalion for United Nations service, but the growth in para-military forces over the past two decades has forced a fundamental reappraisal.

The Army consists of 11 regular infantry battalions, and 18 reserve infantry battalions (2nd line reserve) excluding the ad hoc force currently serving under United Nations colours, two independent infantry companies, a small (Rangers) special forces unčt, a light tank and four armoured reconnaissance squadrons, three field and one air defence artillery regiment and limited combat support.

There are now approximately 8500 personnel on the Irish Army. The country is divided into three areas for administrative and operational reason, and in each area there is an infantry brigade.

Organisation. Military police within the Irish Defence Forces are organised into regular and a reserve components as follows:
  • Regular
    • 1 Bde MP Company - part of 1 (Southern) Brigade
    • 2 Bde MP Company - part of 2 (Eastern) Brigade
    • 4 Bde MP Company - part of 4 (Western) Brigade
  • Reserve
    • 1 Field MP Company - Collins Barracks, Cork
    • 2 Field MP Company - Clancy Barracks, Dublin 8
    • 3 Field MP Company - Sarsfield Barracks, Limerick
    • 4 Field MP Company - Custume Barracks, Athlone
    • 5 Field MP Company - Mellows Barracks, Galway
    • 6 Field MP Company - Cathal Brugha Barracks, Dublin
Location of Irish Units
Jurisdiction. The jurisdiction of the Irish military police is not known.
Duties. Precise duties of the Irish military police are not known.
Selection and Training. Military Police are trained at the Irish Defence Forces Military Police School.  
International Missions. Irish Military police have been involved in the International MP Company of SFOR stationed in Camp Butmir near Sarajevo. The IMP Company provides military security, traffic control, accident investigation, and assists in the maintenance of good order and discipline amongst all SFOR troops in Sarajevo.

Note red pistol lanyards from right shoulder to pistol on left. Members without pistols attach lanyard to right pocket.

Note Irish contingent patch on left arm. Rank is worn on chest.
Military Police Vehicles. The military police make use of Nissan patrol vehicles. The markings on these vehicles are similar to those of the civilian "Garda". The military police badge is on the door.  
Nissan Patrol  
Military Police Weapons. Weaponry of the Irish Armed Forces is generally old, although the infantry is at present re-equipping with the Austrian Steyr AUG 5.56mm assault rifle, releasing the ageing 7.62mm FN FAL rifles in current service for distribution among the Reserves. Military police make use of:
  • FN FAL 7,62mm rifles
  • Carl Gustaf SMG's
  • Browning "Hi-power" 9mm pistols
Browning Hi-power
FN FAL rifle Carl Gustaf SMG
Military Police Uniforms. The dress of the Irish Army ("Oglaigh na hEirann") is based loosely upon that of the British, with certain American aspects evident. Since 1962 all ranks have worn a distinctive light green, open-necked, single-breasted jacket similar in design to the British 'No 2' Dress. Officers and sergeant majors, wear a light green peaked cap, whilst other ranks wear a black beret with cap badge over the left eye. Acting corporals and above wear horizontal red zig-zag bars on a yellow backing on the upper arms of service dress and jackets but on the right arm only when in shirt sleeve order.

British standard '58' webbing is issued, although the heavy steel helmet is now being replaced by a lighter Israeli model.

Disruptive pattern material (DPM) combat dress is in the process of being issued to regular personnel since March 2000. Reserve personnel will be issued from late 2001.
Irish MP's - 5 Field MP Company
Unit flashes are worn on service uniform, sweaters and brassards. They are also only made in full colour as no subdued version has ever been made for wear on combat dress. Collar badges were introduced into the Irish Army in 1924. The military police collar badge is identical on both sides. The cap badge worn by the Irish Defence Force was designed in 1914. Only the sunburst and the FF monogram have any historical significance, as they were the symbols of the old Irish warriors called the "Fianna". Regular troops wear a red patch behind the cap badge. The 2nd line reserve wear a green patch.
5 Field MP Company Flash Collar badge Irish MP Beret

The Red Beret is now standard issue for all members of "An Cor Poilini Airm", both regular and reserve forces.