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Civil Defence Mission Statement:

“To support the emergency services and to provide community support by promoting, developing and maintaining Civil Defence as an effective volunteer based organisation”

History and Development:

Civil Defence was set up in 1950 to be part of the national defence structure as the necessary civil response to potential hazards, which might arise in a war situation. A major disaster would require an organisation skilled in first aid, fire fighting, rescue, evacuation, welfare, communications and mobilisation capability.In the late 1980,s the Cold War came to a sudden and unexpected end. This enabled Civil Defence to shift its focus onto its peacetime function of acting as a backup to, essentially, all of the emergency services.

The changing international climate at the end of the 1980’s led to a review of Civil Defence and the development of a new programme called ‘Towards 2000’. This programme emphasised the role the Civil Defence plays in providing services to the community.

The State Authority known as the Civil Defence Board was established by Order of the Minister for Defence in 2003 arising from the enactment of the Civil Defence Act 2002. By virtue of this Act, the Board assumed responsibility, formerly with the Minister for Defence, for the Civil Defence at National level. 

Since 1st January 2013, the management and development of Civil Defence at national level is re-established in the Civil Defence Branch of the Department of Defence.Civil Defence is a volunteer organisation providing community support and assistance in time of emergencies in support of the professional emergency services.

The provision of services is organised at a Local Authority level. There is a Civil Defence Officer appointed in each Local Authority Area. The County Manager in each Local Authority is responsible for Civil Defence.   The organisation is financed jointly by the Department of Defence (70%) and the Local Authority (30%).