->''We will hold out until our last bullet is spent. Could do with some whiskey''
-->--Transmission from the Irish forces at the siege of Jadotville, the Congo

''Óglaigh na hÉireann'', more commonly referred to as the Irish Defence Forces, are [[ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin the Force that Defends Ireland.]] Composed of ''an tArm'', the Army; ''an tAerchór'', the Air Corps; and ''an tSeirbhís Cabhlaigh'', the Naval Service; the Irish Defense Forces boasts nearly 10,000 ([[LudicrousPrecision 9,981]], according to Wiki/TheOtherWiki) active personnel, and 12,348 reserve personnel; and a 1 billion budget.
The Defense forces main duty is to protect Ireland, in case neutrality fails to protect it. The Irish Defense Forces have maintained a presence in UsefulNotes/UnitedNations armed peacekeeping missions almost continuously since 1958, except for a four year period from 1974 to 1978.

Admittedly, the Irish Defence Forces aren't one of the best equipped forces around, or even produce their own equipment (except for ships, but this ceased in TheEighties), but Administrivia/ThereIsNoSuchThingAsNotability.

In fiction, the actual Irish Defence Forces aren't terribly likely to show up, as they haven't really done much besides the UN work. This isn't helped by the fact that Irish people with serious military inclinations tend to go to the [[UsefulNotes/BritsWithBattleships British armed forces]][[note]]While Ireland and the UK are separate sovereign states, UK law does not treat Ireland as a "foreign country."[[/note]], which promise more "action", or to the [[LegionOfLostSouls French Foreign Legion]] if they have serious political objections to serving the British Crown. Counter-terrorism for those occasions when UsefulNotes/TheTroubles spilled over into the Republic tended to be handled by the Gardaí. However, the Irish Defence Forces can trace their lineage back to the original Irish Republican Army, specifically the part of the IRA that pledged its loyalty to the Irish Free State/the pro-Treaty side of the [[UsefulNotes/TheIrishRevolution Irish Civil War.]]

!! The Army

The Army is made up of several components:

* The Infantry Corps, made up of 9 active battalions and 9 reserve battalions. The weaponry for the Infantry Corps comes from various sources, for example, the [[UsefulNotes/NeutralAustriansWithNoNavy Steyr AUG]] with optional [[UsefulNotes/YanksWithTanks M203]] is the main assault rifle, with [[UsefulNotes/WeAreNotTheWehrmacht HK USP pistol]] as the main sidearm.

* The Artillery Corps, which use the [[{{BFG}} big guns]] to provide support to the Infantry Corps and Cavalry Corps. They're also in charge of AntiAir operations.

* The Cavalry Corps, which contrary to their name, do not use horses. Instead, they're in charge of the resident AwesomePersonnelCarrier, the [[UsefulNotes/SwissWithArmyKnives MOWAG Piranha]], the [[UsefulNotes/GaulsWithGrenades Panhard AML armored cars]] and the resident TankGoodness, the [[UsefulNotes/BritsWithBattleships FV101 Scorpion light tanks.]] (A light tank is a [[ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin really small tank]].)

* The Engineer Corps, who build campsites, bridges, repair vehicles, the usual things.

* The Ordinance Corps, who buy and maintain all the Irish Defense Force's explosives, and destroy any that are found lying around.

* The Transport Corps, who [[ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin transport what needs to be transported.]]

* The Medical Corps, who... [[ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin take a guess.]]

* The Military Police Corps, who police the military.

* The Communications And Information Services Corps, who maintain communications between various units.

* The Irish Army Ranger Wing, although technically part of the Infantry Corps, deserves it's own section. Created when several Irish Officers went to Ranger School in America, the Ranger Wing is [[ElitesAreMoreGlamorous the Special Operations team of the Irish Defence Forces.]] They use different equipment than the normal Infantry Corps, including [=HK416s=], an improved version of the M4 Carbine.

!! The Air Corps

[[RunningGag The Air Corps exists only in name.]] No, seriously, of course they do, but [[ArmedFarces Irish military humour]] often jokes about how everybody's heard of them, but nobody's actually ''met'' them, Bielefeld-style.

The first Irish military aircraft was purchased during the Anglo-Irish Treaty talks to provide Michael Collins with an escape back to Ireland, just in case. During WWII, the primary combat plane was initially the Gloster Gladiator, although eventually Hurricanes and other more modern British aircraft were added. Though Ireland was bombed once or twice (by the Luftwaffe who claimed to have mistaken Dublin for Belfast), the Irish (unlike the Swiss) never did shoot down any trespassing Nazis. The first jets were De Havilland Vampire trainers. During the 1960s, the Air Corps played a role in several well-known aviation films such as TheBlueMax.

Today's Air Corps has a few Pilatus PC-9 trainers (converted to light attack aircraft), helicopters, transports, and executive jets. Two aircraft evacuated Irish nationals from Libya in 2011.

!! The Naval Service

At one point a ButtMonkey of the Defence Forces (The Dubliners famously recorded a song mocking their incapability), the Naval Service dates back as far as 1946, when it succeeded the Coastal and Marine Service. Initially equipped with hand-me-downs from the [[UsefulNotes/BritsWithBattleships Royal Navy]] (the ''Flower'' class corvettes were battle-damaged relics from UsefulNotes/WorldWarII which wound up being notoriously unreliable), they finally adopted purpose-built ships of their own in TheSeventies in order to patrol the increased territorial range of Irish waters, though two former Royal Navy ships are still in service.

Day to day, the Naval Service operates fishery patrols, though search and rescue and drug interdiction are part of their mandate. As of 2015/2016 they are also involved in rescuing refugees in the Med.

Traditionally, ships were named after female figures in Myth/CelticMythology until the ''Creator/SamuelBeckett'' was commissioned in 2014.

!!In fiction

[[AC:Video Games]]
* ''VideoGame/Mercenaries2WorldInFlames'': Ewan Devlin, the Irish helicopter pilot you can recruit into your PMC got his start in the Irish military.

* ''Film/TheGuard'' references the Navy's participation in drug interdiction. Ultimately, they have been misdirected and don't actually appear.
* ''Film/TheSnapper''. Sharon's older brother is a Corporal in the Army who has just returned from peacekeeping duties in Lebanon. He notes that he was given a gun, but no ammo.
* ''Film/MichaelCollins'' delves into their origins both before and after UsefulNotes/TheIrishRevolution. Collins was the first Chief Of Staff after all.
* ''Film/TheWindThatShakesTheBarley'': Teddy is commissioned in the newly-formed Army after the treaty is put into effect. In many ways, [[HeWhoFightsMonsters they act much like their former enemies]] when searching for anti-treaty rebels. Teddy is forced to execute his brother, Damien, by firing squad in the film's ending.
* ''Film/{{Calvary}}'' has Milo tell Father James that he's considering enlisting. Indeed, in the film's final montage, Milo is seen being sworn in.
* ''Film/TheSiegeOfJadotville'', a Netflix original film, is a fictionalised version of the Irish Army's CrowningMomentOfAwesome. Heavily outnumbered, they took on twenty times their number and took no losses and few wounded before being forced to surrender.