An Garda Síochána (Ireland)

Recipient of the 2003 Ireland Medal

An Garda Síochána (Ireland’s Police Force) was founded in 1922. Few historical records relating to swimming rescues by serving officers exist for the majority of the 20th century.

It appears to have been taken for granted by government and public that police officers could be called upon to rescue persons from drowning, as part of their normal duties, and therefore swimming and rescue instruction was part of the recruit training programme.

Late 20th century research has established that, despite the existence of numerous water rescue organisations, members of An Garda Síochána are often first responders to drowning incidents.

Recent research shows that approximately 20 police officers enter deep water annually and make swimming rescues, often in extremely difficult circumstances.

The majority of those rescued had deliberately entered the water, are young males, and have been drinking beforehand.

Gardai usually work in teams and swim in full uniform often displaying great courage and commitment.

Presentation of Ireland Medal to An Garda Síochána 2003

Presentation of Ireland Medal Parchment to An Garda Síochána in Garda College 2015

Presentation of Ireland Medal Parchment to An Garda Síochána.jpg

The 2015 Ireland Medal Ceremony took place on Wednesday 17th June in the Garda College (Ireland's Police Training College) in the presence of senior members of An Garda Síochána, RLSS UK, RLSS IRELAND, and The Lifesaving Foundation.

Lifesaving Foundation Ceremony Report

Article from Síochána about Presentation


Related Material



Swimming Rescues by Irish Police Officers


Suicide by Drowning in Ireland


An Garda Siochana History


Garda Review Report 2004


2003 Citation


First Ireland Medal



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