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Civil Defence

What we do


The Civil Defence is a volunteer-based organization that supports the front line emergency services. We also assist our local communities. Nationally we have 3,500 volunteer members throughout Ireland.  

We have volunteers trained in each of the following services: 

We support the frontline emergency services in dealing with severe weather, flooding, major accidents, firefighting and searching for missing people.  

Time and again Civil Defence Volunteer members have displayed their dedication and response capability in support of the primary emergency services and their local communities. High profile activities such as the severe weather response efforts to Storm Ophelia in 2017 and Storm Emma in 2018.  Our volunteers spent weeks assisting the search for the crew of the Coast Guard helicopter 116, lost off Mayo in 2017.  Our volunteers regularly assist the Gardaí in missing person searches.  These are a testament to the professionalism and dedication of the Volunteer membership. 

Here in Mayo we support community events throughout the year. These include large scale events such as Mayo Day and the Bonniconlon Agricultural Show, Concerts & Festivals including Siamsa Sraide and the Ballina Salmon Festival, and sporting events such as Mayo GAA matches. 

Hundreds of smaller local events, such as the Road Safety Roadshow, St Patrick’s Day parades and community games events, are also supported by Mayo Civil Defence.

General Information


  • Background 

    The Civil Defence Branch of the Department of Defence, based in Benamore, Roscrea, Co Tipperary, is charged with the management and development of Civil Defence at national level. The Civil Defence Branch provides policy direction, centralised training through the Civil Defence College, administrative support and guidance and centralised procurement of major items of uniform and equipment in support of local authority Civil Defence efforts. 

    Civil Defence is funded by way of a grant from the Defence Vote. Funding for Civil Defence operations at local level is shared on a 70/30 basis between the Department of Defence and local authorities by way of an annual grant to each authority. 

    Civil Defence services in Mayo are delivered through the Civil Defence Officer (CDO) Francis Power. The CDO is a full-time employee of the local authority and is responsible for the day-to-day management of Civil Defence matters under the overall direction of the relevant Chief Executive. 

    In Mayo we have approximately 70 Volunteers 

  • Legislation  

    The Civil Defence operates under legislation that includes; 

    • The Air Raid Precautions Act 1939/1946 
    • Local Government Acts of 1941 to 2001 
    • Various Statutory Instruments  
    • The Civil Defence Act 2002/2012

    Under the Civil Defence Act 2002, a State Authority known as the Civil Defence Board was established to manage and develop Civil Defence at national level. On January 1, 2013, the Civil Defence Board was dissolved in accordance with the Civil Defence Act 2012.  

    The functions rested in the Civil Defence Board have been transferred back to the Minister for Defence.

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