Cork City Civil Defence



Mission Statement

“To promote, develop and maintain Civil Defence as an effective volunteer based professional organisation which provides an emergency response and community support services”.

Civil Defence Ireland

Civil Defence Ireland

Civil Defence was set up in 1950 as part of the national defence structure as the necessary civil response to potential hazards which might arise in a war situation. Its inception resulted from the voluntary Air Raid protection organisation which had been in operation during the Second World War. Its function was to “defend against of mitigate the effects on persons or property of an attack on the state or of hazards otherwise arising during a time of war or emergency such as radioactive fallout, biological or chemical warfare”.

It is a volunteer based organization that supports the front line emergency services and also assist local communities. Civil Defence has 3,500 volunteer members throughout Ireland. 

The Civil Defence Branch of the Department of Defence is in Benamore, Roscrea, Co Tipperary  and 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 Ireland Symbol     


     International Symbol of Civil Defence

Cork City Civil Defence

Cork City Civil Defence

Cork City Civil Defence is part of the national organisation of Civil Defence. Although structured on a national basis under the Civil Defence Board, the organisation at City and County level comes under the control of the local authority in this case Cork City Council.

Civil Defence is a voluntary organisation. Membership is open to male and female personnel with a minimum joining age of 18 years. Civil Defence is divided into a number of different services comprising Rescue, Auxiliary Fire Service, Casualty and Welfare. Training in these units, which are very well equipped, is undertaken on a weekly basis. There is also a River, Lake and Coastal Search and Recovery Unit.

Specially trained instructors, who are themselves members of Civil Defence and qualified as instructors on special courses at the Civil Defence school in Dublin, undertake training of volunteers. Volunteers participate in, and render assistance at community events i.e. any events, sporting or otherwise, where members of the public gather to participate in the event.

Assistance is also provided by Civil Defence in the event of emergencies e.g. search parties for missing persons. Civil Defence acts as a support service to frontline emergency services such as Gardai, Fire Service and the Health Executive. Civil Defence has its own specific role to play in the major accident/emergency plan and has its own “call-out” procedure, fully equipped vehicles and its own radio frequencies.

Over the past, almost, 70 years Cork City Civil Defence has operated as a second line response to the Front Line emergency service and also has a long history of community support. Cork City Civil Defence is also involved with the Cork Joint Major Emergency Planning Group, an inter-agency (Cork City Council, Cork County Council, Gardai and the Health Service Executive) plan which details the special arrangements in the case of a major accident or emergency within Cork City and County.




As well as assisting the Emergency Services the Cork City Civil Defence regularly carries out various training exercises and assists with major event in Cork City as you can see from the gallery below.


Providing assistance during weather Emergencies is one of our key functions.


We provide Emergency cover for large event such as the Cork City Marathon


Equipment maintenance and training is vital, ensure recruits are familiar with and able to us a wide range of equipment.




Boat training and maintenance ensures we are ready and able to respond as quickly as possible.



Auxiliary Fire Service training ensures we are able to carry out one of our core functions when necessary.


Communications  and Information Management are key to the smooth operation of events that Civil Defence volunteers assist with.


Drone are used by the Civil Defence in a variety of instances such as rescue and crowd monitoring.






A range of images from a recent survival techniques course for Civil Defence Volunteers


Training in Civil Defence is divided in to several areas as follows:

First Aid
Search & Rescue
Boating Techniques
Radiation Monitoring
Radio Communications
Welfare Provision
Auxiliary Fire Fighting 



Recruitment Information


Thank you for your enquiry re Cork City Civil Defence.


We are currently not recruiting; applications will open in December 2024 for an intake in 2025.


You can apply by contacting us at during December 2024 and we will issue further information at that time.


The application process is to recruit members to Cork City Civil Defence and applicants will be shortlisted.


Please note that you must be 18 years of age at time of application.

For further information please got to The Civil Defence Website

Our training facility is located on the North Ring Road, Ballyvolane and is adjacent to the Fire Brigade Sub-station. 

Contact Us

Civil Defence Officer: John Ryan

North Ring Rd,
T23 PF68

Telephone: (021) 4966333


Assistant Civil Defence Officer: Veronica Forde A.C.D.O

North Ring Rd,
T23 PF68

Telephone: (021) 4288400