Corps of Engineers (Ireland)

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Irish Army Corps of Engineers
Irish: An Cór Innealtóirí
Badge of the Irish Corps of Engineers.svg
Active 1 October 1924 – present
Country  Ireland
Branch Army
Naval Service
Air Corps
Type Military engineering
Role Camp construction, military bridging
Size Engineer battalion
Part of Badge of the Irish Defence Forces.svg Defence Forces

1st Engineer Group - Cork
2nd Engineer Group - Athlone

Engineer Group, Logistics Base Curragh - Kildare
Engineer Section, Air Corps - Casement Aerodrome
Engineer Section, Naval Service - Haulbowline
Flag Defense Forces Engineer Corps (Ireland).svg
Engineers constructing Camp Clara in Liberia
Detonation of explosives (demolition) in the Glen of Imaal for training purposes

The Corps of Engineers (Irish: An Cór Innealtóirí) is the military engineering branch of the Defence Forces of Ireland. The Corps is responsible for combat engineering, construction engineering, and fire fighting services within the Defence Forces. The main role of the combat engineers is to provide engineering on the battlefield; the Corps has successfully leveraged its skill and expertise in several of the Irish Army's deployments in United Nations operations.


Following the establishment of the Irish Free State on 6 December 1922 General Routine Orders were issued which laid down the organisation of the first centralised Defence Forces. From an engineering point of view there were three particular problem areas to be overcome:-

  • The Barracks and Posts throughout the state were in great need of repair following the War of Independence and the Civil War.
  • There was a general shortage of materials.
  • Most of the railway system was in disarray with many towns cut off.

To meet these requirements three (3) Corps were set up:

  • The Works Corps - to carry out repairs and reconstruction.
  • The Salvage Corps - to recover materials from damaged buildings for use elsewhere.
  • The Railway Protection, Repair and Maintenance Corps - to rebuild the railway system.

The Corps of Engineers was established and took over from these three Corps with effect from 1 October 1924. In 1931 Field Engineer Companies and the School of Military Engineering were added to the establishment.


The Corps has a wide variety of roles, covering conventional warfare, and training for the Defence Forces. With such a wide range of skills, the Engineer Corps provide a variety of support to the Army. This support includes anything from the provision of:


The Corps have seen active service in UNMIK), Somalia (UNOSOM II), Congo (ONUC), Lebanon (UNIFIL), Liberia (UNMIL) & Chad (EUFOR Tchad/RCA) - where the Engineer Corps was deployed to construct Camp Ciara in advance of a contingent of more than 500 troops.


Corps of Engineers Units (2013)[edit]

  • 1st Engineer Group(Replaced 1st Field Engineer Company)
  • 2nd Engineer Group (Replaced 4th Field Engineer Company)
  • Engineer Section, Air Corps. Attached Irish Air Corps
  • Engineer Section, Naval Service. Attached Irish Naval Service
  • Engineer Group, Logistics Base Curragh

Disbanded (Defence Forces Re-org 2012)[edit]

Future developments[edit]

As in all aspects of society, legislative changes and technological advances have required workforces to become more specialised and more highly skilled. The Irish Defence Forces is no exception - requiring specialist skilled engineers.

Compared with Defence Forces in other countries e.g. British and French Armies, the number of engineers in the Irish Defence Forces is low, 5.5% against 8.8% and 12.8% respectively.


External links[edit]