The Walter Scott Medal for Valor is a medal awarded annually for bravery in the Garda Síochána. It is not a state award, being in the gift of the commissioner, but the medals are awarded by the Minister for Justice.
The Garda medal was instituted at the behest of Colonel Walter Scott, a New York City philanthropist who took an interest in policing. In 1923 he gave a one thousand dollar gold Bond which would pay for in perpetuity a gold medal.
The award was to be presented for under the following condition: No action, however heroic, will merit the award of the Scott medal unless it takes the shape of an act of personal bravery, performed intelligently in the execution of duty at imminent risk to the life of the doer, and armed with full previous knowledge of the risk involved.
In 1942, the award condition was amended to most exceptional bravery and heroism involving the risk of life in the execution of duty.
The medal was designed by John F. Maxwell, a Dublin-based teacher who also designed the Garda Síochána crest. The medal is a Celtic cross which is 44mm in diameter with five panels on the face. The inscription on the top panel is "The Scott Medal" and on the lower panel "For Valor". On the right and left are the eagle and shield of the United States. and the harp and sunburst of Ireland, respectively. The centerpiece is the Garda Crest with the intertwined letters G.S. for Garda Síochána.
- Henry L. Smith
- Deaths of Henry Byrne and John Morley (1980)
- Jerry McCabe, awarded posthumously after he was shot and killed during a Provisional Irish Republican Army robbery
- Yvonne Burke (Garda)