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“The Lifesaving Foundation supports and promotes evidence based research into drowning prevention and rescue.”

The Ireland Medal

The Ireland Medal was introduced in 2003 to mark the incorporation of what had been The Royal Life Saving Society Ireland Branch’s Overseas Aid Project as a new independent not-for-profit charity known today as The Lifesaving Foundation CLG. The medal is awarded annually to an Irish person, a person of proven Irish descent or an Irish organisation. The award criteria requires a ‘long exceptional contribution to saving lives from drowning’. Every third year the medal is awarded to a person, without proven Irish ancestry, who has made a significant contribution to the saving of lives from drowning. On such occasions the medal is referred to as the International Irish Medal. Usually one medal is awarded annually but this is at the discretion of the Foundation.

Old Ireland Medal
The first medal was awarded to Ireland’s police force, An Garda Síochána, in recognition of the thousands of swimming rescues carried out by its officers since 1922. The medal was presented to then Commissioner Noel Conroy by Ireland’s Taoiseach (Prime Minister) Bertie Ahern, TD.

Taoiseach presenting first Ireland Medal

In 2016 a revised second version of the medal was introduced sponsored by the Hogan family in memory of their grandfather James Hogan, and his brothers Thomas and John, who between them saved over 50 persons from drowning in the River Barrow as it flows through New Ross, Co. Wexford, in the first quarter of the 20th century.

New Ireland Medal

The medal has no intrinsic value itself but today it is recognised as one of the world’s major lifesaving awards thanks to the exceptionally high quality of its recipients.

"The Ireland Medal Recipients" booklet is available here: GO