The Office of the Ombudsman for the Defence Forces was established pursuant to the provisions of the Ombudsman (Defence Forces) Act 2004.

It provides military personnel with an independent and impartial external statutory complaint investigation system. It is entirely separate, distinct and independent of both the military chain of command and the Department of Defence and complies with the generally recognized principles of Ombudsmanship. In that regard, the office is recognized by both the Internal Ombudsman Association and the International Conference of Ombuds Institutions for the Armed Forces, ICOAF.

The referral of a complaint to the ODF must take place within 12 months of the date of the occurrence in question or within 12 months of the complainant becoming aware of it, whichever later occurs. There is no limitation period concerning complaints submitted to the Defence Forces, however.

Data Protection

In accordance with the provisions of the General Data Protection Regulation (Regulation (EU) 2016/679) and the Data Protection Act 2018, the Ombudsman for the Defence Forces has designated Mr. Brian O'Neill, Head of Office, as Data Protection Officer for this Office. Mr. O'Neill can be contacted at 15 Lower Hatch Street, Dublin 2, D02 R884, phone 01-6633222 or by email at