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Role and Function of The Ombudsman

If you are a member or a former member of the Defence Forces of Ireland and you believe that you have been treated unfairly or would like information about how to process a complaint, the Office of the Ombudsman (Defence Forces) is here to help you.

The Office of the Ombudsman serves as an Office of independent external review for existing and former members of the Defence Forces. Serving members of the Defence Forces may (and normally do) first use the Defence Forces’ Internal Investigation Process (Section 114 of the Defence Act 1954, as amended) prior to referring a complaint to the Ombudsman for the Defence Forces. The benefit in using the internal process is the possibility of a resolution of the complaint being achieved. Most complaints are resolved internally, and if not resolved a Complainant has the option to have the matter referred to the Ombudsman’s Office.

It should be noted that the Ombudsman may decide not to carry out an investigation if he is of the opinion that the complainant has not taken reasonable steps to seek redress or if the complainant has taken such steps, that he or she has not been refused redress.

For more information on your right to initiate a complaint and the circumstances in which the Ombudsman can be of assistance please refer to the Legislation establishing the Office under Legislation on this Website where you will find the full text of the Ombudsman (Defence Forces) Act 2004, as amended by the Defence (Amendment) Act 2007 [Section.11-Schedule 4(Part 4)]. There is also a summary of the role and function of the Office under the section ‘Questions which you may have about how to use the Office of Ombudsman for The Defence Forces’ which you may find helpful.

If you wish to make a complaint directly to the Ombudsman, please complete the secure on-line Complaint Form to communicate directly with the Office of the Ombudsman. Please keep a printed copy of the completed Complaint Form for your personal records.

You may communicate with the Office by telephone Phone +3531663 3222. You may communicate by e-mail to or you may write to the Ombudsman for the Defence Forces, 15, Lower Hatch Street, Dublin 2, Ireland.