Ombudsman For The Defence Forces

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 serving Members of the Defence Forces who must first exhaust existing internal grievance procedures before the Ombudsman can review or examine the case. However, there is a provision within the Legislation establishing the Office of the Ombudsman for Defence Forces which says that if within 28 days your case has not been progressed in accordance with the time frames set out and you believe the delays are without good reason, and the matter is not likely to resolved, you may contact the Ombudsman directly.

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 complianant has taken such steps, that he or she has not been refused redress. In that regard, the fact that 28 days have elapsed since the making of a complaint by the serving member of the Defence Forces does not mean that the Ombudsman will carry out an investigation. Generally, the Ombudsman requires, where possible, internal redress procedures are exhausted prior to the Ombudsman undertaking an investigation of the complaint.

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 my 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 are a former member of the Defence Forces and 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 Lo-call 1890 252 281 Phone +3531663 3222 Fax +3531663 3223. 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.