About the Irish Red Cross


Who We Are

Since our founding in 1939, the Irish Red Cross has been dedicated to serving people in need whether they are here in Ireland or caught up in humanitarian crises in countries and regions throughout the globe. 

Today the Irish Red Cross maintains an active network of over 3,000 volunteers at 75 branch locations based in large and small communities throughout the Republic of Ireland.

We are also a committed member of the global Red Cross Red Crescent Movement – a global humanitarian network of 80 million people that helps those facing disaster, conflict, and health and social problems. The Movement consists of the International Committee of the Red Cross, the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, and the 192 National Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies.

Our Work At Home

Through the work of our volunteers in Ireland, the Irish Red Cross is involved on a daily basis in many aspects of local and regional community life.  Through our national network, the Irish Red Cross seeks to be “Always There” for those in need.

The Irish Red Cross:

  • Prevents and alleviates human suffering, protects life and health and ensures respect for all.
  • Helps those who are most vulnerable to prepare, withstand, and recover from emergencies in their communities.
  • Restores families who have been separated by war, forced migration, or other circumstances.
  • Provides first aid and ambulance cover at events and incidents throughout the country – including mountain & lake rescue.
  • Supports older people and remote members of our community – assisting with the delivery of food and medicine and transport for hospital appointments.
  • Provides interactive and educational opportunities for our youth members.
  • Delivers first aid and psychological first aid training.
  • Delivers local and national support for refugees in need of food, water, shelter, and medical assistance.

Our Work Abroad = Local Action, Global Reach

The Irish Red Cross is a proud member of the world’s largest humanitarian network – the International Red Cross & Red Crescent Movement.  For more than 150 years, the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement has been driven by the power of humanity. From strengthening the resilience of at-risk communities to caring for older people, treating the sick and the wounded, helping migrants to reconnect with their loved ones, or finding and facilitating safe shelter – we work to prevent and alleviate human suffering wherever it may be found.

Our model of action is grounded in our Fundamental Principles as well as our community-based volunteers, our specific relationship with Governments in the humanitarian field, our proximity to the people we work with, and our global networks of solidarity.  This model has brought protection and assistance to millions of people in times of difficulty and crisis.

Learn more about the International Red Cross Movement

Our Vision

The vision of the Irish Red Cross is to be a leading humanitarian organisation, providing impartial services and support to vulnerable communities both at home and abroad.

Our Mission

Our mission is to identify and deliver humanitarian assistance, both at home and abroad, to those who are most in need. In achieving this we will be guided by the fundamental principles of the Red Cross.

Learn More about the Irish Red Cross

The Irish Red Cross Society (IRCS) is one national society in a global network of 80 million people that helps those facing disaster, conflict, and health and social problems worldwide. National societies have a particular role to play in global humanitarian efforts and are recognized by their national governments, on the basis of the Geneva Conventions and through national legislation, as voluntary aid societies, auxiliary to the public authorities in the humanitarian field.

Since its establishment in 1939, the IRCS has fulfilled this auxiliary role, contributing to the medical, social, cultural, political, and diplomatic history of Ireland. We have provided first-aid services and humanitarian relief in both wartime and peacetime; been an integral part of communities and volunteerism across Ireland; and have pioneered national public health and social care services that were subsequently developed by the state.