Red Cross celebrates 150 years of Humanitarian Action

Home News And Events Red Cross celebrates 150 years of Humanitarian Action

Today on World Red Cross Red Crescent Day, Red Cross volunteers around Ireland will celebrate the 150th anniversary of the birth of the Red Cross Red Crescent movement.

Founded by Henry Dunant in 1863, the Red Cross Red Crescent Movement is the world’s largest humanitarian network, made up of millions of volunteers and professionals in over 189 countries, at forefront of emergency response, ranging from natural disaster to civil unrest.

The Irish Red Cross was born in the midst of World War II on July 1, 1939. From the rescue efforts following the German bombing on North Strand, Dublin 1941 to the establishment of the ‘Irish Hospital’ in the devastated Normandy town of Saint Ló 1945, in which novelist and Nobel Peace prize winner Samuel Beckett was a notable volunteer, the Irish Red Cross has been a pioneer of emergency response both at home in Ireland and around the world for over seventy years.

Red Cross activities in Ireland are continued today by approximately five thousand volunteers in communities around the country.  Irish Red Cross volunteers provide emergency response – helping when villages flood and when severe winter weather leaves people stranded in their homes and cars, search and rescue operations on lakes and mountains, first aid training courses and community services such as skin camouflage and therapeutic hand care.

To find out more about the Irish Red Cross in your community visit