Ireland

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The Republic of Ireland (Eire)

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Having replaced wool serge battledress in 1960, the Irish Defence Forces (Óglaigh na hÉireann) wore a plain olive green combat uniform for the next forty years. The only exception to this was the Army Ranger Wing (ARW), Ireland's special forces unit, which was outfitted with British Army DPM from the 1980s into the mid-1990s. It was not until 1999 that Ireland adopted its own distinctive camouflage pattern for general issue, which has remained in service to the present day.

Irish Camouflage Patterns

  • The Irish DPM camouflage pattern was officially issued to military personnel in Ireland in March 2000, but had been issued to troops abroad for six months before that. Although also called DPM, the pattern has no relation to the British design of the same name. It is also sometimes mistaken for the French CE camouflage pattern, although in fact the two are quite different. The uniforms were first issued to members of the Permanent Defence Force (PDF), but in March 2002 also to the FCÁ (Reserve Forces). Irish camouflage was designed by the Belgian firm Seyntex, and is a four-color pattern with black, reddish-brown and olive green shapes on a light olive green base. Typical of the wonderful sense of humour that permeates the country, the Irish refer to their camouflage pattern affectionately as "Paddyflage."

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  • Introduced for service in 2007, a desert version of the Irish DPM pattern has been worn by military personnel deployed to arid and desert regions such as Chad and Afghanistan (ISAF). Like the standard DPM pattern, this camouflage was designed and produced in Belgium. It consists of light brown, olive green & beige disruptive shapes on a sandy background.

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Other Camouflage Patterns worn by Ireland

  • From the 1980s to the mid-1990s, the Irish Army Ranger Wing wore British DPM pattern camouflage uniforms, both ex-British military surplus and private purchase items.

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  • One of the trial patterns considered by the Irish Defence Forces in 1999 was the French Centre Europe (CE) pattern. A number of experimental trial uniforms were produced for Ireland by the Belgian firm Seyntex, but the pattern was discarded in favor of the Irish DPM pattern.

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  • The Irish military contingent to Somalia in 1993 wore US military surplus six-color "chocolate chip" pattern camouflage uniforms during their deployment. It is believed this is the only time such uniforms were worn.

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Photographs of Irish Military Personnel

  • Irish troops wearing the desert uniform (with permission from the An Cosantoir)

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