Thursday, 22 June 2006
Department of Defence
Question 15: To ask the Minister for Defence his proposals for the replacement of 1916 and War of Independence medals for those families who feel proud of their ancestors service and contribution to the founding of the State and would like a visible expression of same, in view of the recent Easter 1916 commemorations; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [23309/06]
As I indicated in the course of my reply to the Adjournment debate in the Seanad on the 17th May 2006, my Department receives requests from time to time for the replacement of lost, stolen or destroyed medals awarded to Veterans of the 1916 Rising and the War of Independence. It has been settled Departmental policy for many years that replacement medals were issued on a once only basis on receipt of a bona-fidÃ© request from the Veteran to whom the medals were originally awarded. This policy was adopted in the interest of preserving the intrinsic value of these medals and to strictly limit the number of medals issued in any particular case. Although almost all of the Veterans are now deceased, the rationale for restricting the issue of replacement medals is still valid.
While this has been the long-standing Departmental policy, I can understand the feelings of the family members of Veterans when requests for replacement Medals are refused. I have therefore decided that an official certificate should be issued in such cases confirming that one of the medals in question was awarded to the named Veteran. If more than one medal was awarded, a separate certificate would be provided for each medal.
My Department is in the process of finalising the format and design of the certificates and, once this process has been completed, will make contact with those people who have recently sought replacement medals.