The Irish Coast Guard (IRCG) is part of the Department of Transport of the Republic of Ireland. The primary roles of the Coast Guard include maritime safety and search and rescue. The Irish Search and Rescue Region, which includes most of the Republic of Ireland and some parts of Northern Ireland, is the area over which the Coast Guard has responsibility. This area is bordered by the UK Search and Rescue Region.
The Irish Coast Guard is a civilian agency, members are not part of the Defence Forces and thus are forbidden from carrying any type of weapons and have no security or defence duties in respect of national police or defence.
Coast Guard personnel include full-time paid employees, and unpaid volunteers. For example, a member of the Coast Guard, Caitriona Lucas, who died while on a rescue/recovery mission in County Clare in 2016, was a volunteer.
Not all Irish Coast Guard members have enforcement powers – only some officers under warrant.