Gardaí get new look as modern uniforms launched for 13,000 personnel

First complete change of uniform in Garda history sees members get less formal and more practical outfits including polo shirts

Garda members will be on duty in new uniforms, including polo shirts, from Monday morning as the force’s third official change of uniform in its 100-year history officially commences.

The new look includes two-tone — bright yellow and dark navy blue — soft shell and waterproof jackets. A sky-blue polo shirt will replace the conventional shirts gardaí have always worn with neckties, which are not being retained. The new uniform also includes “operational trousers”, which are looser fitting and include large pockets on the outside thigh, with base layers also supplied.

The new look is a departure from the shirts and ties gardaí have always worn and are similar to more practical and less formal police uniforms worn in other European countries.

For the first time the official Garda crest will appear on the uniforms. Until now it has appeared only on the Garda hat. While neckties will no longer form part of the day-to-day uniform they will be retained for formal occasions. The existing Garda hat will be retained “as a unique and distinctive element of the Garda uniform”.


The new uniform will incorporate recent changes to Garda policy which permit the wearing of headwear for religious and cultural reasons and beliefs including turban, kufi, topi, kippah or hijab.

The newly-issued clothing is intended to better meet the demands of modern policing and has been delivered to Garda stations nationwide in recent months. With deliveries to 13,000 members in 560 Garda stations now complete, the uniforms will become operational from 7am on Monday.

Garda Commissioner Drew Harris was due to mark the launch of the new uniform — the first time in the force’s 100-history a wholly new uniform has been introduced — at an event in Tallaght Garda station, Dublin, on Monday morning.

Gardaí, sergeants and inspectors will all begin wearing the new uniforms immediately, while the uniforms of those of superintendent rank or higher remain the same. The new uniform is markedly different from the first Garda uniform introduced in 1922, which included a cape and a “night helmet” similar to that used by English constabularies.

The frontline uniform underwent another change in 1987 when the dark blue colour was replaced by a lighter shade and the silver buttons changed to gold. Images of the new uniform were released for the first time in February and some members of the force have already worn the new clothing as part of a testing and pilot project.

The Commission on the Future of Policing in Ireland recommended the uniform be replaced in 2018. In the same year an internal cultural audit found there was a desire among frontline members for a new uniform.

Conor Lally

Conor Lally

Conor Lally is Security and Crime Editor of The Irish Times