The Scott Medal
An Garda Síochána’s Highest Honour
In 1923 Colonel Walter Scott, an Honorary Commissioner of the New York City Police and a well known philanthropist, presented An Garda Síochána, then the world’s youngest Police Force, with a $1,000 gold bond.
There was only one condition attached to the award of the Scott Medal: "No action, however heroic, will merit the award of the Scott medal unless it takes the shape of an act of personal bravery, performed intelligently in the execution of duty at imminent risk to the life of the doer, and armed with full previous knowledge of the risk involved".
The medal is in the form of a Celtic cross. There are 5 panels on the face of the medal that depict the words "The Scott Medal", "For Valour", the eagle and the shield of the USA, the harp and sunburst and the Garda Crest. The reverse of the medal carries the inscription, "Garda Síochána na h-Éireann". The 4 outside panels are the arms of the four provinces of Ireland - Ulster, Munster, Leinster and Connaught.
The Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform presents recipients with their medals at an annual Scott Medal ceremony. The ceremony usually takes place at the Garda College.
Review of An Garda Síochána and the Scott Medal by Gerard O’Brien