"The equipment will be kept in barracks near locations where public order disturbances could break out. These are likely to include the Dail, the border and Shannon Airport. The last order for such equipment was in 2000.
"Tender documents show the order was for the 'supply of public order blunt trauma personnel protective equipment for use in public order, crowd and riot control operations at home and abroad'."
A Defence Forces spokesman was quoted as denying the army was being told to prepared for the proposed national strike on November 24.
A recent report from the IMF said Ireland was suffering the severest recession of any advanced economy.
It said the the country was in “the midst of an unprecedented economic correction” with losses at its banks predicted to swell to €35bn (£30bn) over the next two years.
“The stress exceeds that being faced currently by any other advanced economy and matches episodes of the most severe economic distress in post-World War II history,” the IMF said.