Altnaveigh Reprisal

Included in the May 2018 release from the MSPC are the files of some of those individuals involved in one of the most infamous attacks carried out in the border area in the revolutionary period. The attacks at Altnaveigh, County Armagh on 17 June 1922 by the IRA in which six members of the protestant…

Deciphering the Archives

In previous blogs on this site, the focus has naturally been on the records of the Military Service Pensions Collection, the people they represent and the events therein described. While the work of the archivists behind the scenes can sometimes be overlooked, the obstacles and challenges they face, when acknowledged, can lead to an even…

International Connections in the MSPC

The Military Service Pensions Collection (MSPC) contains files relating to a number of individuals active in the Republican Movement during the Revolutionary period (1916-1923) who were either born outside of Ireland or had non-Irish parentage. They include Robert Briscoe (1894-1969) whose Jewish parents emigrated to Dublin from Lithuania; Captain Louis Marie (1900-1957) whose father was…

The case of Mrs Lindsay

To General Strickland, Victoria Barracks, Cork We are holding Mrs Lindsay and her chauffeur, James Clarke prisoners. They have been convicted as spies and are under sentence of death. If the five of our men taken at Godfrey’s Cross are executed on Monday morning they will be shot immediately. I enclose a personal appeal from…

Recognition of Easter Rising service

At 7pm on Easter Sunday 23 April 1916 the members of Portlaoise Company, Irish Volunteers under the command of Eamon Fleming mobilised as part of the plan for a nationwide rising. Their job was to attack rail lines in their area linking the south east to Dublin and thereby delay any British forces arriving from…

Negligence and the Army Pensions Act

The introduction of the Army Pensions Act in 1923 enabled the dependents of the deceased to lodge a claim for compensation. For a case to be successful under the Army Pensions Acts it first had to pass certain criteria. These included: membership of an accepted organisation; death due to  active service; killed or wounded in…

The Bennett family and pensions administration

The story of the Bennett family from Ballingarry, County Tipperary is just one of the thousands that available in the collection. Their interaction with the administrative process that became the Military Service (1916-1923) Pensions Collection began with the application from John Bennett whose son Patrick was killed on 3 December 1922 at age 19. Bennett…

Behind the scenes

For this, the final post of 2017 the focus will be a little different. Rather than an individual or event, this post will address the workflow from file selection to presentation on the web. To do this the post will focus on the wound pension series with examples taken from the application of Dan Breen….

The Lynch family – money and civil war division

“I am grateful for your expression of sympathy re my poor brother Sean but strongly object to his wife receiving one penny. The hardened wretch deserted him…”   So writes Patrick Lynch, Aherlow, County Tipperary to General Gearoid O’Sullivan on 21 September 1925 when seeking the balance of his brother Sean’s military service pension. A…

Daniel Joseph McGandy – First War of Independence fatality

Daniel Joseph McGandy of 7 Bond’s Hill, Waterside, Derry died on 20th January 1919. He had served with the IRA in A Company, Derry city area. According to information in file the inquest returned a verdict of death by drowning. The successful application under the Army Pensions Act, 1923 was made by the deceased’s father,…

A letter by Nora Martin – “I am reading through these claims…”

The pension files contain a lot of correspondence and naturally, when associated with administrative processes, material can be dry and very matter-of-fact. However some can give us a substantial amount of information about people’s interactions and transactions and in some cases, they can be the only testimony of a person’s actions during those years, describing…

James Dalton, Limerick – accused spy shot by the IRA

The file relates to the death of James Dalton and the successful application by his widow, Annie under the Army Pensions Act, 1923. It is claimed that Dalton had joined the Irish Volunteers in 1913 and by the date of his death served at the rank of Captain in the Mid-Limerick Brigade, IRA. Dalton was…