The Lynch family – money and civil war division

Letter from Patrick Lynch

“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 similar application was also submitted by Sean’s widow Nora. The circumstances/events around the death of Sean Lynch had evidently created a great deal of tension within the family. The dual claims for the balance of the military service pension required the Army Finance Office to seek letters of administration to identify the legal representative. Said letters of administration were granted to Nora Lynch thus entitling her to £111.11.8 (£86.1.8 military service pension and £25.10.0 back pay). Payable orders were issued to Mrs Lynch in January 1926.


John Lynch (24SP4518) died from pulmonary tuberculosis on 14 September 1925. He had been awarded a military service pension in respect of his service with the Irish Volunteers, the IRA and the National Forces between 1 April 1917 and 30 September 1923. Lynch enlisted in the National Forces in April 1922 and resigned/demobilised on 26 October 1923. He was awarded 9 years’ service for pension purposes at grade B (Captain) which would have equated to £90.00 per annum.

However this does not conclude the bitterness between Patrick Lynch and his sister-in-law. In January 1928 Nora Lynch made an application for an allowance or gratuity in respect of the death of her husband. This causes Patrick to write “I strongly protest to the granting of same…she refused point blank to live with her invalid husband”. “She is the daughter of a big farmer and was to get a fortune of close on £1,000 but it was withheld when she married a Free State soldier”.

The Army Pensions Board confirmed that death was attributable to service in the Irish Volunteers/IRA and the National army (11 February 1929) thus entitling Nora Lynch to the usual entitlements for a widow under the act (allowance of £90 per annum and gratuity of £120 on first remarriage). However, when the information received from Patrick Lynch was investigated it was discovered that Nora Lynch had married against her parents’ wishes. Having returned home she received £400, on condition that she did not return to her husband. As a result of this discovery Nora Lynch was deemed not to be dependent on deceased and she was so informed on 28 October 1929. The investigations also revealed that Nora Lynch had remarried in August 1928 and became known as Nora Hyland.

Letter from an Gárda Síochána
Marriage certificate for John Lynch and Norah Blackburn
Extract from Irish Independent reporting on the funeral of John Lynch

See below for the links for John Lynch.