The Brigade Activity Reports: how to search (the direct way)

The Brigade Activity Reports in the Military Service Pensions Collection were released in February 2019. With the IRA Nominal Rolls, the BARs form a very significant source of information and inform us on the individual claims lodged by the veterans of the Irish struggle for independence. There are completely unique records

If you are unsure as to what the Brigade Activity Reports are, how they were created and how they relate to the rest of the collection, click HERE.

If you want to know even more about the Brigade Activity Reports, you can download our guide for free (click on the PDF logo on the right): HERE.

If you’d like to take the scenic route to the Brigade Activity Reports through our new platform, click HERE.

If your search demands a more direct route due to the nature of your research, we have outlined the most direct way to search below.

  1. MSPC homepage, click on the icon ‘Search the Collection’.

2. Click on ‘Entire Collection’

3. Search page: Here, there are a couple of things to check in order to search the relevant records series.

a. Check that you are in ‘Basic Search’ mode (left)
b. Check that the first drop-down menu (field ‘search in’): select Organisations and Membership’

4. Select ‘Brigade Activity Reports’ in the drop down menu ‘File Series’

NB: you can see that that drop down menu is also the gateway to search the IRA, Cumann na mBan and Na Fianna Eireann Nominal Rolls (membership listings).

5. Then it all depends what you know about the records you are searching or what you want to retrieve. Here are a few tips and pointers:

  • do you want to retrieve all the records at once? After step 4, do not fill any other field, just click on search (at the bottom).
  • do you want to search by county? Note that the results will show those units that conducted activity within that county. Therefore if you are using the ‘Title’ field to search ‘Offaly’, you will only retrieve 3 records (file titles contain the word ‘Offaly’). However, if you use the ‘County’ field, you’ll retrieve 15 record.
  • Free word search: this is searching the main body of our file descriptions. They are quite detailed descriptions to optimise retrieval.
  • You can combine searches: for instance County=Cork and free word search: ambush. This will retrieve the records in which ambushes are mentioned from units which were active in County Cork (so not just the Cork Brigades).
  • You can search by divisions if you are familiar with them.
  • Obviously, if you know the reference code of the file you’d like to have a look at, enter it straight away in the Reference Code field. The BAR reference code will always be: A+ number (no other character like – or / and no space) ex: A23.