Denis O’Brien: 1916 veteran shot dead by the IRA in 1942

Introduction Pim Street and Upper Basin Street in Dublin 8 are a short five minute walk from each other. They are bound to the north by the sprawling St. James’s Gate Guinness Brewery and to the west by the present day St. James’s Hospital. In 1916, 8 Pim Street was occupied by the O’Brien family…

Haughey and Hillery – political clichés

Few things are as entrenched as political lineage within families. There is the impression that political dynasties have existed for generations. Traditionally families have been either Fianna Fáil or Fine Gael.  This post will explore two of the cases that will challenge that cliché. The first case is that of John Haughey (24SP9208) probably best…

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…

Literary connections in the MSPC

To date there have been a number of connections between the literary/journalistic world and the revolutionary period (1916-1923) within the MSPC. The work of writers such as Pearse, Connolly, MacDonagh, Childers, Breen, Barry and O’Malley, to name but a few are well known. This post will focus on some of the less obvious connections and…

The Kerr family of Liverpool and their fight for Irish Freedom

Continuing the theme from the last post on the IRA in St Helens this post will focus on the Kerr family and their work in Liverpool area. The story of the Kerr family is one of the most remarkable stories contained within the Military Service (1916-1923) Pensions Collection (MSPC). Through the files of Neill Kerr…

Women in Intelligence – Part 3: Minnie Lenihan

In the final blog of our three part series on Women in Intelligence (Annie Smith and Eileen MacCarvill), we focus on Galway woman Minnie Lenihan who was primarily involved in getting vital information in and out of prisons in the Galway area, as well as addressing prison conditions and prisoner treatment.  Minnie joined the Galway…

Women in Intelligence – Part 2: Eileen MacCarvill née McGrane

Following on from a previous blog article relating to the intelligence work of Dubliner Annie Smith covering the period from the War of Independence through to the end of 1923, this blog features the case of another Dublin based woman, Eileen MacCarvill (née McGrane) who, like Smith, also worked closely with Michael Collins. MacCarvill moved…