Cathal O’Shannon – (1890-1969) Republican, Trade Unionist, Socialist and Journalist

The unsuccessful military service pension application of Cathal O’Shannon Sr. (MSP34REF21723) reveals a number of insights into the relationship between the political movements of Republicanism and Labour in Ireland. It touches on the activity of the Irish Citizen Army (ICA) outside Dublin; the strike of railway workers against the transportation of British army soldiers and…

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…

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…

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…

James Fox – a pension refused

James Fox, a veteran of the Easter Rising, serving in Saint Stephen’s Green and the Royal College of Surgeons, Dublin under the command of Michael Mallin. He subsequently served with the National Forces between June and October 1922. However, in October 1927, he was refused a certificate of service, and consequently a pension, by the…

John Sullivan “The Yank”

John Sullivan, also known as “The Yank” with an address at 4 Camden Place, Dublin made unsuccessful application for a wound pension or gratuity under the Army Pensions Acts in respect of injuries sustained by him while serving with the Irish Citizen Army. The nickname supposedly referred to his time serving with the American army,…