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…

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 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…

Nora Gavin – The limits of involvement

Nora Gavin was born on 28 June 1891 and lived in Castlebar, Co Mayo. At the age of 23, she was appointed to the Post Office in Tuam, Co Galway. She was subsequently transferred to Tubbercurry (Co. Sligo) and then to Kiltimagh (Co.Mayo) She lost her employment as a telephonist in Kiltimagh as a result…

Deafness in the Military Service Pensions Collection

This post was prompted by a question asked by a conference delegate at the International Conference on Women’s History in the Digital World (July 2017, Maynooth University) regarding deaf pension applicants in the collection. What follows are the hits to our search for deaf participants. In some cases, the information in the files allows to…