The Tánaiste and Minister for Defence, Mr Micheál Martin, TD today announced the latest release of material from the Military Service (1916-1923) Pensions Collection (MSPC) online. This latest release of records is the fourteenth release of material under the MSPC Project and it comprises of over 2,100 files representing records relating to 797 individuals. This is the first release of material this year.
This release sees 416 applications lodged under the Military Pensions Act 1934, and 138 applications for service pensions under the Military Service Pensions Act, 1924 (National Army applicants). In addition to this, a further 169 applications for wound pensions/gratuities and 124 applications were lodged under the Army Pensions Acts (Special Allowances, wounds, disability and dependents).
Among the 797 individuals whose files are being released, there were 45 individuals with an address in Northern Ireland, 260 in Dublin, 115 in Cork, 58 in Kerry, 35 in Galway, 28 in Donegal. 53 individuals had an address in England, 62 in the USA, 12 in Scotland, 2 in Canada, 1 in Australia.
Taking into account all the MSPC file series, over 119,700 files have now been catalogued and approximately 78,000 are now fully digitised and some 2.5 million pages of archival material is available online.
Speaking in relation to this latest release, the Minister said “I am delighted to announce this latest release of historical records contained in the Military Service (1916-1923) Pensions Collection. This latest release of files adds to the valuable insight to the experience of those involved in the struggle for independence. The fact that some 2.5 million pages of archival material is available online presents the public with further opportunities to research information about their ancestors and their community during the period leading up to the establishment of Irish independence”
The release of material is now available to view on www.militaryarchives.ie
Note for Editors:
Origins and scope: The archives contained within the Military Service Pensions Collection were once active administrative files generated through legislation enacted by the newly formed Saorstát Éireann from June 1923. In post-conflict conditions, various legal acts were sanctioned to compensate members of certain organisations and their widows, children and dependents. Over time, legislation was enhanced and broadened to include more veterans, including the members of Cumann na mBan.
Two streams of legislation are relevant for the Military Service Pensions Collection:
- The Army Pensions Acts, from 1923 to 1953: dealing with the wounded participants and deceased participants’ dependents.
- The Military Service Pensions Acts, 1924, 1934, 1949: dealing with the surviving participants who could prove active service.
Applicants were assessed by the Army Pensions Board, a Board of Assessors and later by a Referee and an Advisory Committee. The files are the result of the verification process and contain material submitted by the applicants in respect of their claims.
MSPC publications “Guide to the Military Service Pensions Collection” and a guide to the “Brigade Activity Reports” are available to download on the Military Archives website www.militaryarchives.ie