Thursday 16 January 2014

Old IRA/Military Pension records – 1st batch online 1 of the Old IRA/Military Pension record set – formal name Military Service (1916–1923) Pensions Collection (MSPC) – is now available for free online searching at MilitaryArchives.

This first tranche of records consists of 9,600 files and can be searched in three databases:
  • Pension and Awards files
  • Organisations and Membership Files
  • Administration files
There's a separate section dealing with the Easter Rising. The site points out that not everyone involved in the Easter Rising applied for a military pension. Some applied only for a Medal (and that distinct record set, which holds some 60,000 applications, won't be released until 2015).

Pension and Awards
Phase 1 includes details of 3,200 individual pension applicants, including 2,400 recipients of pensions in respect of the 1916 Easter Rising. Some individuals have as many as seven files. An alphabetical list of the veterans of 1916 can be downloaded from the site or here (pdf 752kb).

Organisations and Membership
This tranche of the Irish military pensions records set includes supporting files such as Membership Rolls of 16 Divisions of the IRA (87 Brigades), Cumann na MBann (at July 1921 & 1922), Na Fianna Eireann (the entire series), and four files relating to 1916 Brigade Activities in the counties of Louth, Wexford and Galway.

Phase 1 includes 134 general Service Pensions files; 40 Departmental files; 116 files from the Pensions Board; 151 Army Pension Board files dealing with Finance matters; 12 files relating to the Military Service Pension 1924

The rest of the MSPC collection, which, in total, holds some 300,000 files relating to 60,000 pension applicants, will be released in 'regular phases' leading up to 2016.

The Irish Military Pensions Collection will be formally launched this evening by An Taoiseach, Edna Kenny TD, at the GPO in Dublin's O'Connell Street.

See later blogpost updating on the official launch and view an interesting overview video (4mins).