Military Pension Archive: Timetable
Thousands of files will be released over the coming years
Cmdt Padraic Kennedy studies files in the reading room at Cathal Brugha Barracks in Dublin. Photograph: Brian Lawless/PA
Collating and releasing the information held in the Army pensions archive is a mammoth task which has taken years to complete.
The files could only be released after the death of the last pensioner, Lieut Col Seán Clancy, in 2006 aged 105.
The first tranches, released yesterday, contain more than 10,000 documents relating to 3,200 people. They include the 2,400 individuals who claimed a pension arising out of their service in the Easter Rising and will be of great interest to their surviving relatives.
Yesterday’s link includes the membership rolls of the IRA, Cumann na mBan and Fianna Éireann. There are also 16 files relating to civilian victims of the Easter Rising who received pensions.
The largest tranche of files relate to the War of Independence. According to senior military archivist Pat Brennan, the second release is “nearly ready to go” and it will be up to the steering committee to decide when it should be released.
“Historians are going to have a field day,” Mr Brennan added. “We are giving the whole of the background to individual cases. Everything we can, we are going to put out.”
In 2015, medal files in the Department of Defence will be collated and released. This will be the biggest part of the collection. Some 2,477 veterans received an Easter Rising medal.
The War of Independence service medal was given to 15,186 people and 51,233 were given to those who were members of the IRA, Fianna Éireann, Cumann na mBan or the Irish Citizen Army, but who did not see active service.
The references to all these files will be put online but, unlike the documents relating to pension applications, the files themselves will only be available for viewing in person.