Provenance and archival history

The files generated by the Department of Defence under the Army Pensions Acts have remained under Departmental control from their creation. These files were originally located in the offices of the Ministry/Department at Griffith Barracks on the South Circular Road, Dublin, later at Coláiste CaoimhÁn in Glasnevin, Dublin, and latterly at Finance Branch of the Department at Renmore, Galway. The non-current files relating to the collection were transferred to the Military Archives at Cathal Brugha Barracks, Dublin, in 1989 for storage and retrieval as required by the Department.

The majority of the files and material generated by the Board of Assessors under the Military Service Pensions Act, 1924, were transferred from the Boards’ offices at Portobello Barracks to the Department of the President of the Executive Council (Department of the Taoiseach) on the 30 March, 1928. The Department of Defence retained files relating to 7610 unsuccessful applicants.
 
Following the passage of the Military Service Pensions Act, 1934, the Referee and Advisory Committee sought various individual files generated by the Board of Assessors from the Department of the Taoiseach, and eventually all the files were transferred to the Office of the Referee, located first at Griffith Barracks and later at Coláiste CaoimhÁn. These files would remain under the control of the Referee, being added to significantly by the creation in that office of the Nominal Rolls and Activities file series as well as administration and applicants’ files under the 1934 Act.

Finance Branch of the Department of Defence would use the original applicants’ files as a “payments” file in the case of successful applicants under the 1934 Act, and records, ledgers and index cards demonstrate the control and accountability of files within the Department and the Office of the Referee. All of the files generated by the Office of the Referee under the Acts of 1934 and 1949 and including those files generated by the Board of Assessors (1924-1928) were passed to Finance Branch of the Department as the Referee and Advisory Committee operation was wound up in 1957.

The decentralisation of Finance Branch of the Department from Coláiste CaoimhÁn to Renmore, Galway, in 1989 saw a major examination of the files held at Coláiste CaoimhÁn. All non-current files generated under the Army Pensions and Military Service Pensions Acts relating to the period from 1916 to 1923 were transferred to the Military Archives for storage and retrieval as required for Departmental use. Current applicants’ files (those veterans and dependents still in receipt of payments), and the administration files created by the Referee and Advisory Committee, moved with Finance Branch to Galway. All files relevant to the MSPC and stored at the Military Archives were handed over to the Project Manager in March, 2008. Following a detailed survey of files held at Finance Branch, Galway, identified files were transferred to the Project office and reintegrated in the MSPC in July 2008. The files and records in the MSPC have suffered from poor storage conditions, use of poor quality paper, rusting of the pins, staples and fasteners used and bad handling over the years. This presents significant challenges to project archivists. However, on a positive note, the survival rate of the material sourced, processed and surveyed to date is high.

Guide to Collection

View the published Guide to the Military Service Pension Collection to find out how the collection is organised and about the information it contains.

2017 Online Launch of the Military Service (1916-1923) Pensions Collection

On October 24th, the Military Service (1916-1923) Pensions Project will release almost 5,000 new scanned files (relating to 1,576 individuals). This will bring will the number of files from the collection online to approximately...[more]

Visit Department of Defence Website (EXTERNAL LINK)
Visit Department of Military Website (EXTERNAL LINK)