Francis McWeeney

Home address of Killadiskert, Drumkeerin Corry, County Leitrim. McWeeney accidentally drowned in the River Shannon at Dowra, County Cavan in October 1922. McWeeney was a Private in the West Cavan Brigade of the National Army. 

His widow Annie awarded an allowance of 17 shillings and 6 pence per week during widowhood. Also awarded an allowance for her two children.

Family Circumstances

Francis and Annie married on 26 January 1920 and had two children. Mary Kate McWeeney born 14 December 1920 and Michael James McWeeney born 14 October 1921. Following Annie’s successful application, the allowances for the children were due to be paid until the children came of age.

It appeared to be a straightforward case until early 1929 when the department received an anonymous letter (images 1 and 2). On 8 May 1929 Annie was arrested for fraudulently obtaining the sum of £212.8.4 from the Minister for Defence having not declared her remarriage to John McLoughlin, a former soldier, on 28 February 1924 (image 3).

A report made by an Garda Síochána (images 4 and 5) revealed that Annie travelled to Drumkeerin, some 2.5 miles from her home in order to have her declarations signed by a Mr O’Kelly. O’Kelly, unknown to Annie, signed the declarations believing Annie to be a widow and did so on subsequent occasions when presented with them.  O’Kelly alleged that he became suspicious of Annie’s situation. The garda report continues that Annie also presented declarations to the postmaster at Corry who signed them without issue. The report says that while the postmaster was aware that Annie was remarried, he was “practically illiterate “.

Annie McLoughlin received a suspended sentence of six months imprisonment (image 7). The sum of £212.8.4 was written off by the Minister for Finance. Annie McLoughlin died in January 1933 and payment of allowance for her children was made to her husband.

Related File:
Francis McWeeney