Martin Moloney

Home address recorded as Quilty West, Miltown Malbay, County Clare. Moloney was a Private in the National Army when he was shot in Limerick in July 1922. He succumbed to his wounds on 15 September 1922 at St Joseph’s Hospital, Limerick. 

His mother Bridget lodged an unsuccessful application for compensation.

Family Circumstances

A case that strongly reflects the social mores and powerful influence of the church in the fledgling new state. In October 1924 the Department wrote to Reverend J Hannon at Miltown Malbay “requesting suggestions as to how the money could be paid with the most beneficial results” given “a lump sum…would not be in the best interests of claimant and her family”. The report from an Garda Síochána reveals that Bridget Moloney had suffered huge personal tragedy in preceding years. Her husband, Martin drowned in the sinking of the SS Laurentic on 25 January 1917 and another son, Michael Moloney (18), was killed during the First World War. Of her remaining children (Patrick aged 19; John 15; Mary 10 and Teresa 6) only Patrick was in receipt of any earnings. The report continues “her only visible means of support is hawking fish about the district” and that she denied being in receipt of compensation for either Michael or Martin. The report goes on to state that Bridget “is very much addicted to drink…any award would be spent on drink”. It was suggested that the money be invested in government bonds for the benefit of the surviving children.

In December 1924 a Reverend J Glynn wrote to inform the department that to award applicant a “lump sum would be altogether undoing her” and that she was not dependent on her son. Rev Glynn refers to Bridget in the harshest of terms “is unfortunately a most degraded character. Drink, immorality, foulest invective, and depraved”. He writes she “starves her children and foully abuses those who feed them. She is presently under a ‘bail’, and if I can, she’ll be interned for a time next court”. The proposed award of £50 was withdrawn. Bridget was informed that the Army Pensions Board found that complete or partial dependency could not be sustained, and no award made.

Related File:
Martin Moloney