November 2020 Release

The November 2020 release is the 9th release from the Military Service (1916-1923) Pensions Collection.
The files relate to claims lodged by 1,170 individuals, or by their dependants, and contain new information on the War of Independence and the Civil War.
This release brings the number of individuals whose files are now available online to over 10,720 entries (representing over 32,000 files).
Taking into account all the MSPC file series (whether available online or in the Military Archives), over 100,000 files have been processed individually by the Project team to date.
The files released include:
 - 139 successful service pensions awarded under the Military Service Pensions Act, 1924 (National Army applicants/Pro-Treaty).
 - 604 files of claimants applying under the Military Service Pensions Act, 1934
 - 554 applications under Army Pensions Acts (from 1923 onwards), including wounds and Special Allowances linked to disability pensions.


View the full list of veterans included in this release here


Cases of note:

Survivors of 94 day Cork Prison hunger strike August-November 1920 
[Terence MacSwiney was also on this hunger strike before being transferred to prison in England].
• John Hennessy DP4362
Survived 94 day hunger strike in Cork in 1920 – states that he only came off the hunger strike after letter from Arthur Griffith asking him and other remaining hunger strikers to come off their protest.
• Thomas Donovan DP768
Died August 1930.
• Christopher Upton MSP34REF34051
Refused his service pension as he considered it inadequate. No date of death on file)
• Peter William Crowley MSP34REF19105
One of two brothers on the hunger strike, also brother of Fianna Fail T. D. Tadhg Crowley. Died 1963.
• John Francis Crowley MSP34REF38741
Brother of Peter William Crowley and Fianna Fail T. D. Tadhg Crowley. Died 1942.
• Michael Burke MSP34REF7587


Bloody Sunday connection (21 November 1920)

• Nicholas Leonard 24SP11341
Bloody Sunday, Gresham Hotel. Credited on file with ensuring success of the operation - possibly a euphemism for actually having killed the target? Also credited with having shot another alleged spy named O’Leary in Mountjoy Square – no date. National Army intelligence during the Civil War. Served again during the Emergency (Second World War) as a Captain in the Defence Forces.


Kilmichael Ambush

Michael Donovan MSP34REF56869
Edward Young MSP34REF19353
Stephen O’Neill MSP34REF2822
Michael O’Donovan MSP34REF1748
Michael O’Donovan 24SP800


Trials and Executions

• George Plant MSP34REF12243
Executed on 5 March 1942 by firing squad having been found guilty by Military Court of the murder of Michael Deveraux in 1940. Claimed service with E Company, 7 Battalion, 3 Tipperary Brigade during the War of Independence and Civil War. No mention of his arrest or execution on the file.

• Patrick Davern MSP34REF28884
Tried with George Plant in 1942 in relation to murder of Michael Deveraux in 1940. Sentenced to death but sentence commuted. Letter on file from Portlaoise prison proclaiming his innocence.


Outside Ireland

• London IRA and Britain
Files of 47 men and women who served in London. Includes several officers and those with links to the Henry Wilson shooting and Dunne/O’Sullivan proposed rescue.
Also files of IRA members active in Liverpool (16), Birmingham (8), St Helens (5) and Tyneside (5).

• Scottish Brigade
James Kearney (MSP34REF5483 / 34E); Sean Healy (MSP34REF27392/ 34SP); Charles Diamond (MSP34REF27354 / 34D); Patrick Thompson (24SP3469 /24A) – Edinburgh.


Casualties (WoI & CW)

Thomas O’Donovan (DP23473) – 3 Tipperary Brigade. Killed by British forces at Killenaule, Co. Tipperary on 31 Oct 1920.
William Clarke (DP1665) – NFE Dublin.  Killed by National Army sniper near North Great George’s Street, Dublin on 28 June 1922.
Denis O’Dwyer (DP1263)Mid Limerick Brigade. Killed by National Army at Newcastle West, Co. Limerick on 07 Aug1922.
Edward O'Dwyer (DP1263A / MD18382) killed on same day in locality as brother Denis.
Daniel Shinnick (DP6523) – 2 Cork Brigade IRA. Killed by National Army at Glennacurrane, Mitchelstown, Co Cork on 4 Sep 1922.
Denis Barry (DP3620) – 1 Cork Brigade – died on hunger strike in Newbridge Internment Camp on 20 Nov 1923.

Killing of the Pearsons by the IRA (June 1921). The following individuals were connected with the  incident. Heaney was wounded by members of the Pearson family while constructing a roadblock.  IRA retaliated, burning the home and shooting two members of the Pearson family dead. The family  were Church of Ireland.  
 Leahy, Edward (MSP34REF18580); Heaney, Michael (1P359); Cordial, Michael (24SP11688); Cordial,  James (MSP34REF57339); Gleeson, James (MSP34REF18610); Scully, Joseph (MSP34REF17737); Seery,  Michael (MSP34REF19821).

Death of two civilians and wounding of an IRA woman in Jonesborough. Margaret Moore  (DP23924) and Mary Connolly (DP122) were shot dead by British forces while returning from the  IRA training camp in Ravensdale where they had delivered supplies. The incident took place in  Jonesborough, County Armagh. Mary Nugent (DP7503), sister of Margaret was wounded in the leg  and chest. She was a dispatch carrier attached to the Dromintee Company. She was awarded a  wound pension of £30 per annum. Margaret was about 13 and Mary Connolly 18.



Spanish Civil War
Two veterans of 4 Battalion, 1 Cork Brigade, IRA and National Army who fought with Eoin O’Duffy in  Spanish Civil War - Thomas Shaw (24SP5053) & Thomas O’Riordan (24SP1927).

Shooting of informer in New York City (April 1922)
Three Cork IRA members travelled to NYC to shoot an informer in April 1922 during the Truce Period.
Martin Donovan (MSP34REF23238 / 34C) & Daniel Healy (MSP34REF23736 / 34C). 3rd release - Patrick Murray (MSP34REF56148 / 34B). Informer shot but survived. 

Kilgobinet mine explosion, Co. Waterford (8 July 1921)
James Dunford (DP23400) killed; James Wade (1P347) and Thomas Fitzgerald (1P395) injured. Already released - Thomas Burke (1D274) & John Quinn (1D277). Also 9th release- Thomas Walsh (MSP34REF57631), John Dalton (MSP34REF52402) and John Power (MSP34REF49167) who helped to move the bodies of dead and wounded

Belfast IRA
Joseph McGuinne (MSP34REF22927 / 34D); Jack McNally (MSP34REF61252 / 34E); John Wales (MSP34REF10922 / 34E); Paul Cullen (MSP34REF55547 / 34E); Thomas Maguire (24SP9865 / 24A); Michael Leo McGuinne (24SP11832); Patrick Steele (24SP7524); Patrick Doherty (1P645); John Hickey (1P789).

CM Byrne (MSP34REF39039); Tadgh Crowley (MSP34REF60696) & Donal O’Donoghue (MSP34REF6153) all later served as TDs.

Joseph Smyth (1P333)
Was only 13 years old when wounded while transporting explosives in Navan, Co. Meath on 14 March 1921.

Family connections:
Lawrence Breen (MSP34REF27655)
Dan Breen’s brother. Good 1918-23 service in Tipperary. Dies in USA in 1940 in an accident.
Con Ahern (MSP34REF1191)
Father of Bertie Ahern, former Fianna Fáil Taoiseach (1997-2008). Private in F Company (Nohoval), 9 Battalion, 1 Cork Brigade.
Patrick Harris (MSP34REF28509)
Grandfather of journalist Eoghan Harris. Active with E Company, 2 Battalion, 1 Cork Brigade until 1921.
Matt Brady (1P394)
Father of former IRA Chief of Staff (1950s/60s) Ruarí Ó Brádaigh. Collumcille Company, 1 Battalion, Longford Brigade. Shot April 1919. Successful wound pension.


Notable entry:

Irish author and literary figure, Seán Ó Faoláin (MSP34REF49115) claims membership of the Irish Volunteers from September 1918 and service with the University College Cork Irish Volunteers and IRA Company during the War of Independence, the Truce and the Civil War.


View the full list of veterans included in this release here

NOTE: Individual applications relate to applications for service pensions, claims for gratuities or awards made by dependants, claims by veterans for wounds suffered or disablement or deterioration in health due to service in the period 1916-1923 and such related matters. All applications are made and processed under relevant legislation enacted by the Oireachtas from 1923.

The researcher must be aware that one individual generally has at least 2 (and up to 7) files, generated under different aspects of the legislation. To improve access, individual files thus created are consolidated under the relevant name, while all original reference codes are retained.