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Frequently Asked Questions

How is the material in the Military Service Pensions Collection being released?

The material in the Military Service Pensions Collection is released in phases. Both the database and files are released online. The pension files, the membership files and administrative record series are accessible online (access to full scanned files through the relevant database). The Project work is ongoing.

Please check our Release Information section to know more about each release.

Will all releases of material from the Pensions Series in the Collection be via the website only?

Yes. All releases from the Pensions Series (both database and files) are released online only.

Will all releases of material from the Medals Series in the Collection be via the website only?

No. While the Medals Series database is released online to enable researchers to look for their relative’s information and file reference, the files themselves are to be accessed by researchers through appointment at the Military Archives. To get guidance on what is needed to make an appointment in this case, please see the Medals Search page. If you simply want to know more about the medals, see our Spotlight section. You can also download our Medals Booklet to read further.

How do I view a medal file?

While the Medals Series database is released online, the files are to be accessed in the reading room at Military Archives.

1. Follow the link to the database below. Make sure to select 'Medals' in the first drop down menu and use the various search fields to find the relevant file.

2. Note the reference code of the file you’d like to access (MD number)

3. Make contact with the Military Archives to access the file.
(Please be informed that, due to operational reasons, a maximum of ten (10) files per day per researcher from the Medals Series of the Military Service (1916-1923) Pensions Collection can be requested).

Email the duty archivist (preferred):

Phone: +353 (0)1-8046457

Go to search page (ADLIB)

I cannot find the name/family member I am looking for in the Pensions database or the Medals Series database. When will his/her file be released?

Regarding the Pensions files

If you cannot find a file, it could be because

- Your relative (despite having been active at some stage between 1916 and 1923) never lodged an application,
- The file has not been processed yet. The project is ongoing and many files are awaiting release. It is not possible to facilitate individual requests to view files not yet processed or released from the collection.

Regarding the Medals files

If you cannot find a file, it could be because

- Some medals were awarded to veterans who claimed for service pensions but whose applications were rejected. These files belong to the pension series and are not available for research at this time (see Q6, below).
- If your relative was awarded a service pension, a medal was issued to them automatically and in most cases (there are a few exceptions) no application would have been needed and therefore no file (MDXX) was generated.

Are medals awarded to individuals other than those found on the Medals Series database?

Yes. Approximately 14,000 Service (1917-1921) Medals were awarded to veterans whose claims for a service pension were unsuccessful. These files belong to the pension series and are not available for research now.

Can I get replacement medals?

No. Replacement medals are not issued. It is the long standing policy that replacement Medals were issued on a once only basis to the veteran to whom the medal had originally been awarded. This policy was adopted in the interests of preserving the intrinsic value of the medals and to strictly limit the number of medals issued in any particular case. As there are no surviving veterans at this stage it is not intended that any further replacement medals will be issued.

Can I get a Medal Certificate?

In May 2006 the Minister for Defence decided to introduce official certificates for issue in cases where medals are lost, destroyed or stolen and no replacement medal can be issued. The Minister’s decision was mainly in response to the feelings of family members of veterans whose requests for replacement medals were refused and who would like some visible expression of their ancestors’ service and contribution. On receipt of a completed application form and the appropriate verification, official signed certificates (in Irish or English) can be issued confirming that the relevant medal had been awarded to the named veteran. Certificates are issued on a once off basis to the nearest next of kin.

Application forms for medal certificates are available from Pensions Administration, Department of Defence, Áras an tSáile, Renmore, Galway, e-mail:, telephone: 091-743828.

Do you release all information indiscriminately?

No. The files are processed in line with the National Archives Act, 1986 and Data Protection legislation. Accordingly, some information will be withdrawn and will be released to family members only (on production of appropriate proof of relationship).

What can I do if I have an issue in respect of material released which relates to me or a family member?

Please contact the Officer in Charge of the Military Archives at and present your concern. Any concerns raised will be given prompt attention.