Various pieces of legislation generated applications from those considering themselves eligible for gratuities, allowances or pensions. Details of the legislation were published in the printed media of the day. Applicants were assessed by the Department of Defence, a board of assessors or advisory committee as established under the relevant legislation, and were deemed successful or not.

Two streams of legislation are relevant to the material in the collection:

  • The Army Pensions Acts from 1923
  • The Military Service Pensions Acts, 1924, 1934 and 1949

The Army Pensions Acts from 1923

The Army Pensions Acts dealt with wounded participants and deceased participants’ dependents, and the Military Service Pensions Acts dealt with surviving participants who could prove active service. The Army Pensions Acts 1923 to 1980 provide for the grant of benefits in respect of disablement attributable to service by members of the Defence Forces, the National Army, Óglaigh na hÉireann, (Irish Republican Army),the Irish Volunteers, the Irish Citizen Army, Fianna Éireann, Hibernian Rifles and Cumann na mBan.

The Acts also provide for the grant of benefits to the dependants of deceased members of the foregoing organisations.

The primary files series created under the Army Pensions Acts of relevance to the MSPC are titled "P"series and "D" series. The "P" and "D" file series relate to the period commencing on the 1 April 1916 and ending on the 30 September 1924, and consist of individual applications for the payment of wound pensions to wounded members (P), allowances and gratuities to the widows, children, dependents and partial dependents of deceased members (D) of "Óglaigh Na hÉireann, including the Army and the Irish Volunteers and the Citizen Army, 1916" under the provisions of The Army Pensions Act, 1923. Provision is also made for the supply of medical appliances and vocational training.

Successful applicants were proven to be "...on active service", killed or wounded as the case may be "….in the course of his duty", not due ."..to any serious negligence or misconduct". The grant of disability pensions (DP) in respect of disease incurred and the grant of allowances and gratuities to dependents of those who died from disease attributable to service in the period ended 30 September 1924. Find out more about active service.

Related Files:

The Military Service Pensions Acts, 1924, 1934 and 1949

The Military Service Pensions Act, 1924, provided for the payment of military service pensions to persons "who rendered active service in Óglaigh na hÉireann, or the Irish Volunteers or the Irish Citizen Army or Fianna Éireann or the Hibernian Rifles, during the week commencing the 23 of April, 1916; or throughout the period from the 1 April, 1920 to the 31 March 1921; or throughout the period from the 1 April 1921 to the 11 of July 1921 and who in addition served in the National Forces or Defence Forces of Saorstát Éireann at any time subsequent to the 1 July, 1922 and prior to the 1 October, 1923.

A Board of Assessors was established; chaired by Mr. Justice Cyril J. Beatty, BL, a Justice of the District Court, with Edmund J. Duggan, TD, Parliamentary Secretary to the Executive Council and Finian Lynch, TD Minister for Fisheries as members and Lieutenant General Gearóid O’ Suilleavain (Retd) as Secretary to the Board. The Board approved the payment of pensions to 3855 applicants. About 9800 other applicants were stated to have prima facie cases but were deemed persons to whom the Act did not apply.

The amount of pension payable varied according to the rank held by the applicant, based on the rank structure of the National Forces/Defence Forces, with a sum of £5 applying per year of service and per Grade awarded. Thus in the case of Privates and Non-Commissioned Officers (Grade A) £5 applied, and £25 per year applied in the case of officers of a rank higher than Major General (Grade E). The number of years of continuous service counting towards pension was computed to arrive at a maximum of 14 years’ active service throughout. Easter Week 1916 was counted as 4 years service, for example. The maximum pension thus awarded was £350.00.

All applicants’ files considered and dealt with under the 1924 Act are designated 24/SP/xxx.