Military Archives building

Department of Defence 2-Series

Reference Code: IE-MA-DOD-2-
Dates: 1923-1972. The collection of files presently available from the Archives primarily cover the period 1924-1947.
Level of Description: Fonds
Extent and Medium: C. 700 boxes containing approx. 9000 files, paper.
Access: Open to the public
Language: English
Note: This collection is being processed at present and a full listing will be available presently.

This series of files mostly covers the period from the official formation of the Department of Defence, which was established by the Ministers and Secretaries Act, 1924. This Act assigns to it “the administration and business of the raising, training, organisation, maintenance, equipment, management, discipline, regulation and control according to law of the military Defence Forces”. One or two files cover from earlier in 1922, but that was mostly because the subject overlapped with an earlier A-File. A small number of files remained open until as late as 1972, but these are the exception rather than the rule, as the 3- series were opened from 1944 onwards.

Scope and Content:
This collection comprises administrative files produced by the Department of Defence. It is not a complete collection as the Archives has not received all the files from this series as yet. A number of the early files in the series are continuing from the previous A- series, so they are covering War of Independence and Civil War subject matter and outstanding issues such as border incursions, arms surrendered to British Authorities, compensation claims for damages and the continuing activities of Republican personnel in the years following the cease fire.
Later files cover the reorganisation of the Defence Forces and the establishment and further development of various Corps and units after the Civil War (such as the Equitation School, Cavalry Corps and Air Corps), and the further administrative development of the still fledgling State, along with files concerning contact with the Colonial Office and relations between Irish and British Army General Staffs. Other subjects from the 1930s include preparations for the Eucharistic Congress in 1932, the establishment and running of the City of Dublin Volunteer Reserve, the Volunteer Force and the Officer Training Corps.
This series also covers the period before, during and after WWII, on a number of subjects including mobilisation, coastal and other defences, munition factories, training, procurement of military supplies, recruitment, private accommodation and lands to be taken over by various units, the expansion of the permanent forces and the establishment of the Coastal Marine Service, the Look Out Posts and the Reserve Local Defence Force.