Stories Of 1916 Irish Volunteers Stored In New Digital Archives

The first collection includes more than 10,000 documents on servicemen and women of the Irish Volunteers, Citizen Army, Hibernian Rifles, the Irish Republican Army, Cumann na mBan, Na Fianna Eireann and National Army from 1916 to 1923.

The initiative comes as part of a bigger project of the Department of Defense to put together the Military Service Pensions documents which include up to 300,000 files. The catalog contains service pensions from servicemen who fought the Easter Rising, the War of Independence and the Civil War and all those who were awarded the 1916 Medal and the Service Medal from 1917 to 1921.

It also includes information on allowances from the dependents of those who lost their lives in action or who were wounded during their service. The first tranche of files stored in the new digital archive was launched by Taoiseach Enda Kenny, the Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht and the Minister for Justice, Equality and Defense, Mr Alan Shatter.

The Taoiseach insisted to thank all of those who got involved and for all the effort and work they put into bringing this project to life. The new online archive should be a great source of information for those interested in that period. Part of the Government’s Centenary Commemoration Program, the project honors all those who lived and fought for their country during this important time in Irish history, the reports.

More and more documents will be uploaded in the new online archive, but due to the huge number of files, the archive will not be complete by the 1916 anniversary. The records include documents related to the membership rolls of the Irish Volunteers as well as the Irish Citizens’ Army, Cumann na mBan and Na Fianna Eireann on July 11 1921.

The already uploaded files can be found at Also, as part of the Government’s Decade of Commemorations program, it has been announced that a Military Archive facility is to be open at Cathal Brugha Barracks, Dublin. “The collection records the personal commitment and sacrifice by those men and women who shouldered the task of gaining independence for this country,” said Mr Shatter.

Mr Deenihan insisted that this is a great opportunity for those who are interested to learn from the documents of their ancestors.

Ian Harvey

Ian Harvey is one of the authors writing for WAR HISTORY ONLINE