Compensation claims from Irish war of independence to be published

Compensation claims from Irish war of independence to be published

Paschal Donohoe

Historic files consisting of claims for damages by individuals for injuries or death during the War of Independence and the Civil War are set to be released to the public next spring.

The collection, which has been transferred from the Department of Finance to the National Archives, contains first-hand accounts by claimants including medical and personal data relating to events during a turbulent period in Irish history.

Finance minister Paschal Donohoe said: “The Compensation (Personal Injuries) Committee was constituted by President WT Cosgrave in his capacity as Minister for Finance in 1922 and applications were received from across the country.

“The Financial Compensation Files give a previously unseen and perhaps unromantic ground level view of what are this country’s most formative years.

“What makes these files important is what they do not contain. With the exception of a number of papers relating to fatalities of Bloody Sunday 1920, the overwhelming majority of claims are from individuals otherwise unrecorded by history, the silent majority.

“The files give insight into not just well known events like Bloody Sunday and the shelling of the Four Courts, but also minor actions in every county of Ireland and places as far away as India.

“I have no doubt that when this collection is made available to the public next year that the stories within will be an invaluable source of social and personal histories for historians, academics as well descendants and family members.”

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