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Disabled Veterans of the First World War in the Irish Free state

History Department, Maynooth University


I am a third year PhD candidate in the History Department of Maynooth University.  After several years in the Irish Defence Forces, I returned to education as a mature student.  My great-grandfather did not survive this war and I always needed to know more.

I was conferred with a BA (History Single Honours) in September 2014.  As a result of being in the top 1% of my year, I was eligible for and awarded a Pat and John Hume Scholarship to continue my studies at MLitt level for one year, advancing to PhD for my second and subsequent years." "My research focuses on ex-British Armed Forces veterans in Ireland from 1914 to 1939.  I am looking at the differences that developed after partition as former comrades became citizens of different states, being divided by politics and religion.  The administration of pensions, the medical needs of disabled veterans and the re-integration of these ex-servicemen into their respective societies are part of my study.  


All War Pension legislation was applicable in the whole of Ireland.  From 1916 War Pension Committees operated at local level as in the rest of the UK but this changed with the political situation.  After partition arrangements were put in place to administer War Pensions in the Free State.  This involved significant contact at many levels of officialdom and a degree of administrative continuity from 1916 into the 1930s.  

Ex-servicemen in the Free State were not invisible.  The large crowds attending Remembrance Day ceremonies in the 1920s and 1930s refute that suggestion.

I would like to speak about War Pension legislation, War Pension Committees, Representative Organisations in the Free State and the Free State government reaction to claims of official discrimination against ex-British servicemen that led to a committee of inquiry that reported in 1929."