Some of the historic records that will be released to the public.

Records of compensation claims during War of Independence and Civil War to be released

Minister Catherine Martin said the collection ‘brings home the true reality of the human cost of those turbulent times’.

THE NATIONAL ARCHIVES is set to release over 3,500 files relating to compensation claims during the War of Independence and Civil War.

The files, consisting of claims for damages by individuals for injuries or death during these periods, have today transferred from the Department of Finance to the National Archives.  

Work will now begin to prepare these files for public release in April.

The collection contains first-hand accounts by claimants, including medical and personal data, relating to events during these periods.

The Compensation (Personal Injuries) Committee was constituted by President WT Cosgrave in his capacity as Finance Minister in 1922.

Speaking today, current Minister for Finance Paschal Donohoe said: “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.

Donohoe said the collection also gives insight into “minor actions in every county of Ireland and places as far away as India” and added that it will be “an invaluable source of social and personal histories for historians, academics as well descendants and family members”.

Elsewhere, Minister for Tourism and Culture Catherine Martin TD said: “These records show in a very profound way how lives were lost or shattered during the War of Independence and the Civil War.

“This collection includes heart-breaking accounts of the physical injuries inflicted on ordinary people, but also the psychological injuries too, the unseen effects of war from those who took their own lives, or ended up in institutions unable to forget the terrible events they had witnessed.”

She added that the collection “brings home the true reality of the human cost of those turbulent times”.

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