Mallon Technology's Leading Role in Easter Rising Commemorations

Mon 25th Apr 2016

Easter Rising Commemorations 2016

This week marks 100 years since the Easter Rising in Dublin and across Ireland began, in an effort by Irish republicans to end British rule in Ireland and establish an independent Irish Republic. Events to mark the Rising have been taking place throughout the year and has seen Mallon Technology play an important role in one of the largest commemoration projects.

The Irish Military Archives is the official deposit for records of the Defence Forces, the Department of Defence and the Army Pensions Board and as such holds a vast and unique collection of historical documents detailing the people and events that played a part in the Easter Rising. As part of the commemoration of events 100 years ago the Irish Military Archives has committed to digitising and making available to the public its Military Service Pensions Collection.

The collection owes its origins to the decision of the Oireachtas of Saorstat Eireann in June 1923 to recognise and compensate wounded members and the widows, children and dependents of deceased members of Ogliagh na hEireann including the National Army, the Irish Volunteers and the Irish Citizen Army through the payment of allowances and gratuities. Mallon Technology has been assisting the Irish Military Archives in various stages since 2010, in scanning and digitising the vast collection so that it can be made available to the public online.

To date, Mallon Technology personnel have scanned and digitised around 660,000 individual pages on behalf of the Irish Military Archives of which around 15,000 files have been released to the public so far. The most recent release of files dealt with pension applications by those involved in the conflicts from 1916 - 1923 or who claim they were involved. The files offer a wealth of information on the actions of those from the highest to the lowest ranks of the Cumann na mBan, Irish Volunteers/IRA and other organisations in the fight for independence and the civil war which followed.

The files contain a number of interesting stories including, the little known story of Daniel Francis Chambers from Cookstown. Despite owning and running a drapery business in Cookstown, Daniel was directly involved in the Easter Rising rebellion, taking part in the capture and occupation of the Jacobs factory in the heart of Dublin city centre for the entire insurrection. Escaping arrest following the end of the rising, Daniel found his way back to Cookstown, where he assisted in arranging the attack and capture of the RIC barracks in the town. For his role in the Rising and independence struggles Daniel was awarded a pension of £20 : 16 shillings : 8 pence.

The release of the collection has proved to be a big success and since their launch in January 2014, more than 250,000 relatives and researchers from 185 countries have read or access the files online. Remaining in the collection is around another 300,000 files dealing with the actions of 80,000 people. The Irish government has committed funding for the further release of these files which will be gradually digitised in one of the biggest projects of its type in the world.

Mallon Technology is proud to have played a key role in the release of such an important national collection and is continuing to assist the Irish Military Archives in the digitisation of its collection. If you wish to view the collection for yourself make sure to visit the Irish Military Archives website.