27/04/2016

New Military Archives Officially Opened By President Higgins

The new Military Archives Building, the fourth of nine Permanent Reminders in Ireland 2016 Centenary Programme, has been officially opened by President Michael D Higgins.

The new Military Archives is the place of deposit for archival records of the Defence Forces, the Department of Defence and the Army Pensions Board.

The opening of the newly refurbished facility is one of the nine Government flagship capital and development projects being developed for as part of the Ireland 2016 Centenary Programme and will serve as a permanent reminder of this commemorative centenary year.

Welcoming the opening, Minister for Defence Simon Coveney, said: "The new building being opened today by the President will ensure the safeguarding and accessibility of the Military Archives' collections for future generations."

The occasion of the opening, also marks the launch of the fourth release of material from the Military Service (1916-1923) Pensions Collection.

The 1916 Medal recognised those who were engaged in active service during the 1916 Rising and those who served during the period 1917-1921.

Speaking about the latest release of material from the Military Service Pensions Collection, Minister Coveney said: "This is the largest release of material to date from the Military Service (1916-1923) Pensions Collection, the work of which is ongoing and has transformed our understanding of the history of the period and the role of individuals and organisations in the fight for independence, as well as the tragic events of the Civil War."

This event was part of the Ireland 2016 Centenary Programme, which is led by the Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, Heather Humphreys.

Minister Humphreys added: "The new Military Archives will be one of the most important cultural legacies of the Ireland 2016 Centenary programme. The new Archives building and its online resources will provide state of the art archival facilities for some of our most important collections, including the ground-breaking Military Service Pensions Collection, which uncovered so much new material about the 1916 Rising.

"The collections in the Military Archives, which stretch from 1913 to the present day, are a key part of our documentary heritage, allowing historians, academics and anyone who is interested in our shared history to understand our past more clearly and explore the nation's family history."

Future releases of material from the Military Service Pensions Collection will take place over the coming years.

(MH/CD)

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