DETAILS on 3,200 men and women who signed up to fight for Irish freedom have been recorded in a new digital archive as part of centenary commemorations of the foundation of the State.
The first tranche includes more than 10,000 files on members of the Irish Volunteers, Citizen Army, Hibernian Rifles, the Irish Republican Army, Cumann na mBan, Na Fianna Eireann or National Army between 1916 and 1923.
It is part of a wider programme by the Department of Defence to catalogue Military Service Pensions which include 300,000 files.
The records contain service pensions from veterans involved in the Easter Rising, the War of Independence and the Civil War and those awarded the 1916 Medal and The Service (1917-1921) Medal.
It also includes details on allowances from the dependents of those killed on active service or from those wounded or incapacitated while on duty.
The first phase of the digital archive was launched at the GPO by Taoiseach Enda Kenny, Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht Jimmy Deenihan, and Minister for Justice, Equality and Defence Alan Shatter.
"I would like to thank all those who have put so much work into bringing this project to fruition," the Taoiseach said.
"IT IS AN IMPORTANT PART OF THE GOVERNMENT'S CENTENARY COMMEMORATION PROGRAMME AND HONOURS THE MEMORY OF THOSE WHO LIVED AND SERVED THEIR COUNTRY DURING THIS DEFINING PERIOD IN IRISH HISTORY."
A phased release of material into the public domain is planned but not all of it will be complete by the 1916 anniversary.
Mr Shatter said: "The collection records the personal commitment and sacrifice by those men and women who shouldered the task of gaining independence."
The material is available at www.militaryarchives.ie