RODGER Rabbitte from Lissyconnor, Dunmore, was very active in the War of Independence and the Civil War. He is pictured in his Volunteer uniform. Photo courtesy of Ted Rabbitte

Galway men and women who served their country

By Mary Burke
THE release of the latest tranche of pension file applications from the Military Archives in November was the ninth release from the Pensions Collection since 2016. The new files relate to claims lodged by 1,170 individuals or by their dependents and contain new information on the War of Independence and the Civil War.
The files reveal the stories of some local men from the north Galway area who served as volunteers with the IRA along with applications from men who joined the National Army under the command of Michael Collins. In all, there are 35 applications from Galway addresses in this collection and they range from Portumna in South Galway to Gorumna Island, Lettermore in the Gaeltacht.
The Military Service Pensions Collection owes its origins to the decision of the Oireachtas of Saorstát Éireann in June 1923 to recognise and compensate wounded and deceased members of Óglaigh na hÉireann, including the National Forces, the Irish Volunteers, the Irish Republican Army and the Irish Citizen Army. Over time, the scope of the 1924 Pensions Act was broadened to include members of the Hibernian Rifles, Cumann na mBan, Fianna Éireann and certain members of the Connaught Rangers.
The files of Rodger Rabbitte from Dunmore reveal an interesting story. Rodger was an active IRA volunteer from 1918 to 1924. He was appointed Captain of the local Kiltevna Company in 1920 and was also a member of the Castlerea Brigade.
He gives concise details of his activities in the Dunmore and Glenamaddy area in his sworn statement to the board in1937. He was involved in arms raids, local ambushes and the burning of both Dunmore Barracks and Glenamaddy Workhouse as well as participating in training, drills and parades. In April 1923 he was cited in a local intelligence report as a dangerous and still active Irregular.
This report is probably why he was arrested later that month on a visit home.