Belfast Telegraph

Author Frank McCourt's dad tried to get IRA pension

By Staff Reporter

The father of Angela's Ashes author Frank McCourt tried to get a pay-out for his IRA service in Co Antrim but was unsuccessful, the latest tranche of military archives reveal.

Malachy McCourt claimed that he was in active service for the IRA during the War of Independence - in Three Company, Four Battalion.

His address in the documentation was given as Moneyglass, Toome, Co Antrim. He made an unsuccessful application under the Military Service Pensions Act, according to archivist Robert McEvoy.

The application form that he filled out is contained in the new archives released today.

Malachy McCourt claimed that in 1914, "he would have been a member of the Sinn Fein club, and that during the War of Independence he took part in raids for arms, raids to intercept mail, the burning of barracks, raids for poteen and the disarming of Special Constabulary at Moneynick, in Co Antrim".

Mr McEvoy also said that Mr McCourt "claimed that his home was raided by British Forces". However, he would have been refused a pay-out because the service that he carried out wouldn't be up to the qualifying standard.

General membership and routine activities would not be enough to qualify an individual for a pension.

On the form, Mr McCourt gives dates of continuous service from September 1919 until March 31, 1921, and gives the names of three referees who could testify to his statements.

Frank McCourt died in his adopted city of New York in 2009 at the age of 78, having charted his bleak childhood growing up in Limerick city in his memoir Angela's Ashes.

Belfast Telegraph

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