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Dáil Éireann debate -
Wednesday, 10 Dec 1924

Vol. 9 No. 24


asked the Minister for Defence whether he is aware that Mrs. Ellen Reilly, Deer Park, Castlecomer, mother of Volunteer John Reilly, No. 53292, 25th Battalion, National Army, made application for dependent's allowance in respect of said son, who joined the Army on 4th July, 1922, and has not received any allowance, although it is stated that the son, prior to his enlisting, contributed a sum of sixteen shillings a week to the support of the home; and whether this poor woman will receive her allowance as soon as possible.

Mrs. Reilly's claim was disallowed on the ground that the amount normally contributed by her son, John, to the home was less than the minimum required by regulations, namely 12/- per week, before an allowance might be issued. Prior to enlistment, John Reilly had been in receipt of 16/- a week and board from his employer. He lodged at home. After making a reasonable deduction in respect of clothing, pocket money, and incidental expenses, the net contribution to the home could not have amounted to 12/- per week.

asked the Minister for Defence whether he is aware that Sergeant William O'Neill, Army No. 14348, who attested on February 1st, 1922, and who was discharged as medically unfit on March 14th, 1924, died in Peamount Sanatorium on March 22nd, 1924, of pulmonary tuberculosis, contracted during his six months' internment, in 1921, in Rath Camp, and aggravated by his service in the National Army; further, that his wife, Mrs. Mary Anne O'Neill, The Knox, Naas, who paid all funeral expenses, is now in very straitened circumstances, and whether he will favourably consider the awarding of a pension or gratuity.

Sergeant O'Neill's death was not due to a wound or injury. The question of awarding Mrs. O'Neill a pension or gratuity is, therefore, outside the scope of the Army Pensions Act, 1923. I regret that her claim had in consequence to be disallowed.

Would the Minister be prepared to consider her claim under the amended Act which it is intended to bring forward?

The Deputy is aware that the amending Bill has not yet been introduced, but if Mrs. O'Neill's claim comes up when the Bill becomes an Act, it will be considered.

Can the Minister say when he proposes to introduce the amending Bill?

It will not be possible to introduce it until next Session.

Is the Minister not aware that an assurance was given by the Vice-President that it would be introduced this Session?

I am not aware that the Vice-President did give that assurance, but from what I know of the Bill at the moment, it would not be possible to introduce it this Session.