A headline on the Irish Times of 1st January 1909 read: “The Greatest Blessing of All: The Old Age Pension in Ireland”. This followed the introduction of a non-contributory pension for eligible people, aged seventy years and over, by the passing of the Old Age Pensions Act 1908. This Act came into law across Ireland, England, Scotland and Wales in January 1909.
In order to qualify for the Pension, the applicants’ income had to be less than £31.10s.0d. per annum and they had to be of good character. Some people were automatically disqualified, for instance anyone who served a prison sentence within ten years of applying, institutionalised “lunatics”, anyone convicted of drunkenness, or people, who, though fit and able, had a history of “habitual failure to work”. In the first three months of 1909, two hundred and sixty one thousand, six hundred and sixty eight applications were made in Ireland. By 31st March 1910, one hundred and eighty thousand, nine hundred and seventy four Irish pensions were in force. A pensioner whose income was less than £21 got the full pension of 5s. per week. With every extra £2.12s.6d. annual income earned, the pension decreased by 1s. per week. The pension was payable on a Friday and was administered by the Post Office.
Eligibility Proved Difficult
Eligibility for the pension in Ireland proved quite difficult as State registration of births here did not begin until 1864 and applicants had no official documentation to substantiate their claims. Therefore, officials chose to search the 1841 and 1851 censuses for evidence of the applicants’ age. The applicants had to provide the names of their parents and where they lived in March 1841 or 1851, as well as stating the age they believed themselves to be in the appropriate year. Pensions Officers then sent details of the applicant on Form 37 to be checked against the census of the townland or address given, to see if the applicant could be found and his/her eligibility proved. Many searches were successful but, if the applicant could not be located, Form 37 was returned with ‘not found’ or ‘no trace’ written on it.
Records for the Parish
Five records were found for the parish of Killimor under the Old Age Pension Census Search Forms.
Clarinda Connolly – Application Number D10 21006
Clarinda Connolly applied for the pension on the 20th of September 1910. In 1841 she resided with her parents. Their full names were Wm. and Kate Connolly. Their address was given as: County Galway, Barony of Kilconnell, Parish of Killimordaly, Townland of Killimor; part of that address was crossed out and replaced, in pencil, by Barony of Longford, Parish of Killimorbologue. Notes written on the records said “Expedite”, “not in bundle” and “not found”.
Peter Brien – Application Number C20 6110
Peter Brien applied for the pension on the 21st of May 1920. He gave his address as: Lisdeligna, Killimor, Ballinasloe, Galway. He stated that the full names of his father and mother were: Terrence and Bridget Brien (née Smyth) and that their residence in 1851 was in County Galway, Barony of Longford, Parish of Killimorbologue, Townland of Lisdeligny.
Apparently this information was not found on the 1851 census. The application form was replaced on 28/5/20 and a copy of the replacement, together with a S.A.E., was despatched to the applicant’s address on 29/5/20.
Michael Cormockan – Application Number C16 1525
Michael Cormockan of Ballyglass, Portumna, Co. Galway, applied for the pension on the 23rd of February 1916. He gave the names of his parents as Laurence and Bridget Cormockin (née McDonnell). Their address was: County Galway, Barony of Longford, Parish of Killimorbologue, Townland of Oxgrove. Notes written on the records said “Try again for Cormican”, “not found”, and “Only one farm in Oxgrove, viz. John Soughley, herd”. Further notes on the records read “2/- retd”. and “Unless you state the exact name of the tld in which you were living in 1851, your name will not be found in the CRs of that year. If your brother proved his age by means of a CRs kindly forward his certificate to this Dept. 23/3/16”.
Bridget Langtry – Application Number C17 6070
Bridget Langtry applied for the pension on the 13th of August 1917. At the time of application her address was: Mr. Patrick Burnell, Camas, Meelick, Eyrecourt, Co. Galway. The full names of her parents were: Michl. and Anne Langtry. Their residence in 1918 was in County Galway, Barony of Longford, Parish of Killimorbologue, Townland of Rathmoreahanduff, Rathmore Demesne. The records did not indicate if Bridget was awarded the pension.
Maria Coghlan – Application Number C21 1856
Maria Coghlan applied for the pension on the 4th of March 1921. She gave her address as: Old St., Portumna, Co. Galway. Her father and mother were William and Anne Coghlan (née Donohoe). In 1851 their address was: County Galway, Barony of Longford, Parish of Killimorbologue, Townland of Kilcrow. Written on the records was “Form replaced by TW 9/3/21” and “Copy despatched to Applicant’s Address 10/3/21”. The records did not state if Maria was awarded the pension.