New Military Archives Building opens today

President Higgins attended the event in Cathal Brugha Barracks

New Military Archives Building opens today

President Michael D. Higgins arriving at Cathal Brugha Barracks | Image: Brian Lawless / PA Wire/Press Association Images

President Michael D Higgins has officially opened the new Military Archives Building at Cathal Brugha Barracks.

The building is the fourth of nine facilities to open as part of the Ireland 2016 Centenary Programme, and will serve as a permanent reminder of this commemorative centenary year.

The Military Archives is the place of deposit for archival records of the Defence Forces, the Department of Defence and the Army Pensions Board, and aims to improve and facilitate greater public access to this material.

Speaking at the event, President Higgins emphasised the importance of the site as "a place in which are preserved the voices from our past".

Today also marks the launch of the fourth release of material from the Military Service (1916-1923) Pensions Collection.

The release is of the Medals Series Database from the collection and its associated files.

This includes almost 300,000 application files for pensions, allowances and medals as well as supporting documentation.

The 1916 Medal recognised those who were engaged in active service during the 1916 Rising and those who served during the period 1917-1921.

The acting Defence Minister Simon Coveney, and acting Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht Heather Humphreys also attended the event.