The records of forgotten revolutionary Comdt. Nicholas Newport have been unearthed in the Military Archives, as part of the preparations for the 1916 Centenary commemorations next year.
On Tuesday 21st July the extended family of Comdt. Newport, accompanied by Minster of State for Defence, Paul Kehoe and Fine Gael Councillor Jim Moore, gathered in Cathal Brugha Barracks in Dublin to view the records.
Nicholas Newport, a Wexford native, fought in the 1916 Rising, the War of Independence and the Civil War. He achieved the rank of Commandant, but died at a young age of pulmonary tuberculosis, while in service with the Defence Forces on 26th of May 1925.
While he was posthumously awarded medals for his involvement in both the 1916 Rising and the War of Independence, this was subsequently lost to history however and until now he has not been publically recognised as having fought in the Rising.
While Comdt. Newport’s story has always been a part of the family’s history, they have had many unanswered questions. The chance discovery in the Military Archives has provided a number of answers and has ensured that Comdt. Nicholas Newport and his family will, from here on, receive the deserved recognition for his part in the fight for Irish freedom and the establishment of the Free State.
Speaking at the viewing Minister Paul Kehoe said “The work of the Military Service Pensions Collection will continue to play a significant role in understanding the period of 1916 -1923 and for use throughout the decade of commemorations. Access and preservation of the records of the Military Archives, including the records we have seen today, will be further assisted through the building of the new Military Archives, which is in an advanced stage of completion and is visible at the main entrance to the barracks.”
“I would like to thank Brigadier General Michael Beary for the use of the Officers mess for today’s visit and for the generous hospitality shown. I would also like to thank Commandant Padraic Kennedy from the Military Archives and Ms Cecile Gordon from Military Service Pensions Collection for facilitating today’s visit and for the opportunity to view what are critical records in understanding the events of the revolutionary period.”
“I would also like to thank Brian Spain and the Department of Defence Staff for coordinating this visit and Councillor Jim Moore for acting on behalf of the family.”