Property Losses (Ireland) Committee file for Adolf Worm.
Adolf Worm was a watchmaker who worked for Hopkins & Hopkins jewellers, 1 Lower Sackville [O’Connell] Street, Dublin. The shop was completely destroyed by fire when the building was hit by shells fired from the Helga gunboat on adjacent Eden Quay. He was one of over 500 adult male German and Austrian civilians resident in Ireland when war broke out between Britain and Germany in August 1914. He was arrested under the Defence of the Realm Act (DORA) and detained at the Alien Internment Camp in Oldcastle, County Meath from November 1914. He was still there in August 1916.
Worm submitted a claim to the Property Losses (Ireland) Committee in the amount of £37 10s for a complete set of watchmakers’ tools and ‘a box of 10 new books by Balzac’ and signed the application “Prisoner of War 112 A/11”. Unlike other internees who also applied to PLIC, Worm’s nationality and internment did not prevent his claim from being approved and he received £25 9s in November 1916. He was interned until May 1918 when all Oldcastle inmates were transferred to the Isle of Man before being deported to their country of origin.
The Property Losses (Ireland) Committee was formed on May 8, 1916 in an effort to compensate property owners in the city for ‘Damages caused during the Disturbances on the 24th April, 1916 and following days’. The committee's secretary Hugh Love had a compassionate approach to handling applications for compensation but his superiors, Irish Treasury Remembrancer Maurice Headlam, and Assistant Under-Secretary John Taylor, had the final say in dispensing funds. Payment amounts were arbitrary: awards were usually reduced, sometimes by up to half, others were disallowed for a variety of reasons that included consequential loss, complicity or on the basis of inadmissibility.