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Friday, 16 September 2011

GRO digitisation still four years from completion

The digitisation of Ireland's civil registration records, which seems to have been in an 'on-off' state of slow progress for many years, will take another four years to complete, according to TD Joan Burton, Minister for Social Protection.

In a written response to questions from TD Catherine Murphy, she explained that the project is 'an extremely labour-intensive task, requiring a high level of skill, great attention to detail and extensive quality control', adding 'resources are very limited.'

The project, which is continuing at the General Register Office's Head Office in Roscommon, has cost about €10million so far, and a further €1.5million is needed to complete it.

There is still no certainty that the historic records will be made available online for public consumption, nor is there any decision yet as to whether charges for copy bmd certificates or online images of them would increase.

The issue of charging for historical records is, of course, a hot potato at the moment. See CIGO's report of last week's Meeting on Genealogy Records at the National Library.