|The current Research Room is a pleasant place to visit|
The current facility is close to Connolly Station, LUAS, DART and many bus stops, and is just a stone's throw from O'Connell Street. To the benefit of genealogists, it’s also next to the Valuation Office, where information about ancestors’ land holdings can be traced back to the 1850s.
The Research Room will reopen in a delapidated former Dole Office on Werburgh Street. The office is currently protected by high security fencing topped with barbed wire.
When asked about the move Steven Smyrl, President of the Association of Professional Genealogists in Ireland (APGI) and executive liaison officer for the Council of Irish Genealogical Organisations (CIGO), described the proposed move as 'appalling'.
|Welcome to the new GRO Research Room|
'I call on Joan Burton, the Minister for Social Protection, who has responsibility for the GRO, to immediately step in and provide family historians from both home and abroad, with a new facility equal to, if not better than, the current one at the Irish Life Centre.'
Thousands visit the GRO's Research Room each year. Rather than having to fight for the facility to stay at its current location, family historians would like to hear that the GRO is listening to their needs and will finally allow public access to its computerised database of birth, death and marriage records, which date back to 1845. Currently, researchers must wade through individual annual hardcopy indexes, and searches over many years can be very time consuming.
By contrast, the GRO in Belfast has full public access to its computerised records with enhanced index data and by the end of year will also allow access to historical records through the Internet. Its research room is based in a well-appointed facility in the centre of Belfast.
(With thanks to CIGO)
UPDATE 20 July: The Irish Times has taken up the story. The move is being billed as 'temporary'. See blogpost.
UPDATE 13 September: Move has still not taken place. See blogpost.