Monday 3 January 2011

New Year Resolutions - 3

Here's a quick and easy resolution that you can tick off quickly: sign the petition for the early release of the 1926 census.

As things stand today, the release of the 1926 records is caught up in the 100-year-rule that would not see the records made public until 2026.

But the 100-year-rule was not introduced until many years after the census so, according to those campaigning for its release (myself included), there would be no broken promises or breach of confidentiality involved in releasing the records now.

A compromise solution – of redacting information (ie witholding data) for those born within the last 100 years – is a sensible way forward. This was the basis on which the 1911 census in England and Wales was released early. There wasn't even a murmur of discontent about it, and there wouldn't be in Ireland, either.

To read Steven C Smyrl's full argument in the Irish Times go to

And then sign the petition!