Thursday 14 June 2012

APGI not prepared to provide 'diminished' service

The President of the Association of Professional Genealogists of Ireland (APGI) has paid tribute to the APGI members who, until 31 May, ran the Genealogy Service at the National Archives.

Speaking at a Professional Development event in Dublin Castle yesterday, which was attended by all but four of APGI's current members, Helen Kelly spoke of the unanimous decision of APGI's panel of experts not to participate in a tender for the Genealogy Services at the National Library of Ireland and National Archives.

'The decision was taken with a heavy heart,' she said. 'But, in view of the diminished status of the Genealogy Services as outlined in the invitation to tender, the panel providing the GS at the National Archives declined to participate in a bid. During the tendering process this decision could not be made known beyond the panel and APGI's Council as it was commercially sensitive information. For that reason the decision is being announced only today.'

APGI's decision to not compete for the joint National Library / National Archives contract closes a chapter in the Association's history. Helen described it as 'regrettably ending a twenty-three year tradition of assisting visiting family historians on their journey into Ireland's past.'

Rubber-stamping this severance, she concluded: 'APGI, an all-Ireland organisation founded by professional genealogists in a spirit of mutual respect and collegiality, is no longer associated with the Genealogy Service in the National Archives or in the National Library of Ireland.'

The ten members who formed the final APGI Genealogy Service panel are in the photo below. They are (left to right) Helen Kelly, John Grenham, Joan Sharkey, Hilda McGauley, Rob Woodward, Pamela Bradley, Paul Gorry, Nicola Morris, Máire Mac Conghail and Rosaleen Underwood.

Follow these links for my earlier stories about the suspension of the National Archives service and the introduction of the new, reshaped service. The latter, which started work this Monday, is being provided by a consortium led by Eneclann and Ancestor Network. I understand that four of the twelve-person team making up the consortium are APGI-accredited genealogists.