Thursday 2 April 2015

Report makes 37 recommendations for the future of Irish genealogy

Readers with long memories may recall some mention on this blog of our politicians trying to gather some idea of where Irish genealogy was at and see if it could help develop 'a plan to capture the full value of our genealogical heritage'.

The Oireachtas Joint Committee on the Environment, Culture and the Gaeltacht heard a range of views back in November/December 2014 and a draft report was presented today by Catherine Murphy TD at Leinster House. In her introduction, she says: 'Ultimately, the report should be considered a snapshot of the current debate regarding the availability and accessibility of genealogical and cultural records and it is hoped that the recommendations made herein would help shape future policy decisions in this area.'

The 38-page Report of the Joint Committee on maximising our cultural and genealogical heritage, makes 37 recommendations. I'm not going to list them all here but from a quick read through, I've pulled out a few to give you a flavour:

Recommendation 7: Appoint a Chief State Genealogical Officer as a matter of urgency.

Recommendation 8: It is desirable that local research facilities are maintained and indeed improved to ensure future growth of genealogy research in Ireland.

Recommendation 14: Urgently undertake a condition survey of Church Records.
Click front cover to download report
Recommendation 22: Introduce legislation, similar to Northern Ireland, to facilitate an online service that is comparable to that recently launched by GRONI. This searchable database should be one that not only provides access to the indexes but also to the scanned images of the civil records.

Recommendation 23: Urgently relocate the GRO [Research Room] to a central location, with modern facilities to facilitate research from visitors both online and in person.

Recommendation 24: Change the 100 year embargo to 70 years to allow access to the 1926 Census records.

Recommendation 26
: Provide funding, or allow for commercial partnership, for the completion of a specific project on the digitisation of the 1926 Census records and ultimately deliver online access on the same level as 1901 and 1911.

To download this essential Easter weekend reading, click the image above. (PDF 3Mb.)