Wednesday 29 January 2020

Ireland's 1926 Census: another call for early release

Catriona Crowe, the National Archives of Ireland's former Special Projects manager responsible for bringing the 1901 and 1911 censuses online in 2008-2010, made another public demand for the 1926 Census of Ireland to be released without delay.
The 1926 census was the first such survey carried out in Ireland following the partition of Northern Ireland.

It is not due to be released until 100 years have elapsed, even though legislation for such a 'closed' period had not been introduced at the time the census was taken.

Catriona was on a discussion panel at the first Out of the Ashes lecture at Trinity College Dublin on Monday evening (the series explores themes of cultural loss and recovery), and spoke to the 400-strong audience about the 1922 fire at the Four Courts building which destroyed so much of Ireland's genealogical heritage including nearly all the surviving early-to-mid-19th-century census returns. The two early 20th-century censuses were spared the flames and were released to the public – early – many years ago.

Promises were made by politicians in 2012 that the 1926 census returns would be released in time for the 1916 centenary ommemorations. Despite getting very close to the green button, it didn't happen.

Catriona encouraged the Out of the Ashes attendees to write to the new Taoiseach, whoever that may be after the 8 February election, asking them to “use their power over the Central Statistics Office (CSO) to open the 1926 Census as soon as possible.”

You can read about the event, and view a video of the presentations, on the TCD website, here.

And if you haven't already done so, you might also like to sign the Council of Irish Genealogical Organisation's Petition for the early release of the 1926 Census. Click the image above.

For more details about the 1926 Census, the informaation it will provide to genealogists, and the fight to get it released, see