Wednesday, 13 October 2021

Connacht & Munster Landed Estates Database is offline due to hack

If you've been wondering (and I know some of you have from my twitter feed and email inbox) why it's been impossible to reach the Connacht and Munster Landed Estates Database for the past fortnight, I now have the answer for you.

On 30 September, a cyber attack was attempted on NUI Galway's IT systems. Access between the campus internet and the wider internet has been disabled while the university's IT, cyber security and data protection specialists monitor and investigate the attack. No data breaches appear to have occurred as a result of the hack

Disabling these systems is obviously impacting all users, especially students and staff. So far, a few workarounds and temporary wifi hotspots have been provided for them, but I think genealogists and historians will appreciate that the landedestates database, which is hosted on the university's site, is not going to be a top priority when students are missing classes and cannot access course materials.

I'm told that techies are now working to restore some of the university's online services and resources. Realistically, it's unlikely we'll see the Landed Estates Database searchable for a couple of weeks.

For those researchers unfamiliar with this extremely useful and free database, the Connacht and Munster Landed Estates Database provides a comprehensive and integrated resource guide to landed estates and historic houses in Connacht and Munster, c. 1700-1914. It holds information, photographs and details of documentary sources, and helps you discover where (or if) landowning families deposited their papers, some of which contain lists and accounts noting tenants and contractors on their estates, and much more of interest.

When the Database is back and running, I'll add the access link to this post.