Wednesday 12 June 2024

Did you hear the groan? Data Protection concerns strike again

The 1899 and 1908-1915 Dublin Voters Lists remain
available to view. Only the lists from 1938-1964
have been removed.

Two weeks ago, on the fine morning of Tuesday 28 May, the Irish genealogy world woke to learn that five incredibly useful Dublin databases – all previously accessible Dublin City Council's website until unceremoniously taken offline in March – had found a new online home thanks to genealogist John Grenham. (Read my blogpost here.) Oooo. There was much happiness and skipping.

It didn't last. By the end of the day, one of those databases had again been taken offline. It holds the Dublin Voters’ Lists 1938–1957.

Seriously? Names of individuals with their residences back 90-odd years ago? These people had to be 21 to have half a chance of being recorded as a voter, so most of them would have appeared in at least one Irish census.

If there is such concern about database protection, so be it, but surely a partial removal – of those individuals born less than 100 years ago – would suffice.