Tuesday, 23 July 2019

Questions (6)

Catherine Murphy


6. Deputy Catherine Murphy asked the Taoiseach the rules regarding the duration of time that must pass before genealogical records can be made publicly available; the statutory basis for the rules; the way in which this rule was applied in the case of the release of the 1911 census records; and when it is planned to release the 1926 census records. [33853/19]

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Written answers (Question to Taoiseach)

Sections 33 and 35 of the Statistics Act 1993 prevent the release of census forms until 100 years after the date of the relevant census for reasons of confidentiality.

The 1901 and 1911 census records were taken under the supervision of the Registrar of Births, Deaths, and Marriages and were not subject to the Statistics Acts of 1926 and 1993.

The Censuses of Population held between 1926 and 1991 inclusive were carried out under the 1926 Statistics Act which did not permit any access to Census records, at any time. However, the 1993 Statistics Act repealed the 1926 and 1946 Statistics Acts and provided for the release of Census forms for these Censuses 100 years after the date of the relevant Census. This retrospective introduction of the 100 years exemption was seen by some as undermining the original guarantee given to householders. However it was generally accepted that 100 years was a reasonable compromise in all the circumstances, including having regard to increasing life expectancy.

Under the Statistics Act, 1993, the 1926 Census cannot be made available for public release until the end of the statute period in 2026.