Tuesday, 15 May 2018

Ceisteanna (604)

Bernard Durkan

Ceist:

604. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht if a copy of the Royal Irish Constabulary investigation notes can be located on the death of a person (details supplied) in 1910; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [20937/18]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Culture)

My Department has sought the advice of the National Archives in response to the Deputy's request. The National Archives have advised my Department that in 1910 legislation did not cover the preservation of records other that court records. Based on the information given by the Deputy, the documents relating to this investigation, if they still exist, could be in a number of places.

The majority of documents relating to investigations into accidents by the Royal Irish Constabulary (RIC) such as the one referred to by the Deputy, if they were still in existence in 1922, would have been transferred to An Garda Síochána at Independence. If investigation notes survive, they could be with the Garda Síochána Museum and Archives, but I understand that the possibility of this is extremely slim.

In some cases, particularly if foul play was suspected by the RIC, the papers would have been transferred to the Chief Secretary’s Office (CSO) in Dublin. If this happened, the documents would have been preserved in the Chief Secretary's Office Registered Papers". The practice in the CSO was to transfer its records to the State Paper Office when the records became 20 years old so that documents relating to this 1910 investigation would have been due for transfer to the State Paper Office in 1930.

If the RIC sent the documents relating to this case, to the Chief Secretary's Office, they would still have been in that Office in 1922 when it was being wound up at Independence and would most likely have been transferred to London. If such transferred records survive now, they would be in the UK National Archives.

In 1986, all documents held in the State Paper Office were transferred to the National Archives on its establishment under the National Archives Act 1986. If the documents had been transferred (early) by the Chief Secretary's Office to the State Paper Office in or before 1922, then they would now be held in the National Archives.

Officials in the National Archives are reviewing registers to check for these documents.