The National Archives Act provides that departmental files are subject to consideration for release to the National Archives, where appropriate, and open to public inspection. I understand that many of the records relating to the Arms Trial were released to the National Archives in 2000.
While the Deputy will appreciate that some of the records could not be released because they contain sensitive Garda reports or potentially defamatory information, it should be noted that these files are subject to periodic review, including as to whether they should be released. As the Deputy is also aware, related matters were also the subject of reviews by the Attorney General and the then Minister for Justice in 2001. They were also debated in the House at that time.
As I recently informed the Deputy, it is not possible, given the current restrictions, to physically examine all of the remaining documents that exist in my Department. I gave a commitment to the Deputy that the files will be reviewed and will be released as appropriate.
In advance of any such review, it would not be appropriate for me to speculate on the nature of the records held nor their value to historians.