Tuesday, 5 October 2010

1926 Irish Census Petition

There's a prtition available for sugnature online at www.petitionspot.com/petitions/1926C/ seeking release of the 1926 Irish census. The text which explains the rationale is as follows:

We the undersigned petition the Taoiseach [Prime Minister] of Ireland, Mr. Brian Cowen TD, to use the powers vested in his office under section 33 (3) of the Statistics Act 1993 to release the complete returns for the 1926 census.

Catastrophic destruction befell Irish sources for genealogy and history when the Public Record Office of Ireland was consumed by fire in June 1922. The 1926 census was the first compiled since the foundation of the State and includes a few basic facts about the lives of the many Irish people then living who were born before civil registration began in Ireland in 1864. Over 82 years have passed since the 1926 census was first compiled and given this almost every adult alive at that time is now deceased.

In the USA census returns are released 71 years after their compilation. Currently the returns for all surviving US censuses (along with indexes) up to and including that for 1930 can be seen on the Internet. In Ireland, there is a precedent for earlier release of census records. The 1911 census was first made available for research purposes in 1961, only 50 years after it had been compiled. We believe that as the data recorded in the 1926 census was almost identical to that recorded in the 1911 census, then the issue of breach of confidentiality will not arise. We implore the Taoiseach to make the 1926 census returns available to public consultation.

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