Monday, 13 May 2013

Irish Statistics (1926 Census) Bill 2013 now online

The Irish government has placed the draft bill online that could see the publication of the 1926 census for Saorstát Éireann, the predecessor state to the current Republic of Ireland. The bill is described as follows:

Bill entitled an Act to amend the Statistics Act 1993, in relation to the first census of population of Ireland taken since the establishment of the State; to afford that census a special heritage status and to have such released to the public for genealogical, historical and other research

To read the full detail, visit

As mentioned on this blog a couple of days ago, the equivalent 1926 Northern Irish census, which was recorded on the same night as the census in the south, will sadly not follow suit, having been pulped in the Second World War - see

(With thanks to Eastman's Online Genealogy Newsletter at


My new book, Tracing Your Irish Family History on the Internet, is now available from Pen and Sword. My next Pharos Scottish course, Scotland 1750-1850: Beyond the Old Parish Registers, starts May 15th - see Time to smash a few brick walls...!


  1. Unfortunately, this is only a Private Member's Bill and is not backed by the government. It might stimulate debate, but it will never be passed into legeslation. Readers need to write to the Department of the Taoiseach to convince the Taoiseach (Ireland's prime minister) to honour his government's pledge (given in the Programme for Government) to open the 1926 census. The Irish eritage Minister (Jimmy Deenihan TD) is right behind this plan, but the Central Statistics Office won't budge. Mr Deenihan woukd like to have the census returns online by 2016! You can email the Taoiseach (Mr Enda Kenny TD) at

  2. If it is never likely to become law, what is the purpose of this private member's bill? Anyone know?

  3. No idea Joan, but the Genealogical Society of Ireland has a record for getting private member's bills published, none of which have ever progressed to legislation. They did get one of their bills debated in parliament once, but that was as far as it ever got. This is their second private member's bill about the 1926 census. But unfortunately, it won't pass into law until the Central Statistics Office has been convinced of its merit. This is unlikely to happen soon and the only real recourse open to genealogists is to lobby the Taoiseach.

    The Council of Irish Genealogical Organisations ( put in a lot of work on this issue too. Their website notes that it was they who suggested the idea of redacting data relating to people born more than 100 years ago. The Minister for Heritage liked this idea and was willing to run with it and to progress the project so that the census data could go online in 2016. No government legislation has yet been publshed, but the Heritage Minister is moving on the issues of conservation and digitisation of the census records.

    Hope this answers your question.

  4. Sorry, in my last email I meant to say "born less than 100 years ago" not "more than ..."