Wednesday, 19 June 2013

1926 Irish census to be released - in 2027

There's been a lot of talk recently about the prospective early release of the 1926 Irish census in the Republic of Ireland, but John Grenham's latest piece in the Irish Times paints a very pessimistic picture, noting that the Central Statistics Agency, which has responsibility for it, is adopting an official 'bah humbug' approach. John's piece in The Times is at

A few years back the Canadian and Irish Governments collaborated in a project to get the 1901 and 1911 Irish censuses online, a move that overnight revolutionised - and that is not an understatement - the genealogical industry in Ireland. Today though, this is the second story to seemingly show that when it comes to the release of censuses from the 1920s in the two countries, there is once again common ground of an altogether different nature (see

Don't forget - if your Irish ancestors were in the Free Sate Army in 1922, there is a military census now online from the period at

(With thanks to John Reid)


My new book, Tracing Your Irish Family History on the Internet, is now available from Pen and Sword. My Scottish land and church records ebooks are available at, whilst my next Pharos Scottish course, Scottish Research Online, starts Sep 4th - see Time to smash a few brick walls...!


  1. Hi Chris,

    This is indeed disappointing news, but not unexpected. The Central Statistics Office (CSO) has been against the idea from day one. The Heritage Minister, Jimmy Deenihan TD, is very much in favour of early release of data, but recognises that it will likely only be one feasible through redaction of data relating to people who might still be living.

    Meantime, readers should remember that several years ago CIGO (Council of Irish Genealogical Organisations) successfully obtained confirmation from the CSO that data from the 1926 census could legally be disclosed to individuals named in it or their legal next-of-kin. Though, since they have refused to release such data!

    Those wishing to access such data should join CIGO's campaign by requesting the data on themselves or their family. They will be denied access, but they should then write to the Ombudsman and complain that they are being denied access to data they have a legal right to under section 33(1) of the Statistics Act 1993.

    The Ombudsman has an open file on this issue. The more complaints it receives the better.


    Steven Smyrl

  2. I also read recently that the first census in northern ireland to take place since partition (1931?)has been "lost"

  3. It's the 1926 census for Northern Ireland that has been lost, the 1937 census exists though, as does the 1939 National ID register at PRONI ( - see PRONI website for new updated instructions on how to access the latter (while yet before 1937 is released!)