Tuesday, 22 October 2013

New GRO Ireland website - classic of civil service design

The General Register Office in the Republic of Ireland has moved to a new website platform, located at www.welfare.ie/en/Pages/General-Register-Office.aspx. It's a true classic of civil service design, but does not seem to offer anything new that the previous site did - the certificate/photocopies ordering site, with the relevant application forms, is now at www.welfare.ie/en/Pages/Apply-for-Certificates.aspx. The previous GRO site link at www.groireland.ie now redirects to the new platform.

Note that the Apply for Certificates Online link on the new page does not offer the four Euros photocopies useful for genealogy research, but redirects to the HSE website where you can only apply for full certificates at €20 each, presumably once you have remortgaged your property beforehand to pay for them. As before, use the application forms on the GRO site itself to apply for the photocopies of the entries - by post, or fax.

The word of today is - anticlimax. One day the GRO might learn how to put a payment system on its own site for those only interested in the photocopies provision - surely someone there knows what a Visa or debit card is?! The idea that in 2013 we're still having to post applications or fax them through is laughable. Are the GRO still also using typewriters?!


For news of forthcoming extended online GRO index provisions being made available via the IrishGenealogy.ie website, see Claire Santry's Back to Our Past report at http://irish-genealogy-news.blogspot.co.uk/2013/10/back-to-our-past-2013-part-two.html.

UPDATE: Read John Grenham's blog post on the new search room for the GRO in Dublin, at http://www.irishtimes.com/blogs/irishroots/2013/10/14/the-new-general-register-office-research-room-is-a-disgrace/. The news doesn't get any better...


My latest book, Discover Scottish Civil Registration Records, is now available from http://www.gould.com.au (print) and http://www.gen-ebooks.com/unlock-the-past.html (ebook), whilst Tracing Your Irish Family History on the Internet is available at http://www.pen-and-sword.co.uk/Tracing-Your-Irish-History-on-the-Internet/p/3889/. My next Pharos Scottish course, Scotland 1750-1850: Beyond the OPRs, starts Nov 13th - see http://pharostutors.com.


  1. typical. they think they will make more money by conning newbies who don't know about research copies into paying full price. the usual short term greet over long term profit. I think they would make more money in the long run by promoting research copies but that would require them to change their attitude and to try to be helpful.

  2. Frustrating as always... Don't they realise that the goose that lays the golden egg only does so once, but the hen that lays the regular egg, does so continually?