Removal of Dublin electoral database unwarranted"
Data Protection Commissioner should reverse electoral list clampdown"
The Data Protection Commissioner’s threat of legal action unless Dublin City Library and Archive voluntarily removed the database was heavy-handed.
On Friday, August 12th, as part of research into an ongoing intestacy matter, I searched Dublin City Library and Archive’s (DCLA) online historic electoral register database. It comprises an indexed set of scanned images of the surviving Dublin city electoral rolls from 1937-1964. I was hoping to find trace of Joseph McGrane, born in 1881, and I was successful. Three days later, I returned to the database to find a notice stating it had been withdrawn.
Subsequent inquiries established that Cork County Council had approached the Data Protection Commissioner (DPC) about setting up a similar database, but the commissioner’s response had the effect of causing the removal of the DCLA database, apparently because the information could cause “upset” to living people.
Public benefitThe electoral register took its current form under the Representation of the People Act, 1918. While its primary purpose is to record a citizen’s right to vote, current and superseded registers have long-established legitimate secondary uses of “public benefit”, such as proof of identity and residency, credit referencing, historical population analysis, legal and probate research, evidence in court cases, crime detection and genealogy and family history.
Copies are routinely transferred to the National Archives, and local authorities deposit copies with local libraries and the National Library.
Until the Electoral (Amendment) Act, 2001, there was no public restriction on the use of electoral register data. The 2001 Act provides for an “edited” register, comprising details only of those who have “opted in”, which third parties can use for commercial purposes. Yet there remains no restriction of access to the “full” register. It can still be inspected by anyone: the hard copy can be thumbed through at local Garda stations and libraries, while online (checktheregister.ie) one can “confirm” any entry where the name and address is already known to the searcher.
Ancestry adds records
Posted by Kristen Hyde on August 22, 2016
"Our new Irish Police Gazette records from 1863-1893 give fascinating insight into the crimes, wanted criminals, reward systems and missing persons in Ireland during the Victorian era.
The Ireland, Police Gazettes, 1861-1893 records are extracted from ‘Hue and Cry’, the official publication of the Royal Irish Constabulary (RIC) which operated in Ireland from 1814-1922. ‘Hue and Cry’ was a means to communicate secretly between members of the police divisions and contained information on wanted criminals, types of crimes committed, rewards offered, apprehensions, missing persons and army deserters.
About Ireland, Police Gazettes, 1861-1893This collection contains printed publications used for communication among members of the police force in Ireland between 1861 and 1893. It contains information on wanted criminals, crimes committed, criminals who had been apprehended, and missing persons.
The collection can be searched by:
Criminals and reward systems
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