Written answers

Wednesday, 18 April 2012

Department of Agriculture, Marine and Food

Land Commission Records

10:00 pm

Photo of Paul ConnaughtonPaul Connaughton (Galway East, Fine Gael)
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Question 1135: To ask the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine the access available to researchers in relation to Land Commission records in view of the fact that many communities are now experiencing the centenary of the division of various estates; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [18924/12]

Photo of Simon CoveneySimon Coveney (Minister, Department of Agriculture, the Marine and Food; Cork South Central, Fine Gael)
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The records of the former Irish Land Commission, mainly documents and maps, are stored in the Records Branch of my Department, located in the Clonminam Industrial Estate, Portlaoise and are considered to be current day to day working documents and have not been handed over to the National Archives.

The Estate title documents are privately owned by the Estates Vendors and their Assigns, and form part of the root of title of those allotted land on the Estate and are not available to the general public for research etc, unlike other State documents in the custody of the National Archives. The other documents in Records Branch are files on individuals who sold land to the former Commission and those who applied for and were allotted land by the former Commission. These files are not available to the general public as they contain private, sensitive information and are protected by the Data Protection and Freedom of Information Acts.

Owners and purchasers of land and their personal or legal representatives are allowed access to and copy of relevant documents/maps. Also, under the Freedom of Information Acts any individual is entitled to view personal data, or third party data, held by this Department, subject to the restrictions laid out in those Acts.

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