Frequently asked questions

Is this the whole of the Parliamentary record? currently contains:

  • all debates and oral questions in the Dáil record back to January 20th 2004
  • written answers to questions back to January 20th 2004
  • Seanad debates back to September 2002
  • Committee transcripts back to September 2012

But this is by no means everything. Think of what we've done thus far as a mere taster of what could be possible. In the future we plan to expand the material you find here all the way back to the foundation of the State. If you want the complete, definitive record, go to the Oireachtas Debates site, and you might be able to find what you want.

How do you moderate comments?

Ideally, we won't. If everyone keeps to the House Rules, that is. But we're not naive enough to think that life online is that simple. operates a 'reactive moderation' policy. We will only check whether a comment breaches our House Rules if someone lets us know of their concerns via the 'Report this Comment' link, which can be found next to every comment. If we decide that the comment has breached our House Rules, we will delete it and let the original author know via email. We will also give them opportunity to rephrase and resubmit their orginal comment. If we deem the comment to be legit, we'll leave it up, and email the complainant to let them know why. We will do our utmost to respond to reports of potential breaches of our House Rules within forty-eight hours, but please bear in mind that this service is run by volunteers, and sometimes it might take us slightly longer.

What is your privacy policy?

Our privacy policy is very simple:

  1. We guarantee we will not sell or distribute any personal information you share with us
  2. We will not be sending you unsolicited email
  3. We will gladly show you the personal data we store about you in order to run the website.
What is your cookie policy?

We use cookies to save you from having to repeatedly log in to the site, and also to remember who your local TDs are. The site will work with cookies disabled, but it won't be as good.

What's that weird 'google-analytics' and 'pageTracker' javascript I spy in your page source?

We use Google Analytics to track aggregated traffic through the website. It captures nothing that you won't find in an Apache logfile, but has an interface we like, and is dead easy to use. Rest assured, we only track usage data for one reason only: to help us understand how we can make the site work better for you lot. If you want to whinge to us about 'Web Bugs', expect short shrift.

What is RSS?

RSS files contain information about a list of things: diary entries, speeches, etc. and are formatted to be readable by computer programs, rather than humans. So what use are they? You can use a program called a news reader to store the locations of RSS feeds, and each time one is updated - with new diary entries or speeches - you can easily see what's new. It saves you visiting web pages on the off-chance anything new has appeared. Popular RSS readers are Sharpreader for Windows or NetNewsWire Lite for Macs. Google Reader is an online RSS reader.

Why should I read in more depth than just the numbers?

A few people have asked why we publish statistics on how often TDs or Senators use alliterative phrases, such as "public-private partnership". In the UK, these stats -- which also appear on our 'cousin' site TheyWorkForYou -- have even been mentioned in the House of Commons.

Simply put, we realise that data such as the number of debates spoken in means little in terms of a member's actual performance. Parliamentarians do lots of useful things which we don't count yet, and some which we never could. Even when we do, a count doesn't measure the quality of a TD's contribution.

Furthermore, speaking privileges in the Dáil are not what normal people would regard as 'fair'. Members from smaller parties are severely restricted in their ability to make contributions, and that artificially reduces their total of contributions as counted on this web site.

We've done two things. We've added the silly statistic, to catch your attention. And we do not publish absolute rankings. Instead of saying a TD is exactly 5th for giving out verbiage in the chamber, we just say that they are "well above average".

Our advice — when you're judging your TD, read some of their speeches, check out their website, even go to a local meeting and ask them a question. Use KildareStreet as a gateway, rather than a simple place to find a number measuring competence.

If you have suggestions for other metrics we could add which would be useful, send them to the usual address. We've got a few ideas ourselves, to keep you on your toes.

Do you have the data as a spreadsheet file, XML or in an API?

Yes. We have an API (Application Programming Interface) which gives you the power to do almost anything with our data. It will be available soon. If you just need a spreadsheet of TDs, you'll find one on the right hand side of this page. Please mail us if you want help working out how to use the data, or want to hire us to make something specific for you.