Written answers

Tuesday, 29 September 2015

Department of Defence

Military Archives

Photo of Finian McGrathFinian McGrath (Dublin North Central, Independent)
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346. To ask the Minister for Defence the reason researchers and historians who are seeking access to military intelligence, G2, files at the Military Archives at Cathal Brugha Barracks in Rathmines in Dublin 6 are being informed that the collection has been closed for review; what prompted the review; when will the files be re-opened; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [33341/15]

Photo of Simon CoveneySimon Coveney (Minister, Department of Agriculture, the Marine and Food; Cork South Central, Fine Gael)
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I understand that the collection that is referred to in the question contains files created by the Defence Forces Directorate of Intelligence and relate primarily to the period 1939-1945. The material from this collection was temporarily closed for public access in July 2014 in order that a review be conducted arising from concerns that release of files may breach the right to privacy of individuals, under the Data Protection Act. The data protection review of the collection is ongoing.

In addition, an evaluation by a paper conservator is also being carried out at present to assess the damage caused to the records when they are taken from their archival boxes. The conservator has been tasked to conduct an assessment of the paper type and characteristics of the collection, and to make recommendations regarding handling and future access. A date for the reopening of the collection will be provided upon completion of the data protection review and the submission of a report by the paper conservator.

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