Some really sad news for archives in the budget from Ireland today, the National Archives of Ireland is being amalgamated with the National Library of Ireland and will loose its separate identity. The history of the National Archives of Ireland is indeed a sad one – its predecessor, the Public Record Office of Ireland was established under the Public Records (Ireland) Act, 1867 to acquire administrative, court and probate records over twenty years old. During the Civil War, the Four Courts, where it was based, was seized and the repository building destroyed by fire in June 1922, along with most of the records, some dating back to the thirteenth century.When the southern part of Ireland became independent as the Irish Free State in 1922, the Public Record Office of Northern Ireland was set up to take over the records of that part of Ireland which remained in the United Kingdom.
The National Archives of Ireland (Irish: Cartlann Náisiúnta na hÉireann) is the official repository for the state records of the Republic of Ireland. It was established by the National Archives Act 1986, it came into existence in 1988, taking over the functions of the State Paper Office and the Public Record Office of Ireland. The National Archives moved to its current premises in Bishop Street, Dublin, in 1991. What does the future hold for its records and its fantastically hard working and amazing staff? or for the documentary heritage and memory of Ireland and its government? Does anyone care? I do and so should the citizens of Ireland and beyond.