Thoughts on dependence

As many people will be aware, a lot of genealogy happens on the internet these days. As professionals, we depend on certain websites being available to do our work. is one of those sites. It’s a state-run free website which hosts civil and religious records. When it launched in 2016, I called it a gamechanger. It literally changed how effective I could be as a genealogist.

It’s been offline since last Wednesday afternoon. There’s a problem with the captcha. It’s run by the Dept of Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport & Media, headed up by Minister Catherine Martin. I emailed a contact there on Thursday morning, who replied thanking me for letting them know, and said they were working on it as a matter of priority.

I emailed the same person again on Friday and got a meaningless reply.

I literally cannot run my business without this website, and that’s a problem. It’s compounded by the fact that the public office for the GRO, which provides the same material (at a pay per view price) only opens one day a week now. One of the reasons they get away with such a poor service is because of

Of course, I could revert to how I worked before this website existed, but it’s a slower, more expensive service, which isn’t fair on my clients.

So we wait & hope that it’s back tomorrow. And if not, get in contact with public representatives.

3 thoughts on “Thoughts on dependence

  1. I wasn’t aware the GRO’s public office had reduced to one day a week – that’s shocking! I literally work around the corner from it now – apparently. I’ve only seen it on Google Maps and haven’t ever noticed a sign indicating where exactly the entrance is! It was bad enough “back in my day” but you’d imagine services would improve over time?

    1. They moved to Werburgh St from the Irish Life complex about a decade ago. I presume this was because they own the building here, but it’s not ideal. It’s only got one toilet, very limited sockets to plug in computers, no wifi. There’s only one copy of each book which means you might have to wait a while for what you want.
      The service changing from daily (which it was before 2020) comes from a combination of staff retiring and not being replaced, the online availability, and changes made during COVID (when I understand GRO staff were seconded for contract tracing). Their email service is decent but can be slow on Tuesdays because they’re also handling the public office. You can conduct searches by email with them but there’s still a need for a proper public service.

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