The Council of Irish Genealogical Organisations (CIGO) is calling for signatures on a petition to request access to these records immediately, instead of after the currently required one-hundred year waiting period. According to their website:
"CIGO is not alone in regretting that the State’s [Ireland's] access policy to census records does not follow the U.S. model, which releases records after seventy years rather than one hundred. This approach appears to work well and is generally accepted by U.S. citizens."The census is of interest to many researching the genealogy of their Irish families, and both Irish and non-Irish citizens are requested to sign the petition. As CIGO states on their webpage explaining the value of the census data, "a very large percentage of the people enumerated would have been born before civil registration began in Ireland in 1864." The 1926 census was the first one taken in the Irish Free State.
Sadly, Irish researchers will find that Ireland's census records available for research are few and far between. The 1910 and 1911 census returns are currently in the process of being digitized by the National Archives of Ireland. However, Ireland's censuses for the years 1821, 1831, 1841 and 1851 were destroyed by fire in 1922 during the Irish civil war. Censuses for the years 1861, 1871, 1881 and 1891 were destroyed because of a bureaucratic oversight.
For more details about the 1926 Irish census visit CIGO's webpage Current Campaigns - The 1926 Census or go directly to sign the petition to open access to the 1926 census of Ireland.
Thanks to Margaret Jordan's Cork Genealogist for sharing the news about the petition.