10 March, 2015 - Minister for Education and Skills publishes draft General Scheme of Retention of Records Bill

The Minister for Education and Skills, Ms Jan O’Sullivan TD, has published a draft General Scheme for a Retention of Records Bill, 2015, which has been approved by the Cabinet.

The draft General Scheme proposals relate to the records of the Commission to Inquire into Child Abuse, the Residential Institutions Redress Board and the Residential Institutions Redress Review Committee. It proposes that on the dissolution of the bodies, their records will be deposited with the National Archives where they will be preserved and sealed for a period of 75 years. Those records which the Director of the National Archives certifies do not warrant preservation will, following the consent of the Minister for Education and Skills, be destroyed confidentially.  After the 75 year period the records will be available for public inspection, subject to such conditions as are determined by the Director and the regulations of the National Archives.

“In keeping with the Motion adopted by Dáil Éireann following the publication of the Ryan Report, these proposals will allow the documentation received by the Commission to Inquire into Child Abuse to be preserved for posterity and not destroyed.  They will also preserve the documentation of the Residential Institutions Redress Board and Review Committee. These records are highly sensitive and contain the personal stories of victims of institutional child abuse.  I believe that it is very important that these records are not destroyed both to ensure that future generations will understand what happened and out of respect to the victims who came forward. By sealing the records for 75 years and ensuring appropriate safeguards on the release of the records thereafter, we are in a position to preserve these sensitive records,” Minister O’Sullivan said.

The Minister has referred the draft General Scheme to the Joint Oireachtas Committee of Education and Social Protection for Pre-Legislative Scrutiny.

The Scheme is available here:

http://www.education.ie/en/The-Education-System/Legislation/General-Scheme-of-the-Retention-of-Records-Bill.pdf

ENDS