Press Release

Minister Lenihan announces commencement of AIRR Project

Mr Brian Lenihan TD., Minister for Children today (5 July 2002) announced the commencement of the AIRR (Access to Institutional and Related Records) project to index records of people formerly in care of the state.

The Freedom of Information Unit in the Department of Health and Children, in conjunction with the Child Care Legislation Unit of the Department, has commenced a project to create this index. The main phases of the project currently identified are:

  1. Indexing the files held by the Department – in Hawkins House, in off-site storage and at the National Archives, identifying files that hold personal information/records and entering details of these on a computerised index.
  2. Indexing personal records by the name of the individual referred to, recording information such as name, date of birth, date placed in care, type of care, carer, file reference information and location.
  3. Indexing records by institution and service type in the case of files that are relevant to provision of care services but not specifically containing personal information;
  4. Microfilming or digitising the records indexed – where appropriate.

“I am confident that this project will contribute to the development of a valuable archive resource relating to the provision of childcare services provided by the state” said the Minister. “It will also assist people who have spent part or all of their childhood in care of the State and who are now seeking access to records relating to this time”.