Controversy Within Irish Government About Fees Charged by Online Genealogical Service

In an article published in The Irish Times on March 13th, 2008, it appears that there is a controversy within the Irish government about the fees that the Irish Family History Foundation is charging for access to databases containing Irish genealogical records.

Fine Gael spokeswoman for Arts, Sports and Tourism, Olivia Mitchell, stated that “The gathering and digitalisation of the parish records was done at public expense and it was always envisaged that this kind of public information should be made freely available to the public.”

To read the complete article, go to:

The fees being charged for each viewed record was initially set at 10 Euros, but it was temporarily lowered to 5 Euros in order to attract attention within the genealogical community. It definitely has attracted attention, but not all of the attention has been favorable. A search of the Irish-oriented genealogical mailing lists hosted by Rootsweb reveals quite a few gripes about the services being offered by IFHF, and the total costs involved in trying to gather meaningful genealogical data from the service provider.


One Response to Controversy Within Irish Government About Fees Charged by Online Genealogical Service

  1. Sheila Block says:

    The IFHF has really missed the boat with this service as the researcher is only provided a name, date and county for a possible connection. The information provided for the sum of 5 Euro is transcribed, not the original document! Three problems here. 1.) If the family name is, say, Burke, you can get too many hits in Galway for even a year to be useful, without spending a fortune. The index doesn’t narrow down your search to a Townland, or even a Civil Parish 2.)Transcriptions are notoriously innacurate and you don’t ever see the original.

    The Gold standard is Scotland’s People. You pay 6 English pounds, you get 30 units for 90 days to search an index which, with practice, can be manipulated to narrow down your search. When you decide to buy, you get the digitized image of the actual document.

    I am very disappointed in the mendacity and unfriendliness of the Irish site.

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