Northern Ireland Genealogy & Site News

Publication of 1926 Irish Census given green light


Legislation to allow the digitisation and release of Ireland’s 1926 census will be ratified by the Irish Government in the next few months, according to Heritage Minister Jimmy Deenihan TD.

While unfortunately the 1926 Irish census doesn’t include the six counties of Northern Ireland, it’s release will still be a welcome addition to the online resources available for Irish genealogists.

Heritage Minister Jimmy Deenihan TD confirmed in a statement given in the Dáil (the main chamber of the Irish parliament) that the Cabinet has now approved the plan to digitise the Irish 1926 census returns. Legislation, he said, would be enacted by June or July this year. "Following its enactment, I will have to come up with the resources to implement it. I cannot start the process until the enabling legislation has been passed."

Steven Smyrl of the Council of Irish Genealogical Organisations (CIGO) has been involved in a campaign to allow access to the 1926 Irish census and commented on the Minister’s statement ‘This is terrific news and more than justifies the long campaign which CIGO had led to convince those responsible that the 1926 Irish census returns are an invaluable source for the history and genealogy of the Irish people.

‘The returns, compiled 86 years ago, amount to a ‘family snapshot’ taken just after a succession of tumultuous events in the history of this island. First the Great War, then the 1916 Rising, quickly followed by the War of Independence, partition and the creation of the State and then the fateful civil war!‘

It is hoped that the 1926 census will be released by 2016. The 1901 and 1911 census have been available online for some time through the National Archives website.

Further information available from

The 1901 and 191 census for the whole of Ireland is available free of charge at