National Archives of Ireland

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National Archives of Ireland
Chartlann Náisiúnta na hÉireann
National archives ireland (doyler79).jpg
National Archives offices on Bishop Street in Dublin
Agency overview
Formed1988 (1988)
  • Public Record Office of Ireland State Paper Office
TypeNational Cultural Institution
JurisdictionRepublic of Ireland, Government of Ireland
HeadquartersBishop Street, Dublin 8, Ireland
Minister responsible
Agency executive
  • John McDonough, Director
Parent departmentDepartment of Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht

The National Archives of Ireland (Irish: Cartlann Náisiúnta na hÉireann) is the official repository for the state records of Ireland. Established by the National Archives Act 1986, it came into existence on 1 June 1988, taking over the functions of the State Paper Office and the Public Record Office of Ireland. The National Archives moved to its current premises in Bishop Street, Dublin, in 1991. The Archives stand on the site of the Jacob's Factory, one of the garrisons held by rebels during the 1916 Easter Rising.

The State Paper Office (founded 1702) was originally based in Dublin Castle and remained there until 1990. The Public Record Office of Ireland, established under the Public Records (Ireland) Act of 1867, was based in the Four Courts and served to acquire administrative, court and probate records over twenty years old.

1922 destruction[edit]

June 30 - Destruction of the PRO at the Four Courts, 1922, during the Battle of Dublin.

During the Civil War, the Four Courts, where it was based, was seized and the repository building destroyed by detonating explosives, resulting in a fire in June 1922 during the Battle of Dublin, along with most of the records held here, some dating back to the thirteenth century.

When four-fifths of Ireland became independent as the Irish Free State in 1922, the Public Record Office of Northern Ireland was set up to take over the records of that part of Ireland which remained in the United Kingdom.


The holdings of the National Archives include:

  • archives of the Irish Government, 1922 – 75;
  • archives of the British administration in Ireland, mainly from the 19th and 20th centuries, but including materials from 17th and 18th century;
  • original census returns from the Census of Ireland, complete for 1901 and 1911, available online, and the surviving fragments for 1821, 1831, 1841, and 1851;
  • archives of the court system, from the 14th century and 19th and 20th centuries;
  • archives acquired from other sources, including Church of Ireland parishes, harbour boards, health boards, hospitals, schools, charities, trade unions, business firms, solicitors' offices, and estate offices, relating especially to the 19th and 20th centuries, but including material for the 17th and 18th centuries;
  • transcripts, calendars, abstracts and indexes relating to original records dating from the 13th to the 19th century which were destroyed on June 30, 1922;
  • private papers of individuals, including Jack Lynch and Liam T. Cosgrave.

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 53°20′19″N 6°16′08″W / 53.338479°N 6.268844°W / 53.338479; -6.268844