Retention of Records Email Campaign


On Tuesday 26thNovember 2019, the Oireachtas Joint Committee on Education and Skills heard powerful testimony from survivors of abuse in Ireland’s institutions. It also heard from experts in human rights, data protection law, history and archives. All were deeply concerned about the Retention of Records Bill 2019.

You can access the video of the Committee hearing here. The written submissions to the Oireachtas Joint Committee on Education and Skills by several survivors, members of the group Transformative Justice Ireland and others, including Catríona Crowe, Former Head of Special Projects at the National Archives of Ireland, and Dr Fred Logue, solicitor specialising in data protection law, are available online here.

The Retention of Records Bill denies survivors’ rights to access their own personal information, and if passed, it will seal for at least the next 75 years all records relating to the State’s investigation of abuse in industrial and reformatory schools.

If you agree that this Bill should be stopped, please use the link below to email TDs and Senators. 

Survivors’ testimony at the Committee, and the results of a Department of Education consultation in July 2019, make it clear that this Bill goes against the wishes of many survivors.

Not all survivors wish to have their testimonies made publicly available and no-one should be compelled to do so. However, this Bill will seal all survivor testimonies and personal files, regardless of survivors’ wishes, as well as all the administrative records relating to the system underpinning the abuse of children in industrial and reformatory schools.

If this Bill is passed, crucial records relating to so-called ‘historical’ abuses will be hidden from public scrutiny for at least 75 years. Survivors will not be entitled to access their own transcripts of evidence. Family members who lost relatives in the industrial and reformatory schools will have to wait 75 years before they can learn about what became of their relatives.

If this Bill becomes law, the voices of 15,367 institutional abuse survivors who gave testimony to the Ryan Commission and the Redress Board will be silenced for the next 75 years. 

If you agree that this Bill should be stopped, please use the link below to email TDs and Senators.

When you click the link[s] below, your email client will open a pre-composed email. We encourage you to change the subject line (this will stop it from being blocked from the Oireachtas spam filters) and to personalise it as much as possible. And, please don’t forget to sign it!

Click here to email all TDs and Senators

Having difficulty using the links above? Click here for an alternative method of emailing.