Council of Irish Genealogical Organisations (CIGO)

Since it was first established in 1992 CIGO has been hard at work on behalf of Irish genealogists. We are a lobby group for the various national and international organisations sharing an interest in Irish genealogical research. We lobby for better and greater access to source material and through our work we give a voice to those involved in Irish genealogical research across the island of Ireland and beyond.

CIGO's Aims

CIGO’s aims, as set out in its policy documents and constitution, are:

  • To provide a forum for family history and genealogical groups and societies which share an interest in Irish research.
  • To encourage, foster and promote greater public knowledge of and access to records relevant to genealogists, whether held by Civil, Ecclesiastical, or private bodies.
  • To formulate, influence and co-ordinate policy on all issues of concern to member organisations.
  • To encourage membership of CIGO by both Irish and overseas genealogical and family history organisations.
  • To recognise achievement in Irish genealogy through its annual Award for Excellence in Genealogy.

CIGO's Successes

CIGO’s many years of lobbying has produced significant results for genealogists. Here are some examples of our success:

  • Republic's Death Registrations: During its Bill stages we acheived important amendments to the Civil Registration Act 2004. For the first time in Ireland, death registrations now note each deceased person's date and place of birth and their parents' names. In The Irish Times this acheivement was described by high profile genealogist CIGO Patron John Grenham as "spectacular".
  • Northern Ireland's Death Registrations: Building upon its success with the Republic's Civil Regisration Act 2004, in 2009 CIGO lobbied for an invitation to give oral evidence before the Northern Ireland Assembly's Finance & Personnel Scrutiny Committee in relation to the Civil Registration Bill 2007. In its submission CIGO called for Northern Ireland to match the data now recorded in death registrations in the Republic.The result was that the committee included provision for the recording of similar data in the list of 'key conclusions' in its final report. GRONI took onboard CIGO's call and the Scrutiny Committee's report when drafting its new regulations. CIGO's is delighted to report that the new registration regulations came into force on the 17th December 2012 and provide for the recording of parents' names in death registrations.
  • UK 1939 National Register: CIGO played a key and instrumental role in challenging the UK National Health Service Information Centre's refusal to disclose data from the wartime National Register (NR). Compiled in 1939, the NR notes census style data about many, many mllions of people - including each person's date of birth. Through our work access can now be gained to the NR for all parts of the UK: England & Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland. Unlike in Scotland and England & Wales, freedom of informarion requests for data can be made to PRONI for information from the NR for Northern Ireland at no cost. However, it should be taken into account that there exists no names index to the NR in Northern Ireland.
  • Ireland's 1926 Census: At the time of the passing of the Statistics Act 1993, CIGO's input reduced the proposed embargo on the release of census data from 100 years to only 70. While this was reversed at a further stage in the legaslative process, it clearly indicates that pragmatic political will exists to try to resolve the issue between right of access and privacy. Meanwhile, in January 2011 CIGO was invited to talk with Ireland's Fine Gael party about the issue and to put forward its views about how early access to the 1926 census might be provided. The result was that a month later Fine Gael included a brief reference to the roots tourism potential of the 1926 census in its subsequently published General Election manifesto. After the election, Fine Gael negotiated with the Labour Party to form a new administration and release of the 1926 census was included in the published Programme for Government. On the 31st March the new Minister for Arts, Heritage & Gaeltacht Affairs, Jimmy Deenihan TD, met with the chairman of the Irish Genealogical Research Society, Steven Smyrl, as part of the celebrations for the IGRS' 75th anniversary. At that meeting, held in the National Library of Ireland, the Minister confirmed to The Irish Times that he intended to establish access to redacted data from the 1926 census and that this might even happen as soon as the end of 2011. In May 2011 he told CIGO that he had referred the matter to the Attorney General to better understand the need for redaction of sensitive data.
  • Statistics Act 1993: As part of our longstanding campaign to obtain access to the State's 1926 census returns, we have obtained written confirmation from the Central Statistics Office that it would be legal under the Statistics Act 1993 to release data from the 1926 census to those enumerated or their legal next-of-kin. On foot of representations by CIGO this issue is currently being investigated by the Ombudsman's Office.
The 2012 Award for Excellence in Genealogy

The 6th Annual CIGO Award for Excellence in Genealogy was presented on behalf of CIGO by Sammy Wilson, M.P., Minister of Finance and Personnel, to Dr Norman Caven, Registrar General for Northern Ireland, in the Public Search room at GRONI in Belfast on 20th December.

Read about previous award winners here.

CIGO would like to acknowledge the assistance of Irish Genealogy Limited in developing this website.

News

1926 CENSUS

CAMPAIGN

Sign CIGO's

Petition

to open the 1926 Census of Ireland.

19th Jan 2014

CIGO member Irish Genealogical Research Society ranked amongst Top 100 Genealogy Websites Worldwide.

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4th Oct 2013

Despite recent claims by some to the contrary, CIGO has established that there will be no restriction in access to GRO's records of birth, death & marriage!

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23rd May 2013

Complete GRO Indexes, dating from 1845, finally to go online!

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24th January 2013

GRO Dublin doubles price of certificates, but local registration offices waive €2 charge.

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21st December 2012

GRONI presented with certificate for CIGO's 2012 Award for Excellence in Genealogy.

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21st December 2012

GRONI brings in new registration regulations that allow for parents' names to be recorded in death records.

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20th September 2012

Here's good news from Dublin's General Register Office about provision of uncertified copies (photocopies) of register entries.

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13th August 2012

Ireland's Ombudsman has published a report about public access to records held by the General Register Office under the provisions of the National Archives Act 1986.

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23rd July 2012

Irish Family History Foundation Adds Quarter of a Million Waterford Marriages to its Online Database

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11th June 2012

An obituary piece for Randal Gill appeared in the Appreciation column of today's edition of The Irish Times.

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9th April 2012

High profile Irish Times genealogy columnist John Grenham comments on the new charging structure recently put in place by the Irish Family Hiastory Foundation.

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1926 CENSUS

CAMPAIGN

Sign CIGO's

Petition

to open the 1926 Census of Ireland.

 

Council of Irish Genealogical Organisations
31a All Saints Road, Raheny, Dublin 5
Telephone: +353 (0)1 4063542
Fax: +353 (0)1 4928645
Email: info@cigo.ie