Historic security papers to be released (Ireland)
In its interim report released yesterday, the Justice Archives Advisory Group concluded that the documents should be transferred over the next 12 months to the National Archives, where they can be made available for unrestricted access. The group, which includes a number of eminent historians, was appointed by Minister for Justice Michael McDowell last February to advise the department on the historical value of its archive of national security records. This comprises records in its possession or under its control and which are more than 30 years old.
It was also asked to advise the department on the arrangements it could put in place to make these records available for research purposes.
The eight-member group was chaired by Prof Mary Daly of the College of Arts and Celtic Studies at UCD.
Its principal recommendation is for the transfer of these records to the National Archives, in stages over the next 12 months.
Mr McDowell yesterday congratulated the group on its work, noting that the interim report dealt with records held by the department relating to security and Northern Ireland matters from the foundation of the State up to 1956.
"By any standards this archive represents a veritable treasure trove of material from the perspective of Irish historians," Mr McDowell said.
"The Department of Justice has long been stereotyped as a secretive and closed institution. In fact my initiative to open up the records to public access has been strongly supported by the senior officials in the department and it is gratifying that the group's conclusions have vindicated and confirmed my own view, and that of my officials, as to the historical value and significance of this archive," he said.
As a result of the initiative, "several new chapters of Ireland's 'secret history' in the twentieth century will now be put before the Irish people", Mr McDowell added.
comments powered by Disqus
- U.S. Textbook Skews History, Prime Minister of Japan Says
- Recalling a Film From the Liberation of the Camps
- Skull Fossil Offers New Clues on Human Journey From Africa
- Are crude conspiracies right? Research shows nations really do go to war over oil
- Famed SC civil rights protesters have convictions erased
- Columbia University professors Eric Foner, Alan Brinkley, and Alice Kessler-Harris to retire
- A powerhouse appropriations subcommittee is now headed by a historian: Republican Rep. Tom Cole (OK)
- Slavic scholars divided over a scholarship sponsored (and withdrawn) by Stephen F. Cohen
- Claire Strom to Step Down as Editor of Agricultural History
- Joan Peters’s legacy assessed by one of her fiercest critics, Norman Finkelstein