Author Archives: Simon McGarr
Dealing with these files sometimes throws up questions of balance. After all, you can see why personal data relating to job inquiries or sometimes even sensitive family matters such as adoptions shouldn’t be released heedlessly into the public domain. But in 2013 the Department of Foreign Affairs decided that file 250/1048, containing “Meteorological Data” covering the years 1953-1981 should be kept secret. The Certificate cites Section 8(4)(a) which requires that the file being withheld shouldn’t be released because it (a) would […]
This is doubtless just your standard fertiliser to make daffodils and such bloom even more lovely. It’s just that, for whatever reason, the Department of Justice thinks that the details of what happened between 1978 and 1981 when they explored the manufacturing of fertiliser by getting the army to test it are still not ready to see the light of day, some thirty years later.
I have no idea what happened over the Halloween Bank Holiday weekend of 1971. I mean, I’m sure lots of things must have happened. But whatever it was that happened in the “Central Statsitics Office Establishment” that weekend, the Department of the Taoiseach thinks that thirty years isn’t enough time for us to know.
I’ve written before about the Irish state’s love of all things secret. When I went rummaging in the legislation that governs how the state keeps things from becoming known I spotted one little moment in the chain when we could- at least obliquely- get a peep at what was being hidden from us. Every year, the state’s agencies and ministries are meant to send their files that are 30 years old to the National Archives, where they are free for […]
Two days after the EU Commission admits to Europe’s top court that they’re not assured of the security of EU citizens’ data when it’s transferred to the US, Ireland’s government scraps their cloud computing plan. I predicted the problems EU data protection law posed for Cloud Computing in this article for the Irish Times from 2009.
Microsoft -v- USA is an important ongoing case, currently listed for hearing in 2015 before the US Federal Court of Appeal of the 2nd Circuit. You can read about why this case is significant for Microsoft on their official blog. However, as the case centres around the means by which NY law enforcement are seeking to access data of an email account which resides in Dublin, it is also crucially significant to Ireland and the rest of the EU. For […]
When challenged on how it has the right to ask for people’s PPS numbers, Irish Water has said that it is a specified body under statute. This is a reference to Section 20 of the Social Welfare and Pensions Act 2014. This section did add Irish Water to the list of specified bodies set out in Social Welfare Consolidation Act 2005. S 262(4) and Sec 262(6) of the same Act are the ones which control what a specified body may […]
Today’s Irish Sun has, on its front page, a story suggesting that compensation will be given to women who were the victims of PIP Breast Implants injuries. Today’s reports have been mostly focussed on an agent (not a solicitor’s firm) who are offering to act as a middleman between women and French lawyers who have had some interim success in suing a certification body under French law in the French courts for damages arising from the PIP scandal. As an Irish […]
In case you missed it with all the World Cup and such, last night UK Labour backbencher Tom Watson put out an urgent call for attention. The UK Gov were trying to bundle a replacement mass surveillance law through Parliament with nobody looking. Unlike here, the UK never brought in a standalone law for Data Retention, just a Ministerial Order directly based on the annulled Directive. As a result the UK were running on empty, legally speaking, ever since the […]
We have written previously about the Coroner’s Court system. If you find a dead body, you are legally obliged to report it. Once certain officials or persons in certain positions become aware of a report of remains lying in the district, they are under a duty to notify the local Coroner. Section 18(1) of the Coroner’s Act 1962 says 18.—(1) Where a coroner is informed that the body of a deceased person is lying within his district and that a medical certificate […]