The National Library of Ireland is investigating a situation regarding a cache of more than 400,000 records released by a UK genealogy company infringes on its legal rights to the microfilms behind the records. Ancestry.com.uk published more than 40 million Irish birth, marriage and death records.

According to the Irish Times, the files consist of 433,560 historical Irish Catholic parish records, dating from 1742 to 1884, which were part of a collections assembled by a private company for the National Library of Ireland.

The library director, Fiona Ross, stated that the records were published without permission or knowledge and the library is investigating to determine if it held legal protections relating to the microfilms.

Ancestry.com.uk stated that there was no dispute over the files acquired as part of a bigger tranche of microfilm records last year.

Brian Donovan of Irish genealogy company findmypast.ie and the Trinity-based history and heritage company Eneclann (The link is on my Blogroll), said that it was “deeply regrettable that ancestry.co.uk had published the records without the agreement of the Irish cultural institutions.

An opportunity has been missed here for this work to be carried out in Ireland to facilitate the development of culture, heritage and roots tourism.”

There’s more—click on the link IRISHTIMES.com to read the article.

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