Friday, 12 March 2010

1939 Northern Irish FOI request successful

Following my request for access to information concerning those present at an address in Belfast as recorded in the 1939 National Register for Northern Ireland, I have finally had a successful outcome.

I made an application in January through the Freedom of Information Act for the details of my grandparents' house in the Greencastle area of the city (see 1939 National Register - Northern Ireland request update). The following is the response I have received today:

Dear Mr Paton

Request for information from the 1939 Northern Ireland National Register.

Please accept my apologies for the delay in responding to you, the query proved to be more complicated than anticipated. We have a duty under the Freedom of Information Act to consult with the functionally responsible authority before any information can be released and in this instance we required legal advice on determining the responsible authority. In this case, we were unable to establish who the functionally responsible authority was, consequently PRONI is going to take responsibility for administering the decision.

Pursuant to section 40 of the Freedom of Information Act, only information relating to deceased persons will be released from the registers. As you have provided the death certificate for Charles Paton, please find below the details relating to him:


The details supplied were for my grandfather only, as I do not have a death certificate as yet for my grandmother, but this will also be forthcoming once I have obtained this and sent confirmation through to PRONI. I was also informed that a third individual was present, but this is likely an uncle of mine, very much still alive.

So to clarify - the application required the address and proof of death. This now means that such information can be obtained from the entire National Register for the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.

Details on Freedom of Information Acts to PRONI can be found at

I'd like to publicly thank PRONI for the way that it handed this request, and for keeping me up to date with developments.

Professional genealogical problem solving and research
Researching Scottish Family History (New book)

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