Fórsa is among the supporters of a public forum on the future of the National Archives, which takes place in the Edmund Burke theatre in Dublin’s Trinity College at 6.30pm on Friday 27th March.
Abandoned archives: Stories we can’t tell will hear from author and journalist Fintan O’Toole, Justice John Hedigan who chairs the National Archives Advisory Council, Anne Dolan of Trinity’s history department, and Hazel Menton and Niamh McDonnell from Fórsa Archivist’s Branch. The event will be moderated by archivist and broadcaster Catriona Crowe.
The open forum will draw attention to the threats posed to Ireland’s national archives, which were highlighted in a Fórsa report last year, which described a service creaking under the pressure of staff and skills shortages, expanded responsibilities, new technologies, space constraints, and legislative shortcomings.
The event is supported by Fórsa, the Archives and Records Association, the Information and Records Management Society, the Irish Association of Professional Historians, the Irish Society for Archives, and the Trinity Long Room Hub Arts and Humanities Research Institute.
Fórsa wants the next government to overhaul archive and record-management legislation to require public service bodies established since 1986 to maintain and transfer records to the National Archives.
As things stand, high-profile organisations like NAMA, the National Treasury Management Agency, the Garda Ombudsman, and Tusla, have no legal obligation to maintain and archive records for eventual release to the public.
The union also wants better physical infrastructure to store electronic records, and improved staffing and procedures across Government departments and offices to ensure that records are properly managed.
Fórsa official Sean Carabini, who will also speak at the event, praised the dedication and professionalism of National Archive staff.
“There are staffing gaps across all levels and grades, making it virtually impossible for the important work of the archives to be carried out. Without the dedication and professionalism of each and every member of staff, the place would have ceased to function a long time ago,” he said.
Register for the forum HERE.