State papers from 1982 get low-key response

Thu, Jan 3, 2013, 00:00

The opening of the State papers from 1982 to the public at the National Archives of Ireland has met with a low-key response. Although reporters and academics were granted access last week, yesterday was the first day the public could study the texts.

None of the 16 researchers visiting the archives on Bishop Street, Dublin, were there to view the recently released papers.

According to head of the archives reader services divisionAideen Ireland, this may be due to the timing of the release – January 2nd every year.

“On a normal day, we could have 50-60 researchers come in to study family and local history, but this is an awkward week for many people with starting work and study again,” she said. “It seems to be somewhat consistent with previous years, but I couldn’t say how many people we will see over the next few days.”

Ms Ireland said 1982 was an interesting year, with three elections and the Falklands War, and she hoped these events would entice people to view the papers.

“The usual people who would come in to look at the records would be academics, people publishing books.

“Although we do get people coming in off the street if there is something in particular that they are interested in – or if they think they or one of their family members may be mentioned,” she said.

Ms Ireland said that she was hopeful 2013 would result in a lot of people visiting the National Archives as part of the Gathering.

“Groups come every year from Australia and America, and we’re hoping this will pick up this year.”