National Archives building to close until next week after water damage

Census records from 1926 were unaffected by leak on top floor of building and review of all records on-site has been completed

The National Archives building is to remain closed to the public until Tuesday to allow essential works to be completed following damage caused by a leak on the top floor of the building on Wednesday.

The leak was detected at 7.20am and emergency control plans were “immediately activated”, according to the Government.

Staff from the archives, as well its facilities management company, the Office of Public Works, electricians, plumbers and ICT specialists were on site from early morning to bring the situation under control.

A spokeswoman for the Department of Tourism, Culture and Arts said a complete review of all records on-site had been completed on Wednesday night. “We have assessed 1,000 boxes of records that initially seemed to be most damaged,” she said.


“All records in these boxes are thankfully safe and we do not need to provide emergency conservation on any records.

“The robust nature of our archival boxes and emergency recovery procedures minimised any damage. The collections are safe which is our primary concern.”

National Archives director Orlaith McBride said they were on-site “all day” assessing the extent of the damage.

“The special archival storage boxes and folders used by the National Archives are designed to withstand a high degree of water ingress,” she said.

“Any damaged boxes from the affected areas have been removed to secure storage and are undergoing further examination. We can confirm that Census 1926 records have not been affected.

“Most of our records have already been moved off-site and are stored in secure storage elsewhere in anticipation of a major redevelopment project which is due to commence shortly.”

Minister for Tourism, Culture and Arts Catherine Martin visited the premises on Bishop Street in Dublin to view the damage caused by the leak. “I would like to commend the staff at the NAI for their speedy management of the situation,” she said.

“The National Archives collections are of great value to those researching the political, social and economic development of Ireland from the 18th century to the present day, as well as being of great use for family and local history research.

“The department is committed to ensuring they are supported in any way to ensure their collections are secure for future generation.”

Colin Gleeson

Colin Gleeson

Colin Gleeson is an Irish Times reporter