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Freedom of Information


What is Freedom of Information?


The Freedom of Information (FOI) Act came into effect on 21 April, 1998 and was amended on 11 April, 2003 by the Freedom of Information (Amendment) Act 2003.


Under FOI you have a right to:

  • access records held by a Government department or certain public bodies
  • request correction of personal information relating to you held by a Government department or certain public bodies where it is inaccurate, incomplete or misleading
  • obtain reasons for a decision made by a Government department or certain public bodies where the decision affects you


What records can I ask for under FOI?


You can ask for the following records held by a department or certain bodies:

  • any records relating to you personally, whenever created
  • all other records created after 21 April, 1998

A ‘record’ can be a paper document, information held on computer, printouts, maps, plans, microfilm, microfiche, audio-visual material, etc.


You do not have to give a reason as to why you want access to particular records, and the Government department or body concerned must give you an explanation if it refuses you access to any record that you have looked for. A decision on your FOI application must normally be made within 20 working days.


For more comprehensive information on Freedom of Information including the text of the FOI Acts, please visit the FOI Central Policy Unit website at


Contact details

Arising from the division of responsibilities between the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs and the Minister for Justice and Equality (please see About Us) requests under the FOI Acts should now be forwarded to the relevant areas, as follows:


All requests under the FOI Acts in relation to:

The  National Youth Justice Strategy; Children Detention Schools at Oberstown, Lusk, Co. Dublin and related issues under the Children Act 2001 should be forwarded to:


Address:        Freedom of Information Officer

                       Department of Children and Youth Affairs   

                       43 - 49 Mespil Road

                       Dublin 4

Telephone:    +353 1 6473000 Extn: 3167



All requests under the FOI Acts in relation to:

Youth crime policy and law, including crime prevention/reduction/detection, criminal proceedings and diversion and community sanctions (including community projects) should be forwarded to:


Address:          Freedom of Information Officer

                         Department of Justice and Equality

                         51 St. Stephens Green

                         Dublin 2

Telephone:      +353 1 6028202 Extn:8408/8417

Lo-Call:           1890 221227 Extn: 8408/8417




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