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Question

420. Deputy Catherine Murphy asked the Minister for Justice and Equality if all records held by her Department concerning the tapping of the telephones of persons (details supplied) in 1983 were transferred to the National Archives, in full accordance with the National Archives Act 1986; if not, if she will provide a list of all such records, indicating the corresponding retention authorisation from her Department and the Department of the Taoiseach in each case, in accordance with section 8 of the aforementioned Act; if no such authorisations exist, the reason records have not been transferred as of this date; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [34232/15]

Answer

Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Frances Fitzgerald): The records relating to the issue to which the Deputy refers have not been transferred to the National Archives. Regulation 4 of the National Archives Act 1986, Regulations 1988 provides that the age of a record shall be determined by the age of the latest substantive entry on it. Accordingly when considering files for transfer, reference is not just to be had to the date on which the file was created but also the date of the latest substantive records on it, which may fall in a time frame some way beyond the date of creation. For example, files created in 1983 could have substantive records that go beyond the end of that year and this is the case in respect of the issue which is referred to in the Deputy's question. It is the practice in such cases to consider the transfer of files in their entirety by reference to the latest substantive records.