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 and is known as the Freedom of Information (Amendment) Act 2003.

 Under FOI each person has 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 body where it is inaccurate, incomplete or misleading
  • obtain reasons for a decisions made by a Government Department or certain public body 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 access to any record that you have looked for is refused. A decision on your FOI applications must normally be made within 20 working days.

If you have a specific question on making an FOI request to this Department, please visit our Freedom of Information FAQ.

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


Contact Details

All requests under the FOI Acts should be addressed to:

Address:  The FOI Unit
Department of Justice and Equality
51 St Stephen's Green
Dublin 2

Telephone:  + 353 1 602-8202 ext. 8408/8417 
*Lo-Call:  1890 221 227 ext. 8408/8417 
Fax:   + 353 1 676-1837

*Please note that the rates charged for the use of the 1890 (LoCall) numbers may vary among different service providers. It is recommended that you only ring these numbers using a landline as calls made using mobiles may be expensive.