S.I. No. 218 of 2016
FREEDOM OF INFORMATION ACT 2014 (SECTION 37(8))
The Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform, in exercise of the powers
conferred on him by section 3 of the Freedom of Information Act 2014 (No. 30
of 2014), hereby makes the following regulations:
1. These Regulations may be cited as the Freedom of Information Act 2014
(Section 37(8)) Regulations 2016.
2. In these Regulations a reference to a section is a reference to a section of
the Freedom of Information Act 2014 (No. 30 of 2014).
Revocation and transitional
3. The Freedom of Information Act 1997 (Section 28(6)) Regulations 2009
(S.I. No. 387 of 2009), referred to in these Regulations as the “2009 Regulations”,
are revoked but any action commenced under the 2009 Regulations
shall continue to be performed and shall be completed after the commencement
of these Regulations as if the 2009 Regulations had not been revoked.
Disclosure of personal information permitted in two defined cases
4. Notwithstanding section 37(1), an FOI request may be made for records
which involves the disclosure of personal information (including personal information
relating to a deceased individual), and shall, subject to the other provisions
of the Freedom of Information Act 2014, be granted if the case falls—
(a) within a case to which Regulation 5 applies and, in addition, the condition
specified in Regulation 6 is satisfied, or
(b) within a case to which Regulation 7 applies.
First defined case in which disclosure permitted
5. This Regulation applies to a case in which the requester is a parent or
guardian of the individual to whom the record concerned relates and that individual
belongs to one of the following classes of individual:
(a) individuals who, on the date of the request, have not attained full
(b) individuals who have attained full age, being individuals who—
(i) at the time of the request have, or are subject to, a psychiatric
condition, mental incapacity or severe physical disability, the
Notice of the making of this Statutory Instrument was published in
“Iris Oifigiúil” of 6th May, 2016.
incidence and nature of which are certified by a registered medical
(ii) by reason of that condition, incapacity or disability, are incapable
of exercising their rights under the Act.
Supplemental provision with respect to operation of first defined case
6. The condition referred to in Regulation 4(a) is that the individual specified
in Regulation 5 is an individual access to whose records would, in the opinion
of the head having regard to all the circumstances, be in the individual’s best
Second defined case in which disclosure permitted
7. This Regulation applies to a case in which the individual to whom the
record concerned relates is dead (“the individual”) and either—
(a) the requester concerned belongs to one or other of the following
(i) a personal representative of the individual acting in due course of
administration of the individual’s estate or any person acting with
the consent of a personal representative so acting,
(ii) a person on whom a function is conferred by law in relation to
the individual or his or her estate acting in the course of the
performance of the function, or
(b) the requester is the spouse or the next of kin of the individual and, in
the opinion of the head, having regard to all the circumstances, the
public interest, including the public interest in the confidentiality of
personal information, would on balance be better served by granting
than by refusing to grant the request.
Supplemental provision with respect to operation of second defined case
8. For the purposes of Regulation 7:
“next of kin” means:
(c) brother or sister,
(d) a niece or nephew, or
(e) any other person standing nearest in blood relationship to the individual
in accordance with section 71(2) of the Succession Act 1965
(No.27 of 1965),
and Regulation 9 supplements this definition;
“personal representative” means a personal representative within the meaning
of the Succession Act 1965;
“spouse” includes, in addition to a lawful spouse:
(a) a party to a marriage that has been dissolved, being a dissolution that
is recognised as valid in the State, and a person who is living apart
from his or her spouse pursuant to a deed of separation;
(b) a man or woman who was not married to, but cohabited as a spouse
with, the deceased individual; and
(c) a civil partner within the meaning of the Civil Partnership and Certain
Rights and Obligations of Cohabitants Act 2010 (No.24 of 2010).
Supplemental provision with respect to definition of “next of kin”
9. The definition of “next of kin” in Regulation 8 shall operate so that, where more than one paragraph of it is applicable in a given case, the person falling within whichever paragraph is numerically the lowest shall alone be regarded as the next of kin of the individual concerned.
GIVEN under the Official Seal of the Minister for Public Expenditure
27 April 2016.
Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform.
(This note is not part of the Instrument and does not purport to be a legal interpretation.)
These Regulations prescribe the classes of individual whose records will be made available to parents and guardians, and the classes of requester to whom the records of deceased persons will be made available, having regard to relevant circumstances and to guidelines published by the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform.