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TU Dublin students get inside the Registry of Deeds

Posted: 7 March, 2019

Established in 1708, the Registry of Deeds in Ireland not only holds deeds and records that relate to centuries of land/property transactions in Ireland but also many records of wills and marriage certificates.

This week TU Dublin students of Geographic Science got inside to understand more about the pivotal role that these legal records play in achieving sustainable environmental and societal development goals.

First year Geographic Science (DT112) students at TU Dublin City Campus are introduced to many interesting topics including Land Administration. To put Irish land/property registration and administration system in context, the students were given the unique experience of visiting the Registry of Deeds in the Kings Inns building, led by TU Dublin’s Senior Lecturer Helen Murray.

The Property Registration Authority’s (PRA) first ever Archive Manager Ellen Murphy brought students on a tour of the Registry of Deeds building and its historical contents. She explained that many of the records there are the only ones of their kind in existence, as many records from the 18th and 19th centuries were destroyed in 1922 in a fire in the Four Courts during the Civil War.  The students heard how to undertake a Names Index search (if the name and period of the property transaction was known) and how this was then linked to a transcript containing all of the details of who bought and who sold a particular property, and for how much.

Expressing her gratitude for the access and understanding they gained, Helen Murray said the TU Dublin students also learnt about the work by PRA to preserve and manage these archives under the expert leadership of Ellen Murphy.  “Over time, there is potential to convert these records and to make them available to the public online, creating a searchable digital repository of a priceless and irreplaceable State archive of land and property information which has much to reveal to students, researchers and the general public in the years to come.”