Tusla - Ireland's Child & Family Agency

Freedom of Information


The Freedom of Information Act 2014 (“FOI Act”) came into effect on the 14th October, 2014 and repealed the 1997 and 2003 Acts.

What is FOI?

The FOI Act provides that from the effective date, every person has the following legal rights:

  • The right to access records held by FOI bodies.
  • The right to have personal information amended where such information is incomplete, incorrect or misleading.
  • The right to be given reasons for decisions taken by public bodies that affect them.

The Freedom of Information Act recognises strong rights in relation to personal privacy, and in most cases, personal records are only released to the person to whom they relate. However, regulations are in place to enable parents and guardians to apply for these rights in some instances. These regulations also apply to personal representatives acting in due course as administrator of a deceased individual’s estate, or any person acting with the consent of a personal representative and next-of-kin to access records.  The relevant ruling, is under Regulation 218 of 2016 .

The Act asserts the right of members of the public to obtain access to official information to the greatest extent possible, while remaining consistent with the public interest and the right to privacy.  The purpose of the FOI Act is to encourage greater transparency between FOI bodies and members of the public.

The Act requires FOI bodies to respond to requests for information they hold within a certain timeframe. As such, your request should be acknowledged within 10 working days and in most cases, a decision should issue within four weeks.

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What type of information can I access and how much does it cost?

  • Requests for personal information under FOI are usually free and apply to all records held regardless of when they were created.  Charges may apply in cases where significant records exist, and the requester is not agreeable to reduce the scope of the request.
  • There is no upfront fee for requests for personal information at the first level of decision making; furthermore, charges may be applied for non-personal requests, for the time spent finding and retrieving records and for certain reproduction costs incurred by Tusla in providing you with the material requested.  The fee regime is set out in ​ S.I. 531 of 2014.  This Statutory Instrument sets-out the following fee arrangements:
    • There is a minimum threshold of €101 below which no search, retrieval and copying fees can be charged. Once the charge reaches €101, full fees apply;
    • There is a cap on the amount of search, retrieval and copying fees that can be charged of €500;
    • There is a further upper limit on estimated search, retrieval and copying fees at €700 above which an FOI body can refuse to process a request, unless the requester is prepared to refine the request to bring the search, retrieval and copying fees below the limit;
    • The fee for internal review under Section 21 is now €30 (€10 for medical card holders and their dependants)
    • The fee for appeals to the Information Commissioner under Section 22 is now €50 (€15 for medical card holders and their dependants).
    • The following reproductive charges may also apply:

Type of Charge 

Standard Charge

Search and retrieval of records€20 per hour
Photocopying4 cent per sheet
CD-ROM containing copy of documents€10
Radiograph (X-ray) containing copy documents€6

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Is it always necessary to make an FOI Act request?

  • Tusla will make every effort to provide you with information when you are accessing services.
  • Access to personal information will be available through an administrative access route in most circumstances. You can avail of this route by writing the information/record you are requesting to the appropriate officer, and by providing state issued identification such as drivin license or passport.
  • Tusla publishes a great deal of information about its services in the form of information leaflets and ​ annual reports.  

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How do I make a request?

  • A request must be in writing (this can be done by post or by email using the link below) and must specify that it is being made under the Freedom of Information Act 2014.
  • You can use Tusla’s FOI form for convenience. The request within this form to complete ‘personal’ details about you however (e.g date of birth), is only relevant when you are seeking access to personal records.
  • If you are unsure as to how to submit a request, Tusla will be happy to assist you.  You may also give consent for someone else to access information on your behalf, but such consent must be provided in writing.
  • You should provide clear details of your name and address.  If you are seeking access to personal records it is important to also provide previous address details relating to the time you were receiving services provided by Tusla.  Providing details of where you have accessed services will help in locating the records you are seeking.
  • It is important that you set-out clearly what records you are requesting. In cases where it is not clear what records are being requested, you will be contacted by Tusla to seek clarification.  Please be aware that a request for records must enable the records to be identified by the taking of reasonable steps by a public body.  Requests which are unclear or have a broad scope may stand to be refused.
  • In the case of requests for personal information, Tusla will ask you to provide a copy of certified state issued proof of identification such as Passport, Driving License or Public Services Card. Certification may be obtained from your local Garda Station by presenting in person with the original document and a photocopy of same.  This step is necessary in order to ensure that your personal information is not inappropriately disclosed.

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Where do I send my Tusla FOI request to?

If you have received services as a client of Tusla and are requesting access to personal information, you should direct your request to the area where you have received such services.  Access requests of a corporate/non personal nature are processed within Tusla Corporate Services.  Contact details for each Service/Area are set-out below:

Area/Service

Address

Contact Details

Corporate Services

Freedom of Information Unit,
Corporate Services,
Brunel Building,
Heuston South Quarter,
Dublin 8

01 7718641
corporatefoi@tusla.ie

Dublin South City

Tusla - Child and Family Agency,
Bridge House, Cherry Orchard Hospital,
Ballyfermot, Dublin 10

076 6955587

catherine.hanlon3@tusla.ie

Dublin South East

Tusla - Child and Family Agency,
First Floor, Trinity Building,
IDA Business Park, Southern Cross Road,
Bray, Co Wicklow.

01 2736404

fran.mcallister@tusla.ie

Wicklow 

Tusla - Child and Family Agency,
Newtown Primary Health Care Centre,
Newtownmountkennedy,
Co Wicklow

01 2018513

suzanne.nolan@tusla.ie

Dublin South West, Kildare, West Wicklow 

Tusla - Child and Family Agency,
Suite7, Vista Primary Care Centre,
Ballymore Eustace Road, Naas,
Co Kildare.

045 839316

breda.odowd1@tusla.ie

Midlands 

Tusla - Child and Family Agency,
Health Centre, Dublin Road, Longford

043 3350169

barbara.geraghty@tusla.ie

Cork and Kerry

Tusla F.O.I. Office
c/o/ HSE Office complex,
Kilcreene Hospital,
Kilkenny.

056-7785553
nicolab.kenny@tusla.ie

Carlow, Kilkenny, Waterford,Wexford and South Tipperary

Tusla F.O.I. Office
c/o/ HSE Office complex,
Kilcreene Hospital,
Kilkenny.

056-7785553

nicolab.kenny@tusla.ie

DonegalChild and Family Agency, Euro House, Killybegs Road, Co Donegal.

074-9743027

emer.mullen@tusla.ie

Sligo, Leitrim and West CavanChild and Family Agency, Markievicz House, Barrack Street, Sligo

071 9137630

deirdre.rooney4@tusla.ie

Galway and RoscommonTusla FOI Office, Block B, First Floor, Merlin Park University Hospital, Galway 

091-775414

foigalway.roscommon@tusla.ie

MayoTusla FOI Office, Milllane, Castlebar, Co Mayo

094 9042030

shauna.brennan@tusla.ie

Clare, Limerick and North TipperaryConsumer Affairs Area Office, SE West, 31/33 Catherine Street, Limerick

1850 24 1850

consumeraffairs.west@hse.ie

Louth, Meath 

Tusla - Child and Family Agency
Meath Enterprise Centre,
Trim Road, Navan,
Co Meath 

046 9098500
Cavan, Monaghan

Tusla - Child and Family Agency
Support Services Building,
Rooskey,
Co Monaghan 

047 30487
Dublin North City

Tusla - Child and Family Agency,
Ballymun Healthcare Facility,
Ballymun Civic Centre, Dublin 9.

01 8467129
North Dublin 

Tusla - Child and Family Agency,
180-189 Lakeshore Drive,
Airside Business Park,
Swords, Co Dublin 

01 8708000

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Can Tusla refuse a request for information?

Access to any official information held by Tusla may be sought under the Act; however, in some circumstances it may be necessary to exempt from release certain types of information. These exemptions are set out in the Act.  Records can be refused for any of the following reasons:

  • The record concerned does not exist or cannot be found after all reasonable steps to ascertain its whereabouts have been taken.
  • The request is so large that retrieving the information would cause an unreasonable disruption to the work of Tusla. Tusla is however, obliged to first assist a requester in these circumstances.
  • The appropriate fee has not been paid for the cost of complying with the request.
  • The information requested falls outside the scope of the request.
  • The records contain personal information (other than information relating to the person making the request)*.
  • The records contain information supplied to Tusla in confidence.
  • The records relate to law enforcement and public safety issues.
  • The records contain commercially sensitive information.
  • The request is frivolous, vexatious, repeated or part of a pattern of requests from the same requester or other requesters who appear to be submitting requests in concert.
  • The records relate to the deliberate processes of Tusla.
  • The records relate to the functions and negotiations process of Tusla.
  • The records contain legal advice sought by Tusla.
  • The records have been created by the Courts and a release would be deemed to place Tusla in contempt of Court.

*While Tusla will seek to protect: the privacy of personal information supplied in confidence, and commercially sensitive information; in certain circumstances it may be in the public interest to release such information. Where these matters exist, there will be a consultation opportunity for the third party affected by any potential release of records to appeal such decision.

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What are my rights of appeal?

  • If you are not satisfied with the decision on an FOI request, you may ask Tusla for an “internal review” of the decision. A senior officer will review your application. You will be told the result of this review within three weeks.
  • If you are not satisfied with the decision on “internal review”, you may appeal to the Information Commissioner
Is there a charge for appealing a decision of a public body?
  • A fee of €30 must accompany an application for internal review of a decision of a public body relating to non-personal information.
  • A reduced fee of €10 applies if you are covered by a medical card.
  • There is no fee for internal review applications concerning only personal information relating to oneself or in relation to a decision to impose a fee or deposit.
Fees payable for appeals to the Office of the Information Commissioner:
  • A fee of €50 must accompany most applications for review by the Information Commissioner.
  • A reduced fee of €15 applies if you are covered by a medical card or in relation to a review concerning certain third party information.
  • There is no fee for review applications concerning only personal information relating to oneself or in relation to decisions to impose fees or deposits

All requests for reviews to the Information Commissioner should be addressed to:

Address: 18 Lower Leeson Street, Dublin 2, D02 HE97.
Phone: +353-1-639 5600
Lo-call: 1890 22 30 30 (charges may vary)
Website:  www.ombudsman.ie   

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FOI Publication Scheme

The ‘FOI Publication Scheme’ is based on the principal that all public bodies should publish as much information as possible in an open and accessible manner on a routine basis outside of FOI, having regard to the principles of openness, transparency and accountability as set out in the Freedom of Information Act. The ‘FOI Publication Scheme’ allows for the publication or giving of records outside of FOI provided that such publication or giving of access is not prohibited by law.

Each link below leads to a page from which you can obtain relevant information in the category selected. If the information you require is not available below, you may wish to search the Tusla website using the search function at the top of the screen or to contact the relevant Tusla service directly.





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