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Right of Access

Rights of Access 

Under section 4 of the Data Protection Acts, 1988 and 2003, individuals have a right to obtain from the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine a copy of any information relating to them held on computer or manual filing system.

How to make a request

In order to obtain copies of personal data held by the Department a request must be made in writing seeking the information.

Requesters can be asked to provide additional details that may be necessary to locate the records, such as herd number, personnel number or PPSN. It may be necessary to obtain proof of identity and address to ensure that the person making the access request is acting legitimately.

Requests should be sent to the Department’s Data Protection Unit at:

Data Protection Unit,
Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine,
Pavilion A,
Grattan Business Centre,
Dublin Road,
Co. Laois,
R32 K857.


Is there a fee?

A fee of up to €6.35 will be charged.

When should a response be issued?

Under the Acts, the information requested must be provided within 40 calendar days of receipt of the request.

Are there exceptions to the right of access?

Sections 4 & 5 of the Data Protection Acts set out a small number of circumstances in which the right to see personal records can be limited. For example, individuals do not have a right to see communications between the Department and its legal advisers where it would be subject to legal privilege in court. The right of access to information relating to other people is also curtailed.

Right of Appeal

If the Department fails to comply with a valid data access request, the requester has the right to make a complaint to the Data Protection Commissioner. The Commissioner will investigate the matter and has wide powers to ensure the Department complies with the provisions of the Acts. Financial penalties can be imposed.

Complaints should be made in writing, including email, to the Data Protection Commissioner at:

The Office of the Data Protection Commissioner,
Canal House,
Station Road,
Co. Laois.
R32 AP23
Tel: 057 868 4800

Further Information

The website of the Data Protection Commissioner at is an excellent source of information. They can also provide information by phone or email.