Access to information under FOI

Under the FOI Act, anyone is entitled to apply for access to information not otherwise publicly available. Each person has a right to:

  • all records created after the Act commenced on 21 April 1998;
  • all records created earlier if needed to understand records created after that date;
  • all records relating to personal information, irrespective of when they were created;
  • all records of staff created after 21 April 1995, or earlier if used adversely against a staff member.

An internal review and external appeals procedure support these rights.

Definition of a record

Under the Act, a record includes any papers, memorandum, text or other document, any photograph, film or recording or any form in which data are held (whether manual, mechanical or electronic), and anything that is a part or a copy, or a combination of the foregoing.


Access to information under the Act is subject to certain exemptions. Should RCSI decide to withhold information under any of these exemption provisions, the specific exemption clause, which has been invoked, will be clearly explained. Certain types of information are exempt from release where their release would cause a harm or injury prejudicial to the functioning of the College or would be contrary to the public interest.

Examples of exempt records may include records relating to processes still in deliberation; records relating to the performance of certain investigative functions and negotiations; and the disclosure to third parties of personal information, commercially sensitive information or information obtained in confidence.

Making a request

  • The request must indicate that the information is being sought under the Freedom of Information (FOI) Act.
  • Indicate if information is required in a particular format (such as a photocopy, computer disk etc.)
  • Requests should be as specific as possible to enable the information sought to be easily identified.
  • Provide full contact details, including a telephone number and email address where available, so that you may be contacted if it is necessary to clarify the details of your request.

You may be required to provide identification, especially when requesting personal information. A typical form of identification that you could be asked to produce will be a copy of your passport, driving license, student ID card or birth certificate.

If difficulty is experienced in identifying the records required, the FOI Unit will be happy to assist the requester in the formulation of the request.

Refer to FOI processes at RCSI for further details on making a request.

FOI requests must be made in writing to: 

Freedom of Information Unit
123 St Stephen’s Green
D02 YN77

Assistance to persons with a disability

The Freedom of information (FOI) Unit is available to provide assistance to persons with a disability to exercise their rights under the FOI Act. For further information, please contact the FOI Unit.