This Thread is not intended for the debate of the pro or anti Treaty aspect of the Irish Civil War (1922-23). That can be done elsewhere.
On 30th June 1922, following the prior occupation of the Four Courts by anti Treaty forces and subsequent shelling of the location by pro Treaty forces, an explosion occurred at the Irish Public Records Office located in the western block of the Four Courts, resulting in the permanent destruction of centuries of Irish state and religious archives.
This (though of course at that particular point in time would have have been overshadowed by the crisis the country was facing) was a terrible and saddening day - when centuries of documentation vanished as can never be replaced.
Looking at this unfortunate occurrence purely from the view of significant genealogical documentation which became non-existent within "seconds", as far as I know the following were lost;
1. The surviving 19th century census returns,
2. Approx 2/3 of pre-1870 Church of Ireland parish registers
3. All surviving wills probated in Ireland.
However, what did survive were I believe;
1. Records as had been contained in the Public Records Office Reading Room before the outbreak of hostilites.
2. Records as would not have been exclusively or indeed possibly contained in the Public Records Office, such as non-Church of Ireland parish records, civil records of births, marriages and deaths, property records and later censuses.
3. Abstracts, Transcripts and Fragments of the originals (which said originals vanished forever).
No doubt to those of you interested in Family History, Genealogy, etc, you may have come across in your endeavours the fact of various "links" not being ascertainable due to this reason. Personally and being from the South and having researched the family history for many years (the existence of O'Kief, Coshe Mange has been invaluable) but when it came to checking Census Returns for the 1800s, which would have been somewhat helpful, the spectre of the Four Courts unfortunately manifested itself.