There is of course, much statement of the bleedin' obvious - more money needed, everyone needs to be nice to each other and work together better, be especially nice to the Catholic Church and they might, just might, get with the program (much puzzlement apparently at how the LDS pulled it off in the 1950's & 1960's?!), more money needed, long-term strategic plan (oops strayed in Conspeak as currently being blasted out to the British public ad nauseum right now), more better trained staff, better conservation and storage facilities (no more room under the bed at the National Archives apparently), more money needed (are you spotting a theme here?) However, there are also some interesting points that deserve to be taken further.
For example, there is much debate about "free-to-view" versus "subscription" models for delivering digital content, the former acknowledged as a dream, the latter acknowledged as perhaps a more realistic way forward. I do wish the Irish Government would just grasp the nettle and get on with negotiating with commercial partners who are better at doing this quickly. I can't help thinking that many of the national institutions (Central Statistics Office, GRO, I'm looking at you...) and local county research centres are all still so desperate to defend their fiefdoms, deluding themselves that there is "gold in them thar hills" if only they could do it all themselves - they can't. It must be like herding cats to get them all to agree to anything going forward.
Which brings me to some great proposals - Chief Cat Herder aka Chief State Genealogical Officer who presumably would be housed in the new National Diaspora & Genealogy Centre, which would act as a central information hub - hallelujah! Oh, and maybe they could sublet the basement to the GRO Dublin who apparently are festering in Werburgh St where it's a bit of a toss-up between which Stalinesque queue to join each day - the one for the singular toilet or the one for charging up your laptop on the scarce plug sockets! Meanwhile out in the sticks (note to Tourism Ireland, bit of a hike for your ancestral tourists), GRO Roscommon have apparently fessed up to already having digital copies of all their BMD records. However, the Registrar General decided to interpret the current legislation as "Computer says NO!", meaning that these are strictly for internal use! Recommendation 22 to change the law and pave the way for a GRONI-like system can't come too soon.
The wonderful but much ignored to date different Irish land records get a mention too. Wouldn't it be wonderful if these could be digitised and accompanied with contemporary maps... oops strayed into Irish geneaographical heaven! The project to digitise the 1926 census also sounds interesting. But my absolute favourite has to be #13 - "The system must be designed with the end-user in mind" - how refreshing would that be for a change instead of having to wrestle with whatever the archivists thought "best"?
And finally there is the truly barmy idea of annexing Halloween aka Samhain as an original Irish folk tradition and greenwashing it with a bit of the old St. Patrick's Day magic and hey presto, a winter festival of pumpkins, shamrocks and genealogy to tempt all those far-flung cousins home? Dear God! As anyone who has had the misfortune to be in America at the end of October will know this has all the potential to be truly tacky but I'm sure will delight the purveyors of plastic "Paddywhackery" on Temple Bar no end!
Seriously, there are some good recommendations in this report but the real question is what happens next? It would be such a wasted opportunity for Ireland if nothing comes of it. Quite frankly, if Ireland wants to become the European centre of excellence for genealogy (Recommendation #34), they better get a move on before Brussels gives them a good spanking over low corporation tax and Ancestry moves its European HQ to Luxembourg!