However, the major development is that from May 11th, it will no longer be completely free to view. You will be limited to 5 free page views per day before having to register on the site with your email address and a password. For unlimited access after May 11th, John is proposing a "small monthly subscription cost", amount as yet to be announced. Before May 11th, all content is free to view once you register, including the source reports that were previously only available for 12 Euros via the Irish Times website.
I'd always wondered what you got for your money in these reports and now I know. Basically it appears that although you can fill in various selection criteria via this form, your results will contain all known sources relating to individual criteria rather than the combination of them. This can obviously be useful for highlighting more unusual sources and being furnished with the catalogue references for ones you will have to look at in person, but at the same time you will have to trade this off against having to wade through other lists that can be very broad e.g. all the cemeteries in Carlow, regardless of religion being specified.
So, what does this mean for all you lovely people using my site to link to John's pages? I have already updated all the links on my own web-pages to redirect to John's own site rather than the Irish Times one. However, if you go over his 5 free pages a day limit you will have to register and from May 11th, potentially subscribe. With regards to the Church of Ireland Parish Records Finder spreadsheets that I've compiled for each county, unless I can find a way of automating the update of the hyperlinks that take you directly to his civil parish page, I'm afraid I'm going to have to dispense with these (there are approx. 2500+ of them!) and leave you with a single county link for you to then browse under yourself. I'll keep you posted.
I'm pleased that the site is still going to be available as John's wisdom (and wit!) are always the first I ever consult when faced with an Irish genealogical question. The fact that we will all now have to pay something for this insight and the tools to access it easily on-line are probably a fair reflection of the commercial realities of the genealogical business today. We should reflect and be thankful that we all learned so much from the free site for so long.